Highlights from today’s (30.04.2020) Virtual Health Media Conference

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

  • Minister of Communications, Donna Cox announced that the Ministry has launched a COVID-19 Website that is a “One Stop Shop” for all official COVID-19 News, Releases, Updates, Public Health Notices, Public Health Guidelines etc.
    The website can be accessed at https://www.covid19.gov.tt/
  • Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh gave an update on surveillance testing in T&T, stating that as of yesterday afternoon, 212 tests were conducted, all of which returned with a negative result.
  • Responding to a question posed regarding the business community’s optimism about the country’s readiness to rescind lockdown measures, Minister Deyalsingh said that Government continues to be guided by the advice of the medical experts and the decision to lift restrictions lies with the Prime Minister.
  • Minister Deyalsingh also provided a figure for the cost of outfitting the National Racquet Centre as a quarantine facility, which was approximately $1 -1.5 million dollars.
  • Professor of Molecular Genetics and Virology, Dr. Christine Carrington, gave an in-depth description of the COVID-19 Virus. Dr. Carrington explained that patients are not “re-infected” by the virus, in fact, small fragments of the virus can remain in their systems which could lead to a positive test result later on. The doctor highlighted that persons that fall in this category do not have enough virus in their systems to be infectious.
  • Dr. Carrington appealed to elderly citizens to get vaccinated against the flu, as it would protect them from battling 2 viruses if they were unfortunate enough to contract COVID-19.
  • Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at U.W.I, Professor Terrence Seemungal, discussed a WHO study called “solidarity,” that will look at therapy options for the COVID-19 virus. T&T is one of the countries included in this study that will ask patients to voluntarily allow themselves to be treated by a randomly selected drug, chosen to combat the virus.
  • When asked about final year students at U.W.I Mona joining the fight against COVID-19, Professor Seemungal stated that the Mona students are NOT on the frontline, but are assisting in contact tracing phone calls. He added that at this point in time, medical students in T&T do not need to get involved, the Ministry of Health has the situation under control.
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