Children pose a greater risk of transmitting the Covid-19 virus and therefore must undergo two rounds of testing when travelling.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram said yesterday children must have a PCR-negative test before entering Trinidad and Tobago. They must also undergo another test between three and five days of entering the country.
The CMO also disclosed there was a case of a two-month-old baby being Covid-positive and treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s virtual Covid-19 news conference, Parasram said the entry policy from day one has always been that a negative PCR test is required before entry, regardless of age.
He said the second test after entry was added to provide further protection.
“We actually added for that category, which is children, another test between days three and five upon entry into the country,” he said. “The reason being those people in general can’t be vaccinated and they pose a greater risk of being infected and transmitting possible variants or other forms of the virus as they come in,” said Parasram.
An essential step
He pointed out children under the age of eight are not required to wear face masks.
He further explained with the various variants, this testing measure is required so that swift action can be taken to isolate an infected child.
“We are seeing it as an essential step to ensure they do have the PCR both before entering and at day three and five, as that additional assurance that if they do become positive that we are able to pick it up, isolate these persons from the rest of the population as quickly as we can,” he said.
“We have picked up children as early as two months who have required ICU admission in Trinidad and Tobago. Anyone, regardless of age, can have Covid and can develop complications,” said Parasram.
Questioned about the number of vaccinated persons entering Trinidad and Tobago, Parasram said the majority of travellers are vaccinated.
He said on the first flight last Saturday, there were 40 passengers, four of whom were unvaccinated.
On the second flight, there was a similar number and only one person was unvaccinated, he added.