Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.

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Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh says it is too soon for Trinidad and Tobago to think about life after the COVID-19 pandemic, noting the country’s focus right now has to remain on flattening the curve.

“Let’s pretend we are fighting a war. In any war, there must be an exit strategy, but it is too soon to talk about that. If we talk about that, the population may be lulled into a sense, you know, this thing is coming to an end.

“Let us start to congregate. Let us start to do this, let us start to go back to normal,” said Deyalsingh during yesterday’s Ministry of Health press briefing.

“We want to keep the pressure on. We want to keep the lid on this thing. And again the only thing we want to focus on, the only message we need to push is this: Stay home.”

Head of OBGYN for the Port-of-Spain General Hospital Dr Sally-Anne Ishmael also addressed the conference to clarify issues related to the potential impact of COVID-19 on pregnancies.

“With respect to the impact of COVID-19 on the actual pregnant woman, I want to reassure everyone out there as well, the pregnant woman is not capable of getting it. She is very much capable of getting it just like anyone else. She is no different from the general public in terms of contracting it,” Ishmael said.

“It is also important for her to realise that if she is a healthy woman, she is having a normal pregnancy. If she has contracted it she is more likely to have absolutely no symptoms or mild symptoms. And she is more likely to have a complete recovery.”

The doctor added that based on information so far there was very little risk of transmission of the disease from mother to child during pregnancy.

“There is no evidence thus far that it has any impact on the development of the baby and there is very little supporting evidence to suggest that is transmitted to the baby during pregnancy and during labour,” said Ishmael, who also noted that breastfeeding after childbirth was recommended.

“Breastfeeding is terribly important during this time as well. It is of course one way to maintain immunity because the antibodies are passed through breastmilk to the baby. There is very little evidence or no evidence thus far to suggest the virus is passed on in that way.”