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Covid-19 patient number five confirmed; 26-year-old man tests positive

The Ministry of Health confirmed Trinidad and Tobago’s fifth case of coronavirus Covid-19 today after a 26-year-old tested positive. His travel history was not divulged.

The twin island republic got its first positive case last Friday, which was followed by three more confirmed patients over the weekend. Three of the patients were confirmed as male with two aged over 50, although no information has been given on two of the cases.

Photo: Testing for the coronavirus Covid-19.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced today that Trinidad and Tobago will close its borders to visitors for 14 days, starting from midnight tomorrow. All business that attract a mass audience have been asked to stay closed while schools were ordered shut until 20 April.

The Ministry of Health has advised members of the public to:

  • Wash your hands properly with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are unavailable;
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose tissue immediately after using, or cough and sneeze into crook of your elbow;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Practice social distancing—that is no kissing, hugging or hand-shaking, and avoid mass gatherings;
  • Sanitise hard surfaces as often as possible, such as tabletops, handrails, doorknobs and trolleys;
  • Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms;
  • Stay home if you are ill.
Photo: Members of the public are asked to wash their hands properly to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The North West Regional Hospital Authority (NWRHA) also made the following announcements, which took effect on Monday 16 March:

(Clinical services)

  • For surgical, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, urology, plastics, ENT and ophthalmology (eyes) clinics, patients who recently had surgery and need dressings will be seen. Screening for all other patients will be done by telephone and they will be contacted to have their clinic appointments rescheduled as needed.
  • The medical, neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology, nephrology, gynaecology and NICO clinics will be closed and only urgent cases will be seen. Screening for all other patients will be done by telephone and they will be contacted to have their clinic appointments rescheduled as needed.
  • Haematology clinics for routine visits will be closed. Patients due for chemotherapy, factor 8 therapy and transfusions will keep their appointments as usual.
  • Obstetrics patients coming to clinic will be screened prior to entrance into the clinics.
  • For echocardiograms, endoscopies and infusion services at endoscopy, screening for appointments will be done by telephone and patients with respiratory symptoms or recent travel will have their appointments rescheduled.
Photo: Health Minister Dr Terrence Deyalsingh.

(Elective surgeries)

  • Urgent cases already seen by hospital team will be contacted for scheduling for general surgery and other surgical subspecialties.
  • Cases already booked for St James Medical Complex will continue as usual.

(Radiology services: ultrasounds, CT scans, X-rays)

  • Appointments will be prioritised based on urgency.
  • Patients with respiratory symptoms and recent travel are advised to call in and rebook their appointments.

(Prescriptions)

  • All patients requiring medication refill, whose prescription has expired or due to expire within the next week, can attest their clinics on their designated clinic days and a prescription re-write will be facilitated.
  • Patients who have respiratory symptoms and also persons over the age of 60 should not go to the hospital clinics. Instead, they should have a relative go with their national identification card, their clinic cards and expiring prescription, to have the refill organised.

(Accident and Emergency)

  • All patients presenting with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath will be screened in a separate area, outside the Accident and Emergency Department.
  • Patients with fever and mild respiratory symptoms and recent travel or contact with a confirmed Covid-19 positive case are advised to contact their district health centres for advice, prior to showing up at a health facility.

Please contact the Port of Spain General Hospital at 285-8989 for any further information required.

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