In an emergency press conference by the Ministry of Health of Trinidad and Tobago, the Minister of Health announced the first case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Trinidad and Tobago.
At 2:45 PM, CARPHA confirmed the first case of COVID-19.
The individual is an imported case, arriving in Trinidad on Monday 9th March 2020. The patient is a 52-year-old man who came from Switzerland and started exhibiting symptoms on Wednesday.
Health Minister, Terrance Deyalsingh said he immediately put himself in isolation and will be transported to the hospital in Caura.
Neither Deyalsingh or National Security Minister Stuart Young said whether the patient was a national. They said only that he resides in TT.
According to Deyalsingh, this is a mild case. His family is self-quarantining.
As of 4:30 PM, there has been 127,863 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with 4,718 deaths and 68,310 recoveries. These numbers are from John Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering COVID-19 Mapper.
On March 10th 2020, the World Health Organization designated COVID-19 a pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
This comes as the Ministry of Health updated its travel advisory banning non-nationals who have traveled to China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Singapore, Spain and The Republic of Korea (South Korea) in the last 14 days.
Trinidad and Tobago citizens and permanent residents who have traveled to the aforementioned areas will be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon entering the country’s borders.
What to do if you think you have COVID-19?
If you have traveled to or had close contact with someone who traveled to a country where COVID-19 was present and develops a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties and/or acute diarrhea, do the following:
- If you develop a mild cough of low-grade fever (temperature of 37.3 degrees Celcius or more), stay at home and self-isolate. Avoid close contact with family members
- Contact your area health center, giving them details of your recent travel or exposure and the symptoms you’re experiencing.
- Do avoid visiting private institutions and doctors’ offices.
Following contact with the Ministry of Health, officers will visit your home for the following:
- To have samples taken from you for the confirmation of the virus (which will be tested by CARPHA).
- To assess your symptoms and recommend medication safe to have. It is best to avoid aspirin or aspirin based medication until you are assessed.
- Arrange transfer to a hospital facility if your condition requires supportive care and management.