Key Points from the Ministry of Health’s Virtual Media Conference on COVID-19 – Monday August 24th 2020

health-conf
  • Health Minister, Terrence Deyalsingh, noted that this country recorded its 1,000th COVID-19 case over the weekend. There are now 15 COVID-19 related deaths recorded in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Minister Deyalsingh said he took a drive along the Brian Lara Promenade this morning and was alarmed to see how many people were sitting close to each other and not wearing face masks. He noted that customers at nearby banks were wearing masks, in keeping with the ‘No Mask, No Service’ policy at business places.
  • Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh reminded the public that the uptick in COVID-19 came after the lifting of restrictions. He said in order for us to beat the curve without a harsh lockdown, the public must abide by the Public Health measures:
    • No congregating.
    • Wearing of face masks.😷
    • Regular hand sanitisation.
    • Stay home, especially if you are ill.
    • Only go out to work and for necessities.
  • Principal Medical Officer – Epidemiology, Dr. Naresh Nandram, confirmed that the Medical Research Foundation (MRF) has now been approved as a COVID-19 testing site.
  • The following is a breakdown of the 178 patients at the two hospitals:
    CAURA: 76 mildly ill patients.
    COUVA: 102 patients (six persons in ICU and five persons in HDU).
  • The following is a breakdown of persons at Step Down facilities:
    BALANDRA: 22
    BROOKLYN SETTLEMENT: 28
    TACARIGUA: 36
    UWI DEBE: 53
    UWI FREEDOM HALL: 44
    UWI CANADA HALL: 126
    NAPA: 11
  • The following is a breakdown of persons at Quarantine facilities:
    CHANCELLOR: 27
    CASCADIA: 41
    HOME OF FOOTBALL: 18
    REGENT STAR: 32
  • Dr. Nandram said 40 persons will be moved from the hospitals to Step Down facilities, and 110 persons at the Quarantine/Step Down facilities are expected to be discharged to their homes.
  • There are 42 suspected COVID-19 cases at two facilities (37 at Arima and five at Augustus Long Hospital).
  • On comparisons between wearing a face mask and face shield, Dr. Nandram said a face mask provides greater protection. He explained that there is a higher probability for a person to contract COVID-19 while wearing a face shield because virus particles can still move around inside the shield.
  • Epidemiologist, Dr. Avery Hinds, noted that a week has passed since the implementation of updated restrictions (limited public gatherings, closure of gyms etc). He said the present increase in cases is expected and will hold fast for a little before gradually decreasing. Dr. Hinds said the public must do their part to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by wearing face masks, washing their hands regularly, maintaining social distancing, and staying home when they are ill.
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