No confirmed or suspected cases of the Novel Coronavirus to date: All screening protocols in place

Port-of-Spain, February 2nd, 2020: The Ministry of Health (MoH) assures the public that all Infectious Disease Protocols are in place to restrict entry of the Novel Coronavirus into Trinidad and Tobago. Persons are reminded of the Government’s restriction on travel into Trinidad and Tobago from China, where no person who is living in or visiting China, will be allowed entry into Trinidad and Tobago for 14 days from their date of departure from China. This current restriction is designed to reduce the risk to persons entering the country who may be infected with, or carriers of, the Novel Coronavirus. To date, there have been no confirmed or suspected cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Trinidad and Tobago.

The MoH, along with other local and international partner agencies, including the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Immigration and Customs and Excise Divisions, continue to receive information on all individuals of interest travelling from or through China en route to Trinidad and Tobago. All standard operating procedures, including screening and/or isolation as required, continues upon arrival into Trinidad and Tobago. Passengers who arrived in Trinidad and Tobago from China before the implementation of the Government’s travel restriction were also subject to the Infectious Disease Protocols and standard operating procedures at all ports of entry. In keeping with these established national protocols, the following pertains: If any passenger is found to be exhibiting symptoms consistent with the Novel Coronavirus, and/or coming from a country with ongoing transmission of the virus, they will be immediately isolated and further evaluated to determine the appropriate course of action. The MoH recommends that travel to countries with ongoing transmission of the Novel Coronavirus should be postponed at this time.

The MoH further advises members of the public to take the following steps to avoid contracting the Novel Coronavirus:

• 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 public should disregard and avoid sharing all false or misleading information about the Novel Coronavirus currently being circulated on social media. Please check and keep updated by following the Ministry of Health webpage (www.health.gov.tt), Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for current and reliable information on the Novel Coronavirus and other health issues. The Ministry of Health remains committed to providing quality health care and information to the Trinidad and Tobago population.

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