Key Points from Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley’s Media Conference on COVID-19 – Saturday August 29th 2020

  • Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, said there will be no drastic changes in Government’s COVID-19 response but measures implemented over the last few weeks and months will continue. They include:
  • No in-house dining at restaurants and bars.
  • All beaches to remain closed to the public (without exemptions).
  • All places of worship to remain closed.
  • Gyms to remain closed.
  • No Team sports and contact sports.
  • Water parks to remain closed.
  • Casinos and Members Clubs to remain closed.
  • Cinemas to remain closed.
  • Gatherings remain limited to five people.
  • Funerals and weddings remain limited to 10 people.
  • Travel between both islands to be restricted unless it is absolutely essential.
  • Prime Minister Rowley noted that the Senate is currently debating the Bill to make mask wearing mandatory. He said if the Bill is passed, by Monday it would be illegal to be in a public place without a mask.
  • Maxi Taxi groups are expected to meet with the Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan, on their concerns on limited passenger capacity.
  • For the next 14 days, in order to keep the population of moving people down as much as possible, the Public Service will be on “essential services only.” This means more people will be working from home, utilising teleconferencing and other means in order to get their jobs done. Workers are reminded that they are NOT on vacation.
  • Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram said Essential Services are being asked to implement their contingency plans now to ensure business continuity. He confirmed that three units in the Ministry of Health were down in the last few weeks due to matters related to COVID-19.
  • Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said there is life, and there is livelihood. He said Government is trying to preserve lives while keeping livelihoods going. He said the Government is not shutting down places “as a fashion.”
  • Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley indicates that: ‘We are not expecting to eliminate the virus from the population. The virus is here with us, in all populations in the world. But we have to be in a position to have the health care response so the virus does not overcome us.’
  • Prime Minister Rowley noted that there have been no COVID-19 related deaths at any of the Homes for the Aged. This is because the Government took steps to isolate this vulnerable group.
  • Prime Minister Rowley noted that T&T has been responding to the Coronavirus pandemic since January 2020. He assured the national community that measures over the past eight months are working.
  • Currently there are 76 persons hospitalised for COVID-19.
    COUVA: 63 (6 in ICU, 10 in HDU)
    CAURA: 13
  • The following is a breakdown of persons at Step Down facilities:
    UWI DEBE: 3
    NAPA: 3
  • Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said persons who live in close quarters with others and are unable to properly self-isolate can voluntarily come in to State-supervised quarantine. This applies to people who live in apartment buildings, small homes with limited bedroom/bathroom space.
  • Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh noted that health officials have always maintained that they wanted hospital capacity to remain between 60% and 75%. If they didn’t take recent measures, occupation levels would have increased but new measures have ensured numbers have come down.
  • Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said he has been getting a lot of “aggressive advice” on COVID-19. He said no advice is ever dismissed but all adjustments have been made on scientific data.
  • National Security Minister Stuart Young: A motorist alone in their vehicle doesn’t have to wear a mask while in the vehicle. However, family members traveling in a vehicle or passengers in PH/taxis/maxi taxis MUST wear their masks.