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ANNA-LISA PAUL

Education Minister Anthony Garcia said yesterday there are no immediate plans to close schools at this time.

The announcement came hours after Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and National Security Minister Stuart Young confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 case.

Speaking last evening, Garcia assured the ministry would monitor the situation very closely and advise school officials to act accordingly.

He said immediate plans included the cancellation of a series of games which had been scheduled to be held at various schools in the Port-of-Spain Education District in the week ahead. He said the events would be postponed for the time, out of an abundance of caution.

Garcia said a representative from the ministry was part of the Cabinet-appointed committee on COVID-19 and would advise them on the way forward following discussions with stakeholders from all ministries.

Guardian Media understands the Director of Schools Supervision is investigating claims that children of the infected patient are attending schools in Port-of-Spain and St Augustine.

The privately-operated Maria Regina Grade School issued a press release advising parents the school would be closed immediately for one week following the announcement as one of the children of the infected patient was attending the institution. The school has said sanitisation exercises will commence immediately and continue for one week.