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San Fernando General Hospital which falls under the SWRHA

The South West Regional Health Authority has refuted reports of a COVID-19, or coronavirus, case in this country after a medical report triggered another scare locally.

A referral letter from a medical centre in South Trinidad surfaced online referring a patient to the San Fernando General Hospital on Saturday.

It said the patient displayed symptoms related to the coronavirus also called Covid-19.

The 31-year-old patient reportedly returned from Japan recently with a persistent cough with a cream mucus, body pains, vomiting and sore throat

The letter was highly circulated on messaging apps on Sunday night into Carnival Monday, with many querying the authenticity of the letter and expressing concern about a possible case of the rapidly spreading virus on these shores.

But the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) is seeking to assure members of the public that there is no confirmed case of the coronavirus in the country.

In a statement, it said there are no such reports at any of its facilities, including the San Fernando General Hospital.

According to the authority, it remains in full control of the situation with trained staff and the required equipment.

But Acropolis Medical Centre said it is not taking the breach of its patient information lightly.

In a statement, the institution confirmed the authenticity of the letter saying it originated from Acropolis Medical Centre but said it “was not disseminated into the public domain by any member of its staff.”

“All protocols pertaining to chain of custody of the patient’s information were followed at Acropolis Medical Centre in the execution of the transfer,” the health institution’s management said in the statement.

The management has sought legal advice about what it considered “unprofessional and unethical” behaviour and a breach of patient confidentiality.

It said the leak was intended to cause panic and chaos.

It also referred to the statement by the SWRHA which stated there were no reports of confirmed COVID-19 cases in this country.