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Another cruise ship passenger tests positive; T&T now has 51 cases

Another member of the ill-fated cruise ship, Costa Favolosa, has tested positive for Covid-19. The passenger was not quarantined in Balandra. However, chief medical officer of the Ministry of Health Dr Roshan Parasram said the patient had been quarantined earlier at Caura.

Trinidad and Tobago now has 51 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus from 311 tests.

“Forty-one of these positive cases came from the group of nationals who recently returned from a cruise,” stated a release from the Ministry of Health, this morning. “Forty from the group of 68 nationals who returned together and one additional person, who was also on the cruise but returned to Trinidad and Tobago separately—prior to the other 68.”

Photo: The ill-fated Costa Favolosa cruise ship.

The government closed its borders at 12.01am today to all but air and sea cargo and persons who receive a special exemption from the Ministry of National Security.

On Friday, the Trinidad Guardian reported that three more passengers from the Costa Favolosa—Karyn Stewart-Phillip, Michelle Sergeant and Michelle Charles—were to be dropped off in Buenos Aires, Argentina by the ship. The trio are desperate to return home.

It is uncertain whether they made it back to Piarco before the borders closed.

The Ministry of Health continues to urge members 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: Testing for the coronavirus Covid-19.

Editor’s Note: Wired868 contacted the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Communications at 11.36am for further information on the 41st cruise ship passenger who tested positive, since the government release indicated only that the person was NOT quarantined at Balandra.

A government official confirmed receipt of that request. However, the government did not formally respond until a press conference held after 2.30pm. At that point, Wired868 updated the story to reflect information belatedly provided.

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  1. Do we know if people without travel histories are being tested?