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Griffith temporarily closes Arouca Police Station, officers sent to self-quarantine

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith today ordered the temporary closure of the Arouca Police Station, after ‘a police officer with a recent travel history developed flu-like symptoms this week’.

“The officer left the country on 4 March without the necessary approval and knowledge and went to St Maarten,” stated the TTPS release. “He returned to Trinidad on 7 March and instead of going into self-quarantine returned to work the following day.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.
(Copyright Ministry of National Security)

“The officer developed the flu-like symptoms this week and as a precautionary measure, all officers of the Arouca Police Station were ordered to go on self-quarantine.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Covid-19 pandemic on 11 March while Trinidad and Tobago reported its first case on 13 March.

Griffith announced that the police station would be sanitised today. In the meantime, he promised ‘increased patrols in the Arouca district’ and advised persons who wish to make reports in that area to contact:

  • Arima Police Station, Broadway—667-3563;
  • Maloney Police Station, Flamingo Boulevard—646-6504;
  • Piarco Police Station, Golden Grove Road—660-4366;
  • Tunapuna Police Station, Eastern Main Road—645-7573.

This morning, the Health Ministry reported its 61st positive case after 407 tests. The latest patient also had ‘a recent travel history’.

Trinidad and Tobago had its first Covid-19 related death yesterday. However, the government has not yet released any information about the deceased patient.

Photo: A woman wearing a mask to protect herself from the spread of the new coronavirus, holds a baby outside the main bus terminal in Bogota, Colombia on 24 March 2020.
The Colombia government announced a nationwide lockdown starting Tuesday to fight the spread of COVID-19, with strict restrictions on residents’ movements, but emphasized it will guarantee the continuation of local agriculture and food distribution.
(Copyright AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Medical records suggest that the deceased patient was admitted to the San Fernando General Hospital on 13 March, although he was not among the cases declared to the public on 13 or 14 March.

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.

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