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Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh responds to a question during yesterday’s sitting of Parliament.

Top Ministry of Health authorities have said there is no evidence that fake PCR tests for COVID-19 were given to Immigration Division officers by foreign nurses, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has indicated.

He did so in Parliament yesterday while replying to United National Congress queries on claims by Immigration officers.

In response to a recent outbreak amongst Immigration officers, they have claimed that rather than contracting COVID-19 at a Valentine’s Day party as reports have suggested, they contracted it after coming into contact with “foreign nurses” entering the country who used “fake PCR tests” to bypass the system.

Yesterday, Deyalsingh said he had consulted Ministry of Health top brass, including Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, Principal Medical Director of Institutions Dr Maryam Richards and the Port Health officer. He said if anyone, or the Opposition, had evidence on the issue, they should share it with Health authorities and it would be investigated

He also said there was no evidence to date from the same authorities that could confirm that any foreign people entered Trinidad and Tobago with exemptions based on false PCR negative tests.

Deyalsingh also appealed to parents to have their children – especially under age two – vaccinated against yellow fever. This, following the recent discovery of this disease among monkeys in several areas.

He said a total of 1, 325 children in four areas of concern are being vaccinated: St George West (422), St George Central (364), County Caroni (448) and Tobago (91).

“Don’t let COVID-19 be an excuse not to bring your children in for vaccination,” Deyalsingh urged.

The timeline to complete the vaccinations depends on when parents bring the children in, he said. The minister said spraying, including with fogging equipment, has been done to eradicate mosquitoes that may carry the disease. He urged members of the public to clean vases, guttering and other areas where mosquitoes may breed.

On another query, Deyalsingh said the Finance and Local Government Ministries are working on funding for outstanding rent owed for councillors’ offices and this will be resolved shortly.