Highlights from today’s (27.05.2020) Virtual Health Media Conference


In case you missed it, here are the Key Points from today’s Virtual Media Conference– Wednesday May 27th 2020:

  • Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) believes we are still in the first wave of COVID-19. Globally, 5.7 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, with 352,983 deaths.
  • Minister Deyalsingh said people must continue to exercise personal responsibility by wearing a mask in public. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth and not around the neck or under the chin. People are also urged to practice hand hygiene and stay home if they are ill.
  • There are now 85 Returning Nationals quarantined at three facilities. The following is the breakdown:
    CASCADIA: 5 quarantined.
    TACARIGUA RACQUET CENTRE: 21 quarantined.
    UWI Debe Campus: 59 quarantined.
  • The Minister of National Security Stuart Young noted that thousands of applications have been received from TT Nationals abroad who want to return home. He assured them that they will be permitted to do so, but Government must carefully manage the process to prevent the re-emergence of COVID-19 in T&T. He reminded that all COVID-19 cases in T&T had been imported via travel.
  • Minister Young stated that Government is carefully managing the re-entry of TT Nationals and at the same time reopening the economy in Phases – which will see more people moving about in public. He said officials have to ensure that the Public Health system is not overwhelmed. He also stated that the careful management of Returning Nationals will ensure that there is not a “mix” at the various health facilities which could potentially expose them to the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Government is speaking with Royal Caribbean on TT cruise ship workers. The cruise line says there may be as much as 360 TT Nationals on their ships, but this still-to-be-confirmed number will overwhelm the system if they all return at the same time. As such, Government is exploring various options, including quarantine on ships or making other facilities available. Officials are awaiting a response from Royal Caribbean on the final number of TT Nationals on board their ships, as well as the possibility of using a vessel as a quarantine facility.
  • Minister Young will be meeting (via Zoom) with the Principals of UWI Cave Hill and Mona tonight to discuss the return of TT students. There may be over 200 TT students at these two campuses.
  • Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram confirmed that there have been discussions on the reopening of schools with stakeholders. He noted that there is a specific WHO document on schools, with the most critical point being that children and teachers must stay home when they are ill.
  • National Security Minister Stuart Young said there is no reason for him to resign over the visit of Venezuela’s VP Delcy Rodriguez. He also noted that there have been two corrections in the newspapers on this matter which indicate that he was not in the wrong. He said, “I am here to serve the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”
  • Minister of Communications, Donna Cox, stated the next Media Conference on COVID-19 will be on Saturday May 30th 2020. Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley will address the nation then. She also thanked those who responded to the Ministry of Communications’ call to volunteer as spanish translators.