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National Security Minister, Stuart Young address members of the media during the press conference, yesterday.

Three Immigration Officers have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20 other Immigration Officers have since been directed to quarantine at home because of contact with the infected person.

According to information received by Guardian Media on Saturday, one female officer tested positive and received her results on Wednesday, while two others were tested on Thursday and received their positive results on Friday.

The female officer working at Piarco displayed no symptoms and only knew she was ill because she did a PCR test to travel.

Guardian Media was informed that the lack of routine testing is a major concern among the staff.

The concern is that members of Immigration could be unknowingly infected and come into contact with an incoming traveller with a negative PCR test and then unwittingly infect that person.

The infected Immigration Officer only knew she was positive because she was expected to travel and took a test at a private facility. Her test came back positive for COVID on Wednesday.

When those results came in, the whole shift was shut down and those who exhibited symptoms were tested.

Other officers were tested and by Friday two more came back positive.

The whole shift, all 20 people, have sine been quarantined and are to be further tested.

National Security Minister Stuart Young confirmed that he heard of one positive test at Immigration and that there “may have been” additional positive tests.

“I have been informed of one Immigration Officer testing positive for COVID-19 (there may have been additional positives since) and in keeping with the health protocols the shift whom the officer would have been in contact with has been asked to quarantine,” Young said.

The minister said that this was normal in an office or work environment, “And has been happening for months all over the public service and private sector office and work environments once someone in a work environment tests positive.”

“It is also why we have asked persons who are not feeling well not to venture into public or go to work,” he said.

Young did not respond to subsequent questions about state-implemented routine testing for people in contact-intensive jobs.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Roshan Parasram said on Saturday that there was no plan to implement routine testing, even with contact-intensive jobs like policing or immigration.

“The testing protocol has remained the same. We test persons that present to our facilities with symptoms or those that would have been in primary contact with a known positive case,” Parasram said.

“Testing has always been voluntary and continues to be voluntary.”

Parasram said the State did not mandate that people wishing to travel be tested.

“Testing within the public system does not cater to persons wishing to leave the country,” he said.

Guardian Media sent questions to Chief Immigration Officer Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews for confirmation but there was no response.