Trinidad and Tobago’s first case of global pandemic COVID-19 was confirmed last evening as a foreign-born employee of energy company Proman.
Proman is headquartered in Switzerland and has an office in Point Lisas. It confirmed in a statement late yesterday the COVID-19 patient was an employee.
The Express understands that the 52-year-old travelled to Switzerland last week to meet with company’s executives.
“We have just received confirmation that a colleague has tested positive for COVID-19, and is currently receiving hospital treatment and further testing. We are in close contact with the colleague’s family and the Trinidad and Tobago health authorities to support in every way that we can.
“The individual started feeling unwell after returning home from business-critical travel to Switzerland on Monday 9th March, and had already followed business and global health guidance by placing themselves in precautionary self-isolation after travelling home from the airport by private vehicle. In alignment with our business protocols, we are undertaking contact tracking to provide all and any possible forms of support,” the company’s statement said.
Deyalsingh said the man was being quarantined at Caura hospital. While the statement did not identify the employee, the Express was informed that he has two children with whom he would have been in contact.
One of his children attends the Maria Regina Grade School in Port of Spain.
Yesterday, the principal of the school told parents she was informed that a “parent of one of our pupils has tested positive for coronavirus”.
The statement said that while the student had no symptoms, it would close the school tomorrow and next week for a full sanitisation. It said that SEA classes will be conducted online and school would resume on the advice of authorities.
In an interview with TV6 News last night, principal Elizabeth Crouch confirmed the temporary closure but said the pupil was not “ill” and the measure was one of caution.
Crouch said parents of the school’s pupils have been supportive and the school made the move to serve as an example of what should be done.
She said she was informed of the development around 5 p.m. yesterday and thanked Government officials for giving her the ability to act under the circumstances.
Proman said that while news of the company’s employee testing positively for coronavirus was “unsettling”, it has been closely monitoring and actively managing its response to the COVID-19 situation, in line with the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) and local health authority guidance.
“The health and well-being of our people and our community is our top priority. We thank the Ministry of Health and other local agencies for their support and guidance at this time, and we will continue to work closely with all relevant authorities and share any further updates as available. We kindly ask all parties to respect the privacy of our colleague and his family at this trying time,” the statement said.