Highlights from today’s (26.04.2020) Virtual Health Media Conference

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

  • Starting this week, the Ministry of Health will be deepening its relationship and support of Residential Care facilities. Random testing will begin at these Homes for elderly residents. Masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided to workers at these facilities free of charge.
  • Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh called on parents and guardians to get their children immunised, noting that immunisation programmes in other countries have fallen off at this time.
  • HIV clinics are open. Patients are asked to continue visiting these facilities for treatment.
  • Minister Deyalsingh noted that there has been widespread support for the Stay At Home extension. He encouraged citizens to stay the course for the remaining period: “If we comply, we will get through this stronger and better.”
  • Technical Director in the Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Avery Hinds, responded to an article on the death rate in T&T due to pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses over the last four months. He noted that 2019 was a very active year for deaths by pneumonia and respiratory illnesses, he said chronic diseases remain the main cause of death in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Dr. Avery Hinds said there has been no evidence showing that recovered COVID-19 patients in T&T have had relapses.
  • National Security Minister Stuart Young clarified reports on chartered flights arriving in T&T over the weekend with passengers. He confirmed that five chartered flights came to collect 62 Non-Nationals who were working offshore on rigs.
  • The 62 Non-Nationals were staggered over five flights. Minister Young assured that the passage of these 62 Non-Nationals through T&T posed no threat as they were brought in on a marine vessel, escorted on sanitised buses to Piarco, and were not allowed to disembark. He said it was a carefully managed operation to get these Non-Nationals back to their homes.
  • Minister Young confirmed that the French military requested overpass flights which were allowed. The US military also requested the same to pick up military personnel and American citizens from South America who were making their way back home. Again, no one was allowed to disembark.
  • TT Nationals in Suriname will be granted permission to enter Trinidad and Tobago but just like the cruise ship cohort and 33 Nationals who recently returned from Barbados, they will be subject to quarantine.
  • T&T already has measures in place in the event of an influx of deportees when the borders are eventually reopened.
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