Trinidad and Tobago now has 57 cases of novel coronavirus Covid-19, after the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) announced four more positive tests today.
Two of the cases are nationals who returned from the infamous Costa Favolosa cruise ship, independently of the 68 voyagers who were taken to quarantine in Balandra. Another patient has ‘a history of recent travel’ while the fourth ‘is known to have had contact with a person with a history of recent travel’.
There have been a total of 353 tests at CARPHA to date.
Thus far, the Costa Favolosa cruise has offered the biggest challenge to Trinidad and Tobago’s healthcare system, as it is responsible for 43 of the country’s 57 positive readings.
At present, 28 passengers from that cruise ship are quarantined in Balandra while another two, whose initial tests were also negative, are at the Caura Hospital.
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh revealed yesterday that CARPHA has lifted its limit on testing locals while the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex will have its own Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine available by the end of this week, which is capable of testing up to 180 cases per day.
Within the next six weeks, the country should have three more PCR machines available.
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.