Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissesser has said that a patient who tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19, has died at the Couva Hospital.

She made the announcement in a media release in which she called for a lockdown of the country for 14 days.

“A Covid-19 positive patient at the Couva Hospital has died. We extend our deepest condolences, and we must be cognisant of the serious implications and consequences which may follow,” she said in the statement.

Persad-Bissessar told Guardian Media that she was able to confirm the death but did not give any further details.

Asked for confirmation, National Security Minister Stuart Young said that the Ministry of Health is the official source of communication for the Government.

The Minister told Guardian Media he could not confirm the death, as he left the Parliament.

He told another Guardian Media reporter, “If a member of your family died, would you like to hear it through the media?”

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roshan Parasram also did not return calls or reply to messages.

However, a senior member of the Regional Health Authority confirmed the death to us.

Persad-Bissessar called for the Government to implement measures for a nationwide shutdown of all non-essential services and businesses for 14 days, in the first instance, in light of the trends we are seeing in the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As responsible representatives of the people, it is the Opposition’s firm belief that the Government must take decisive and tough actions to preserve and protect the health of the citizens of our beloved nation,” she said.

She added: “The Government has indicated that more than 20000 nationals have returned to Trinidad and Tobago in the last two weeks and are reportedly in self-quarantine. This requires that the State identifies these persons and ensure that they self-isolate. Globally, the countries which have taken early, preemptive and decisive actions have proven to be those countries which have most effectively contained the rapid spread of the virus.”

She insisted, “The Government has recognized that moral suasion has not had the desired effect, and in spite of repeated calls for good sense to prevail, it is clear that some have not listened.”

She concluded, “In this regard, I strongly urge the Prime Minister to immediately institute a fourteen (14) day shutdown of non-essential services and businesses, to better protect our citizens.”