Government remains vigilant Re: COVID-19 (previously Novel Coronavirus)

Port-of-Spain, February 26, 2020:  The Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health and The Honourable Stuart R. Young, Minister of National Security and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister met with health officials today to discuss the ongoing national response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Also present at the meeting were: Dr Erica Wheeler- PAHO/WHO Country Representative for Trinidad and Tobago and The Dutch Kingdom Islands, Major General (Retired) Rodney Smart- Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management and Dr Lisa Indar and Dr Gabriel Gonzalez-Escobar from the Caribbean Public Health Agency. This is all a part of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s collaborative and proactive approach to addressing this global outbreak.

The core objective of the meeting was to evaluate the current risks faced by Trinidad and Tobago and to determine the next steps required.  Topics that were discussed included:

  • Global developments as it relates to COVID-19
  • Border Protection Strategies
  • In Country Response Capacity ( e.g. Testing of Samples, Patient Isolation Protocols/ Areas)

Minister Deyalsingh emphasised the ‘rapid and robust response’ that would be required to ensure the continued protection of the population and Minister Young re-committed the resources of the Ministry of National Security to the national response.

While there have been no confirmed local cases of COVID-19 and samples tested from all domestic suspected cases have received a negative result, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago continues to maintain its state of extreme vigilance.

The Ministry of Health reminds members of the public to take the following steps to avoid contracting the COVD-19 virus:

•         Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;

•         Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze;

•         Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have a tissue;

•         Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms;

•         Thoroughly cook meat and eggs before consumption.

The Ministry of Health assures the public that all steps are being taken at the national level to safeguard the health of the Trinidad and Tobago population.

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