Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago – Government measures to control :
The first case of Corona Virus pandemic was confirmed on 12th Mar 2020 in Trinidad and Tobago, the patient was a 52-year-old man who had recently been to Switzerland. As of 3rd Apr 2020, Trinidad and Tobago have in total 90 confirmed cases and 5 deaths.
Following are the key measures taken by the government to control the spread of the pandemic;
- Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh, announced that Trinidad and Tobago had decided to implement restrictions on persons traveling from China. Persons who are living or who have visited China, will be barred from entering Trinidad and Tobago unless they had already been out of China 14 days prior to attempting to travel to Trinidad & Tobago. Travellers whose flights originate from Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Iran, Germany, Spain, and France are also to be restricted.
- On 16 Mar 2020, Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced that the country will close its borders to everyone except Trinidad and Tobago nationals and health workers for the next 14 days. Additionally, bars were to be closed and the school closures extended until 20 Apr 2020. The closure will come into effect by midnight on 17 Mar 2020.
- On 13 Mar 2020, Rowley announced that schools and universities would be closed across the nation for one week due to the Corona Virus fears. On 16 Mar 2020, the closure was extended until 20 Apr 2020.
- All political, academic, sports and religious event have been cancelled.
- Restrictions were put in place with regards to prisons nationwide. BPTT closed their offices in their response to the Corona Virus. Deyalsingh said there were 3,000 test kits in Trinidad as of 16 Mar 2020 and 1000 more would be coming. Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus announced that pandemic leave would be made available to workers with children. On 21 Mar 2020, National Security Minister Stuart Young announced the closure of all borders to everyone (including nationals & non-nationals) effective midnight on Sunday 22 Mar 2020. He said no international flights would be allowed to enter the country. However, cargo vessels bringing food and pharmaceuticals into the country would be allowed entry.
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