Flashback: Soldiers guard the Couva Hospital where COVID-19 patients are being treated. The CMO revealed some patients will be moved from the facility as they recover from the virus.

17 COVID-19 patients who now appear to show no signs of the virus were moved from the Couva Hospital yesterday afternoon to an undisclosed location where they are expected to take their final steps of recovery.

“The 17 persons would have been asymptomatic meaning they would have had absolutely no symptoms, they’re recovering well. What our guidelines would have suggested is that seven days without symptoms we do our first test, if that first test is negative we wait 24 hours, we do a second test. If that second test is negative then that person can be released home,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram during the daily Ministry of Health Press Conference to update the country on the COVID-19 situation.

“If the first test, however, is positive as have happened with a few cases we wait another 24 hours and we repeat that test, “ said the CMO.

The Chief Medical Officer would not divulge the location where the patients would be housed but explained the reason for moving them out of the Couva hospital.

“We are trying to get them out of Couva into a different sort of environment, a non-hospital environment because they are basically well patients however the reason we are holding on to them because they are still contagious because they have the viral particles present within them still. The only way we know they don’t have that is if they have two negative tests 24 hours apart. “

He explained in the coming days more patients may be moved from the hospital.

“Thereafter as people become asymptomatic while they waiting for discharge home and their testing we will continue to move the remainder of that 65 over the next few days out of Couva.”

Earlier in the press conference, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh put to bed rumours that a COVID-19 patient in Tobago had died.

“I just want to put speculation to rest because yesterday we were inundated with calls that someone in Tobago died. Do not rely on social media and rumour to pronounce death too early for me, please. It is painful for the families when we speculate about the death of someone. No one has died in Tobago over the last 24 hours, “ he said.

Dr Parasram confirmed however there was still a patient at the Scarborough hospital.