T&T health officials seek info on Canadian COVID-19 patient
Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Roshan Parasram. © 2020 Office of the Parliament.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram has written to Canadian authorities to determine the travel history of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patient who had travelled to Trinidad and Tobago.
This, as Parasram sought to put to rest worry over reports that one of seven people in Alberta, Canada confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, had visited and travelled from this country.
The CMO made the revelation when he appeared before the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee in Parliament on Wednesday.
He indicated that he sent correspondence to the Canadian public health agency via email requesting epidemiological data on the confirmed case.
“There’s a host of different scenarios that could have played out during the course of the time. For instance, it could have been somebody who was contaminated on a cruise ship, had limited contact with Trinidadians and then went back to Canada via Trinidad and Tobago. We don’t know the scenario until I get back the results from public health Canada.”
However, Dr Parasram said there was no cause for concern as the chance of possible transmission would have been low when the patient would have passed through Trinidad.
He said: “they would have probably not have symptoms at the time because you usually can’t board an airplane with symptoms.”
Chief Medical Officer for the province of Alberta, Dr Deena Hinshaw, in a news clip from a Canadian agency announced that the country recorded seven new cases of imported coronavirus.
Dr Hinshaw named Trinidad and Tobago as one of the countries that a traveller had come from who tested positive for the virus.
She acknowledged that many of these travellers passed through multiple countries before arriving in Alberta, Canada, but did not specify which of the travellers this applied to.
As of the evening of March 11, Trinidad and Tobago still had no confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Health Ministry has sent 42 samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing and all samples have returned negative results.