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Dr. Maryam Richards

The group of Trinidadians who will be returning from Suriname later this week will be housed at the University of the West Indies campus in Debe.

This was revealed by the Ministry of Health’s Principal Medical Officer – Institutions Dr Maryam Richards at yesterday’s COVID-19 press conference.

Richards said the campus can house up to 72 people in individual rooms, adding she visited the facility on Tuesday and discovered that “all was in place to ensure that the Trinidadians that are returning will be comfortable and would receive the appropriate levels of care.”

Richards said she was unaware if the nationals had been tested in Suriname for the virus, but said the ministry has already made arrangements to have all of them swabbed when they return home. She said a swab team has already been set up by the South West Regional Health Authority.

The group, which is expected to be about 60 people, will also have to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Last week, a group of 33 nationals returned to this country from Barbados and are being kept in quarantine at the National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua.

It was also confirmed that the Ministry of Finance had sent TT$2,000 (US$300) to each Trinidad and Tobago national studying at UWI campuses across the region.

Communications Minister Donna Cox said the ministry had wired the grants to the UWI campus bursars in Jamaica and Barbados on Monday. She said the money is to be used for food supplies for each of the 184 T&T students in those countries who are not on scholarships.

“The campus bursars are in the process of contacting each student so that arrangements can be made to wire the money directly to their bank accounts,” she said.

Cox similar arrangements are being made for T&T nationals studying in Cuba. She said all national scholarship winners studying in Jamaica, Barbados and elsewhere in the world had also already received their personal maintenance allowances up to June.