Thursday 26 November, 2020

Point Fortin man to be charged for breaching quarantine, going to gym

A Point Fortin man is expected to be charged after failing to self-quarantine as ordered by officials at the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Line Minister Terrence Deyalsingh revealed minor details on the case while addressing the Upper House on Tuesday.

Opposition Senator Wade Mark had inquired whether coronavirus test results from private institutions were sent to the MoH before being disclosed to patients.

Deyalsingh explained that the results were being sent directly to patients and that the Ministry was only informed of positive results for further follow-up action on clinical treatment and care.

He added that as a precautionary measure, private-sector laboratories sometimes send samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for re-testing if concerned about a false positive or negative.

The issue of breaching quarantine then arose after the Minister noted that the monitoring of COVID-19 positive patients was being conducted at several levels.

Giving a breakdown, he said this included:

  •  Follow-up care and clinical assessments twice per day by the respective County Medical Officers of Health (CMOH);
  • The provision of pulse oximeters to patients where medical officers track the patients' oxygen levels using telemedicine;
  • The availability of medical officers at the COVID-19 hotline for advice, follow-up care and intervention;
  • The immediate intervention of the national emergency ambulance service provider if any crisis arises;
  • The provision of the list of self-isolated patients to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) to ensure adherence and compliance with the measures under the Quarantine Act;
  • The use of a daily monitoring tool to track active, symptomatic, asymptomatic cases and those who have been hospitalised, discharged or have died

Deyalsingh said this has been extremely effective, however, he admitted that some patients have broken the rules. 

"The gentleman went to a gym, twice, knowing he was under quarantine. We then alerted the police and he was put under state quarantine and my information is [that] he will be charged but those are exceptions rather than the rule."

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