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Wednesday 12 August, 2020

T&TEC worker tested for COVID-19, five others sent on sick leave

Public Utilities Minister Fitzgerald Hinds responds to an urgent question in Parliament on May 22, 2020

Public Utilities Minister Fitzgerald Hinds responds to an urgent question in Parliament on May 22, 2020

A T&TEC worker has been tested for COVID-19 and five others have been granted sick leave pending the results.

Public Utilities Minister Fitzgerald Hinds made the revelation in Parliament on Friday in response to an urgent question.

"With respect to the number of employees at T&TEC exhibiting flu-like symptoms who have been sent to medical institutions for COVID-19 testing, I am advised there was one employee who was tested on May 17. He was feeling unwell the day before and his results are pending. On May 19, all other five employees of that crew was sent to the Mt Hope health facility. They were not tested, but were given sick leave pending the results consistent with that employee who was tested on May 17."

T&TEC has been accused of negligence by the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) in its handling of the matter.

In a statement earlier this week, the union said T&TEC failed to halt work on a project at Park and Flament Street, Port-of-Spain at the Commission's 6.6KB sub-station, after workers exhibited flu-like symptoms.

“The Commission failed to halt work on the project after the infections and continued to put workers at risk. They also failed to adhere to the Temporary Work Arrangements and the necessary Ministry of Health guidelines to protect workers."

Hinds said T&TEC has put systems in place to protect its employees and customers consistent with the protocols set out by the Ministry of Health.

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