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Friday 14 August, 2020

Deyalsingh: Some people withholding information in contact tracing

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh urged people who are contacted by officials as part of the Ministry's contact tracing to give as much information as possible even if it seems personal, in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking at Wednesday’s media briefing, Deyalsingh said that he has received reports that people have not been cooperating by either avoiding calls or not answering questions fully.

‘One of the issues is that persons are not answering their phones, especially when they realise that the number is a ministry number.’

‘This means we have to physically drive to a location - that ought not to be, it’s a waste of resources and we need to speed up the contact tracing. This not only affects us, it’s a national issue.’

He added that questions should be answered truthfully as in some incidents, they have discovered that people have been withholding information.

‘We need questions to be answered as truthfully as possible, as far as memory permits.’

He added that some people have been ‘hostile’ with contract tracing agents.

‘We understand some of the questions are of a personal nature but…it’s important. We understand when we’re asking you who is your partner, husband, wife, it is personal, but we are in the middle of a pandemic.’

‘If we can get the cooperation of those contacts it means we can trace people quickly…but we need the information of the person we are trying to reach through contact tracing.’

‘When we contact you, please answer your phone, answer your questions as truthfully as your memory will allow, and the questions are designed to limit exposure. We need to know who you have been in close contact with and that is the reason we ask the types of questions we unfortunately have to ask.’

As of July 29, 2020, there were 20 active cases of COVID-19 after two new cases were announced on Wednesday.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said one person indicated they had contact with someone who recently crossed into Trinidad and Tobago.

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