Update: T&T's COVID-19 cases up to 51, all classified as imported
Updated 5:43 pm 23 March 2020 to reflect increase in the number of samples submitted for testing.
The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) here in Trinidad and Tobago is now 51.
This was confirmed in a press release sent by the Ministry of Health.
According to the latest release, as of the afternoon of Monday 23 March, the Ministry reports the following:
Number of samples submitted to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing for COVID-19 = 318
Number of samples which have tested positive = 51
The Ministry specified that 41 of these positive cases came from the group of nationals who recently returned from a cruise, (40 from the group of 68 nationals who returned together and one additional person, who was also on the cruise, but returned to Trinidad and Tobago separately, prior to the other 68.)
The Ministry said all 51 cases had a history of recent travel. Therefore all positive COVID-19 cases, thus far, have been classified as imported.
The public was once again reminded that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has the only lab that is certified to test samples for COVID-19 and therefore, it is the only lab that can confirm positive or negative results of the samples.
Public Health Inspectors will visit various public locations within communities where large gatherings are common (e.g. schools, supermarkets and malls) to advise key representatives on the necessary health care precautions.
The Ministry of Health has also urged the public to practice social distancing, by putting a space between yourself and others.
They ask that members of the public maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and others, especially anyone who is coughing or showing signs of illness.
Social distancing is a tool public health officials recommend to slow the spread of a disease that is being passed from person to person. This means that if persons stay far enough away from each other, the virus cannot spread from one person to another.
Members of the public are also asked to take the following personal hygiene measures to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19:
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Dispose of tissue immediately after using
- Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have a tissue
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home if you are ill
- Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have recently travelled outside of Trinidad and Tobago, or have come into close contact with someone who has travelled internationally, please self-quarantine and call your nearest public health facility.