Highlights from today’s (15.05.2020) Virtual Health Media Conference

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In case you missed it, here are the Key Points from the Ministry of Health’s Virtual Media Conference – Friday May 15th 2020:

  • The 69 quarantined Nationals who returned from Suriname two weeks ago are expected to be discharged from the UWI Debe Campus today after spending 14 days in quarantine.
  • Government is spending $400 per night (single room) and $600 per night (double room) to use the Cascadia Hotel as a Step Down Facility. Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh noted that Government spent nearly $1 million to outfit Tacarigua Racquet Centre as a Step Down Facility for the 33 Returning Nationals from Barbados, and another $1 million was spent to outfit the UWI Debe Campus for the 70 Returning Nationals from Suriname and Guyana.
  • 868 Community Tests have been administered for COVID-19 and all returned Negative.
  • Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said it does not make clinical sense to test the entire population of Trinidad and Tobago for COVID-19 as the city of Wuhan in China is currently doing.
  • Minister Deyalsingh called for patience from some business owners who are urging Government to reopen more sectors. He said by next week health officials will have a better understanding on any “hidden pockets” of COVID-19 in the wider community and will make a decision then.
  • Dr. Saed Rahaman, Director of Veterinary Public Health, addressed guidelines for food establishments. He said the food industry is an integral part of our everyday lives and it is imperative that guidelines are adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19, now that food establishments have reopened for business.
  • Dr. Rahaman said Public Health Inspectors are visiting workplaces and food establishments to conduct “spot checks” and other types of surveillance to ensure proper health guidelines (physical distancing, wearing face masks) are being followed. They will also ensure employers are not diluting liquid soaps and hand sanitisers for customers and employees as a means of cost-cutting. Dr. Rahaman still advised peoples to walk with their personal hand sanitisers when venturing out.
  • On the sale of wild meat in Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Rahaman said the season is closed and the sale of wild meat is prohibited at this time. A Draft Policy on the sale and consumption of wild meat has been done but it is awaiting approval.
  • Keisha Prevatt-Gomez, Infection Control Nurse at Caura Hospital, addressed personal hygiene measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19. She reiterated that it is important to clean all surfaces of the hands (front, back and between fingers) and people should cough or sneeze into a tissue, which must be discarded immediately after, or cough or sneeze into their elbow.
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