Vessel MV Caribbean Princess denied entry to Trinidad and Tobago due to confirmed cases of Gastroenteritis

Port-of-Spain, February 9, 2020: The Ministry of Health (MoH) advises that the cruise vessel, the MV Caribbean Princess which was scheduled to arrive in PoS on Monday 10th February was denied entry due to an outbreak of gastroenteritis onboard the vessel. The cruise ship carrying over 3000 passengers and a 1000 member crew was also denied approval to berth at the Bridgetown Port, by the Government of Barbados because of the gastroenteritis outbreak on the cruise ship. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has also confirmed the presence of “a significant outbreak” of gastroenteritis on the ship. 

The Ministry of Health would have been in constant contact with the CARPHA, which monitored the passage of this vessel as it journeyed towards Trinidad and Tobago, and provided initial notification and updates on the outbreak of gastroenteritis to the relevant authorities. The MoH has also been in continued contact with other stakeholders, including the Ministry of National Security and the agent for the vessel. Based on the information confirmed, the Ministry of Health took the decision to deny entry to the MV Caribbean Princess. This decision is in keeping with the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and according to the Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health, “was taken as a precautionary measure to protect the Trinidad and Tobago population”. 

The Ministry of Health further reaffirms that thus far there have been NO suspected or confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Trinidad and Tobago. The public is also urged to be cautious of sharing false or misleading information that may cause unnecessary anxiety and panic. The following tips will help the public identify fake news:

• There is no author name or company letterhead;
• The content does not match the headline of the article;
• There are no sources within the story and
• Genuine news agencies are not reporting the information.

Instead, persons are invited to share the following public health information to protect yourself and your loved ones from 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

Members of the public should keep updated with all Ministry of Health notifications by monitoring our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for accurate information on all health matters. Correct information can also be sourced from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) websites and social media pages.

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