Highlights from today’s (11.05.2020) Virtual Health Media Conference


In case you missed it, here are the Key Points from today’s Virtual Media Conference – Monday May 11th 2020:

  • Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said his Ministry is “nervous” as the country begins Phase 1 of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions today. He said citizens can no longer blame imported cases for COVID-19 as T&T’s borders have been closed for some time. If there is a surge of cases in T&T in the next two weeks, he said it will be due to Local Transmission and Community Spread because citizens refuse to follow the Ministry’s health guidelines.
  • Minister Deyalsingh reminded that if people act responsibly and all goes well, Phases 2 and 3 of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions will be advanced.
  • National Security Minister Stuart Young confirmed that the updated Public Health Ordinance to lift some of the COVID-19 restrictions was published. He reminded that social gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited. This also applies to people who are exercising. With regard to food agriculture, he said workers engaged in agriculture and food production, including construction and land preparations, can continue to work.
  • Under the updated Public Health Ordinance, Government has now made it an offence for food establishments to offer in-house dining. “On-the-spot” consumption at street food sites (gyro and doubles vendors etc.) is also prohibited and police can now charge proprietors who refuse to follow this regulation.
  • Minister Young noted that there are photographs circulating showing limited physical distancing at roadside vendors and what appeared to be people eating food on site. He said if people do not act responsibly when buying food and are consuming on the spot, the Government is not afraid to shut down this type of business.
  • Minister Young confirmed that the Government is planning an operation with Caribbean Airlines to bring home TT students in Barbados and Jamaica in June. Students who wish to return home will be subject to 14 days’ quarantine in Barbados/Jamaica. They will be placed in State quarantine for a further 14 days on their return to T&T.
  • Minister Young defended a meeting with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodrigues, who was appointed that country’s COVID-19 Coordinator in February and requested a meeting with T&T soon after. However due to the PM’s travel itinerary, he said the meeting took place in late March. Minister Young noted that Ms. Rodrigues and Mr. Asdrubal Chavez were the only two Venezuelans in the delegation that met with PM Rowley, and Mr. Chavez was not the President of PDVSA at the time of the meeting.
  • Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram confirmed that as of Saturday May 9th 2020, 687 Community Tests have been administered and all returned Negative.