Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram is assuring the public that it is highly unlikely that the three Venezuelan minors who escaped from a COVID-19 step-down facility are infectious. However, the police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating them.
“Those persons have been asymptomatic for quite a long period of time and were awaiting discharge which would have been in the next couple of days,” Parasram said during a virtual Ministry of Health press conference yesterday.
“Their infectivity would be extremely low to none at this point in time based on the length of time they would have been asymptomatic and in those facilities.”
According to police reports, the three teenagers were noticed missing when they did not present themselves for breakfast on Tuesday at the Canada Hall step-down facility at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine campus. The escaped patients are aged 14, 15 and 17.
An eyewitness said the Venezuelan girls waited until everyone was asleep and “fled.” It is believed the girls jumped one of the gates and were picked up by a waiting vehicle. Their escape is now being investigated.
However, their re-entry into the public domain raised concerns over their potential to expose many other people to the virus and will also constitute a breach of the quarantine order.
Several people took to social media yesterday to express concern about the situation, noting the teens could possibly spread the virus to others in their communities.
A release from the T&T Police Service late Tuesday night reminded members of the public that “breach of quarantine is an offence and persons who know the teens’ whereabouts and giving them refuge, can be charged with aiding and abetting in an offence.”
Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to communicate directly with acting ACP Wendell Williams at 237-3428, or any of the TTPS hotline numbers 999, 555, or report via the TTPS App or online via the TTPS website.