The following is an update from the Ministry of Health:

As part of the national drive to safeguard the health of the Trinidad and Tobago population in the face of the global COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Health continues to provide up-to-date information on the country’s status in this regard.

As of the morning of Monday, 16th March, 2020 the Ministry reports the following:

·         Number of samples submitted to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing for COVID-19 = 81

·         Number of samples which have tested positive = 4

The public is also advised that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has the only lab that is certified to test samples for COVID-19 and therefore, it is the only lab that can confirm positive or negative results of the samples.

The Ministry will continue to provide accurate information to the public in a timely fashion. The public is therefore urged to disregard and avoid sharing all unconfirmed, misleading and/or false information about COVID-19 (formerly Novel Coronavirus).

As part of the proactive approach to protecting the Trinidad and Tobago population from the threat of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health has taken the official decision to institute two parallel health care systems.

One public health system will focus on addressing confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Caura Hospital and the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility will be used for this purpose. The public is therefore encouraged to access the standard public health care services via the other existing health facilities, as usual.

Additionally, Public Health Inspectors will visit various public locations within communities where large gatherings are common (e.g. schools, supermarkets and malls) to advise key representatives on the necessary health care precautions.