A MEMBER of the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service is one of the latest people to have contracted the Covid-19 virus.

With the positive result, acting Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan yesterday ordered the evacuation and closure of the Prisons Administration Building in Port of Spain.

A statement from the Prison Service said the officer recently visited the building and had flu-like symptoms.

The officer was sent for testing and later confirmed to be positive for the virus, the release stated.

It added that contact tracing has been initiated and guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health are being adhered to.

“The Prisons Administration Building will remain closed until the completion of the sanitisation process. Staff attached to the Administration Building are advised to stay at home until further notice, as the matter now has the attention of authorities who are taking the necessary action in light of the situation,” it stated.

Further to that, the commissioner is urging any officer who may have flu-like symptoms to not report for duty, but instead inform a supervisor by phone and seek medical attention.

“He has indicated that the responsibility lies with everyone to exercise caution and not put others at risk.

“To date, the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service has maintained a Covid-19-free environment as a stringent policy was prepared and adopted from the onset of the pandemic. It will continue to adhere to these measures to keep all persons safe and secure,” the release stated.

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Taxpayers now have to foot close to $10 million in damages to 20 former employees of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) who were dismissed by the Kamla Persad-­Bissessar regime.

The Industrial Court, in a ru­ling handed down on Wednesday, minced no words, with the panel describing the dismissals as “patently egregious” while, at the same time, slamming the Ministry of National Security under the former administration for not tendering a defence despite being ordered by the courts to do so.

Fifteen more people tested positive for the Covid-19 virus yesterday and are now in hospital. The Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 updates yesterday indicated that it was still unknown how 12 of the newest cases contracted the virus, as epidemiological investigations were being done. Three of the patients contracted the virus from recently positive Covid-19 patients, the Ministry noted.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is demanding that the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) remove an advertisement which, he said, likened black people to monkeys.

The Prime Minister was referring to a “Trinity’s Triangle” ad, in which an Afro-Trinidadian woman begs for food.

Opposition Leader Kamla Per­sad-­Bissessar has promised no one would lose their job because of race.

And she is urging the population to remain united and assured that if elected, her Government would not discriminate against anyone based on race or gender.

“As we hit the final few days, there are many who would seek to plant the seeds of fear and stir up ethnic doubts in your hearts. To me, the biggest challenge is to ignore those who do not believe in our resplendent possibilities as a people and our common destiny as a nation,” she said at a United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Thursday.

United National Congress (UNC) St Ann’s East candidate Kenya Charles has called on Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi to explain his wealth and why his family has a number of buildings throughout the country rented to the Government.