The 22 remaining people quarantined at Camp Balandra after coming off the ill-fated Caribbean cruise aboard the Costa Favolosa on March 17 are now receiving counselling.
This according to a source at the facility who told Guardian Media yesterday that many among the group are now despondent and spiritless, having been locked away for the past 18 days.
“Each day is more difficult than the last and maybe the money to maintain here is running out because the food is getting worse and worse, the water less and less,” the source said yesterday. “Even the water in the tank is low, so everyone cannot wash.”
But following an intervention by mental health experts, many in the group were said to be doing better yesterday.
“They followed up with the mental health sessions, someone called those who needed counselling and it seemed to have been helpful,” the source said.
Yesterday, there was also a change in meals—from mostly flour-based meals with little to no protein—to a dish that can make any local smile, the source said.
“Lunch was surprisingly good: buss up shut with aloo, bhagi, mango and pumpkin. We had hungered for too long to remember to take a pic,” the source said.
There was an additional treat when the group managed to secure a delivery from Royal Castle —gorging themselves on the fried chicken into the afternoon.
Forty-five of the original group 68 people from the cruise have tested positive for the virus so far. The last positive case was on March 26.
Since then, none of the remaining group has shown symptoms.
According to Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram the remaining Balandra group will not be tested until the majority of their current 14-day quarantine is complete.
Each time a member of the group tests positive the quarantine period will be restarted.
Parasram told Guardian Media on Thursday that release protocols are already being looked at for the group once they remain healthy. He said they are currently being isolated from each other and closely monitored.
Reporter: Sharlene Rampersad