Highlights from today’s (13.05.2020) Virtual Health Media Conference

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In case you missed it, here are the key points from today’s Virtual Media Conference:

  • The following is the update on COVID-19 patients and quarantined persons across the various facilities:

CAURA: 1 patient (Stable and Ambulatory)

CASCADIA: 14 quarantined (including Cuban Nurses)

UWI DEBE CAMPUS: 70 quarantined (69 Returning Nationals from Suriname, 1 Returning National from Guyana)

  • Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh confirmed that there are 10,000 PCR Test Kits in T&T as the Ministry of Health ramps up testing for COVID-19.
  • Minister Deyalsingh confirmed that 792 Community Tests have been conducted for COVID-19, and all returned Negative.
  • Elective surgeries have restarted on a phased basis. Patients have been told that the surgeries will be prioritised and they will be contacted.
  • Minister Deyalsingh corrected what he said was a “piece of malicious writing” in the newspaper on the decision to suspend elective surgeries. He stated that it was a “Ministry of Health decision” and had nothing to do with the CEOs at the RHAs.
  • County Medical Officer of Health for County Caroni, Dr. Jeanine St. Bernard, said a whole-of-society approach is needed to combat COVID-19. She said everyone must do their part to protect each other and this country from COVID-19. These include:

· Wear A Mask In Public.

· Follow Personal Hygiene Measures.

· Sanitise all hard surfaces like counter tops and cell phones.

· Stay home if you are ill.

  • On the issue of Contact Tracing, Dr. Bernard noted that some people who were subject to Contact Tracing had supplied wrong contact numbers, making it difficult to follow up on cases. Nurses and Public Health Inspectors, even the police, have had to be dispatched to find these people.
  • Technical Director of the Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Avery Hinds, spoke on the importance of personal health protection measures in preventing Community Spread. He said T&T is at a difficult phase in fighting COVID-19 as some sectors have been reopened and this brings the risk of Community Spread with more people out in the public. This is why T&T is undergoing a phased reopening as a preventative measure.
  • Dr. Avery Hinds urged persons with virus symptoms to stay home. Isolate yourself or visit the hospitals for medical care.
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