One day after Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh confirmed this country had recorded its’ first COVID-19 case, officials went relatively silent on providing further information and updates to the nation.
This despite the fear building that has seen members of the public continuing to flock to groceries and pharmacies to stock up on emergency supplies.
Several calls to the Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram yesterday went unanswered, while Deyalsingh advised Guardian Media to seek answers from the ministry’s Corporate Communications Unit.
Meanwhile, medical sources claimed the patient who tested positive for COVID-19 remained isolated at the Caura Health Facility up to late yesterday.
On Thursday, Caribbean Airlines also announced that 13 crew members had been self-isolated following reports that a 52-year-old Guyanese woman who later died from the virus had travelled on flight BW521 from the John F Kennedy Airport, New York en route to Guyana on March 7.
Yesterday, Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited confirmed that one of its staff members based at their Freeport location had been on board the flight.
In a release, the company said, “Our colleague, who showed no symptoms to date of the virus and has not been contacted by Caribbean Airlines nor public health authorities, has gone into self-isolation.
“As a precaution, Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited closed its Freeport Campus on Friday 14th March, 2020, to allow for complete sanitisation of the premises.”
And even as T&T continues to battle the fall-out following the announcement of its first confirmed case of COVID-19, the Jamaican government yesterday confirmed six new cases – bringing their total number of confirmed cases to eight.
Among the new cases are two males, aged 63 and 67, who arrived on March 7 from Trinidad having travelled through Malaysia via Dublin and London. The two men presented at the hospital on March 11. Another male, aged 36, travelled from Manchester, England. He was taken to hospital from his hotel via ambulance on March 11. A 31-year-old man who works on a ship abroad and arrived in Jamaica from the Canary Islands via Portugal and Miami on February 25 also presented with symptoms on March 10.
Meanwhile, the 58-year-old father of the first patient confirmed with the virus in Jamaica was discovered ill at home on March 11. He has since been hospitalised.
And a female relative, 34 – also related to the first patient, has been confirmed with the virus.