A traveller from Trinidad, whose Covid-19 test results were pending, has become Tobago’s sixth positive case.

This as T&T recorded four new positive cases yesterday, bringing the total for the country to 279.

This brought the country’s active Covid-19 cases to 136, with 89 patients currently at hospital and up to yesterday afternoon, and 27 new patients en route or being admitted to hospital.

Deaths have remained at eight and 135 patients have been discharged.

The Tobago patient is now stable and receiving treatment at the Covid-19 Treatment Facility at Fort King George, while contact tracing is ongoing and close primary contacts have been quarantined and are being tested for the virus, medical authorities on the island said.

The individual is Tobago’s first positive case in more than four months.

A statement from the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development in Tobago and the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) said the patient was tested for Covid-19 in Trinidad and journeyed to Tobago last Saturday.

“While in Tobago the results returned positive. As such, the individual was immediately isolated,” the Division stated.

Circulating on Facebook yesterday was what was said to be a copy of a memorandum issued to staff and guests at a hotel in the sister island advising that its kitchen and dining areas were to be shut to the public and meals served to guests in their rooms but this could not be immediately verified.

People sharing the item claimed this was due to contact with the traveller and the person’s primary contacts.

Several members of the public questioned how the person was able to travel between Trinidad and Tobago while being investigated for Covid-19.

The Division at the TRHA also clarified that the Office of the County Medical Officer of Health had received a report of another passenger who arrived in Tobago on the inter-island ferry on Saturday, exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

“The individual has since been medically examined and was not found to be exhibiting any flu-like symptoms,” the Division stated, as it assured that “all procedures and protocols are in place for Covid-19”.

Social grants affected

The delivery of some pandemic grants including rental assistance was also impacted by Covid-19, as the Ministry of Social Development yesterday announced the closure of its accounts division after an employee was identified as a primary contact.

The Ministry last Friday announced that its accounts division would be closed today after an employee in that department was identified as a secondary Covid-19 contact.

The offices were to be sanitised and reopened today.

“Further to its notice published on Friday August 7th 2020 on the closure of the Ministry’s Accounts Division on Monday August 10th 2020, due to adherence to protocols related to a secondary contact for the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services wishes to advise the public that the Accounts Department will now be closed to the public until further notice,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“The Ministry regrets any inconvenience experienced at this time, particularly by landlords who are expected to receive their rental assistance payments and other individuals who have cheques to collect.”

The statement said: “The public is notified that consequent on the receipt of information that another member of staff is a primary contact for the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), to facilitate the necessary sanitisation protocols; the first and second floors of the ABMA building, which accommodates the Social Welfare Head Office, the Audit Division, the offices of the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme (GAPP) and the Retiree Adolescent Partnership Programme (RAPP); will be closed to the public on Monday August 10, 2020.”

The normal operations of these offices are expected to resume tomorrow, the Ministry added.

Information on the resumption of normal operations in the Accounts Department will be communicated accordingly, the Ministry said, adding:

“The public is assured that every effort will be made to have the operations of the Accounting Division resume as soon as possible.”


THE MINISTRY of Health has reported one additional Covid-19 death, bringing the local toll to 98.