Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh is hoping that partygoers in Tobago do not infect their loved ones and kill them.
Over the weekend, dozens of beachgoers gathered on No Man’s Land in Tobago for a party and pictures that circulated online showed COVID-19 protocols weren’t being adhered to.
In response to a question from Guardian Media during yesterday’s virtual press conference, Deyalsingh said: “It happened. I am just hoping that the parents and grandparents of those young persons don’t pay the ultimate price, which is, dying from COVID.”
He indicated that in other countries this type of behaviour has forced governments to enforce harsh and strict lockdown measures. Gatherings in public of more than 10 people are currently prohibited under the Public Health Regulations. Citizens are also mandated to wear facemasks while in public, including while on the beach.
The Prime Minister is expected to review the current period this coming weekend.
However, while last week’s daily average cases are down to eight per day, the chances of less restrictive measures aren’t high.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram indicated that the low average must be taken with “a grain of salt” and that the ministry is eyeing mid-January to see the effects of the recently concluded holiday season.
“Spikes usually show up 14 to 21 days after any particular event so we have to monitor it for the most of January, see what is happening. If we are seeing the same trends then we can review and suggest what can happen and should happen then,” Dr Parasram said.
Nurses at PoS
Hospital contract virus
Meanwhile, several nurses attached to the old COSTATT building at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital have contracted the virus.
According to the president of the T&T Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA), Idi Stuart, this is the third such outbreak to occur at the building.
He told Guardian Media that within the past two weeks, 25 members of nursing staff in addition to several other personnel had to be placed on quarantine leave with immediate effect.
“We have word that actually five nurses have since tested positive and at least three patients have tested positive in that small unit right there and this is untenable in the association’s point of view,” he said.
“It could throw a spoke in the wheel of the good work being done by the Ministry of Health since the COVID outbreak.”
He called on the North West Regional Health Authority to address several concerns starting with appointing a substantive CEO, to regularly test all nursing staff at least twice a month and to test all patients who are being housed at the hospital.
When contacted, acting CEO Salisha Baksh told Guardian Media that the outbreaks occur when they have asymptomatic patients who later become symptomatic and test positive for the virus. She, however, expressed full confidence in the hospital’s infection prevention and control protocols which were fully initiated and resulted in the quarantining of the staff.