Stuart Young--use

National Security Minister Stuart Young

Government is not locking down the country with a state of emergency at this time as a treatment for the deadly COVID-19 virus.

It is also not shutting down the inter-island ferry service between Trinidad and Tobago.

These were some is the answers provided by Government Ministers on Wednesday at the Parliament sitting at the Red House, Port of Spain in response to urgent questions from the Opposition.

There are now 60 COVID-19 positive cases in Trinidad and Tobago.

Opposition MP Ramona Ramdial asked whether the Government intends to implement a nationwide lockdown with full force of the law in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 patients and to prevent further spread.

National Security Minister Stuart Young said the response and all issues related to COVID-19 is a "very fluid" process.

"As we've said repeatedly the Government will continue to do what is responsible for Trinidad and Tobago. At this stage it is not on the front burner that we implement any nationwide lockdown but we continue to be guided most importantly by medical expert advice of the chief medical officer and his staff from the Ministry of Health," he said.

Ramdial asked whether the Minister can give an update with respect to marshalling those citizens who are not following and advisories being sent out by the National Security Ministry.

Young said the number one front runner in handling and responding to COVID-19 is the Health Ministry.

He reminded that the CMO has the power of the Quarantine Act and the Ministry has the full support of the National Security Ministry and together an inter ministerial committee has developed a list of those persons the Health Ministry would like to ensure its quarantined.

He said it comes down to self discipline.

"This Government is not going to be using the law unnecessarily but we will if we have to... the police are assisting the CMO and the Health Ministry with whatever they need including patrolling outside certain homes," he said.

Ramdial asked Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh to advise whether all passengers on CAL flights which transported imported cases have been contacted, screened and quarantined.

Deyalsingh said they are guided by international protocols and under the aircraft general declaration there is a special consideration for managing COVID-19 cases outbreak in aviation.

He said that protocol says that you contact trace persons within a one to two metre radius of any seat where a person sits.

Ramdial asked if there were any plans to shut down the inter island ferry service in light of news a foreign passenger suspected with COVID-19 on board.

Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said there is no information to suggest that and passenger foreign or local suspect of having the COVID-19 virus was allowed to travel on the ferry service.

The Minister advised that the Port Authority has implemented several measures specifically related to the ferry and cargo terminal and vessels operating on the sea bridge one of which is restrictions to persons exhibiting flu like symptoms to the terminal and vessels.

Other measures, he said, include engaging a sanitisation company to undertake steam cleaning of the vessel before and after sailings etc.

Ramdial asked whether the Tobago house of assembly intend to implement testing and quarantining of passengers who enter via the sea bridge.

Sinanan said he can't speak for the THA however "I can say that screening is done at both terminals in Trinidad and Tobago by the Port Authority.

He added that Government received 15 thermal scanners and they will be utilised.

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Criminals have taken advantage of the shutdown in the country to go on a crime spree, burglarising and looting several businesses in the capital city.

Non-essential businesses in Tri­nidad and Tobago have been shut down until April 30, in an effort to contain the deadly COVID-19 virus.

TWENTY-FOUR-hour residential patrols are now in force.

Government has engaged four private security firms to conduct these mobile patrols in communities from April 6 to May 5, “in the first instance”.

The 35 Trinidad and Tobago nationals in Barbados have comple­ted their 14-day quarantine period and are to be tested for COVID-19 before a decision is made to bring them back to Trinidad, according to National Security Minister Stuart Young.

When it comes to staying home, Trinidad and Tobago has been the least compliant over its regional counterparts. That’s the finding of Market Facts and Opinions (MFO), on analysing Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Report dated April 4.