JUST one week before more restrictions are relaxed, six new Covid-19 cases have been recorded in Trinidad and Tobago.

All six are from the group of 306 people who are quarantined on board the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship.

This brings the number of positive cases recorded in T&T to 123.

And there may be an additional case as a 63-year-old woman from the group of 29 who returned from Venezuela tested positive on Friday.

However, this could be a false positive result so she was re-tested and those results will be determined by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

The Express learnt that Health officials immediately mobilised on Saturday night when the first positive case from the ship became known.

The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard used one of its vessels to take the patient from the ship.

He was transported to Staubles Bay, Chaguaramas, and then via ambulance to the Caura Hospital.

The five other Covid-positive cases from the cruise ship were removed from the vessel yesterday and also taken to the Caura Hospital. Therefore, all six Covid-positive cases will be treated at the Caura facility.

The Express was told that all remaining people on the cruise ship are now confined to their rooms.

One cruise ship worker shared what happened when the announcement was made of the first positive case from the ship.

“Everyone was prepared for any disappointment. The captain made an announcement. The person was taken off the ship last night (Saturday). Everyone else remains isolated in our rooms.”

The Health Ministry in its 6 p.m. update yesterday confirmed the six additional Covid cases.

It stated that all six were transferred to Caura Hospital and all other cruise ship crew members remain quarantined on the vessel, to eliminate risk of local transmission to Trinidad and Tobago.

The majority of Covid cases in T&T so far have all been imported.

Last Friday, the group of 29 were all tested in Venezuela.

The 63-year-old woman who tested positive and her two relatives were taken to the Couva Hospital.

Only if CARPHA confirms her as positive then her case will be added to the statistics.

The majority of the group are at the Sangre Grande facility while some are at the Home of Football in Couva.

Those at the Home of Football complained yesterday that there was no water at the facility.

This had happened previously because of a water pump issue.

Fully occupied 

The six new Covid-positive cases come on the heels of Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh saying on Saturday that the parallel healthcare system set up to deal specifically with Covid-19 cases will be at full capacity for at least the next two weeks.

Government has allowed the return of more than 700 Trinidad and Tobago nationals who are all subject to 14-day State quarantine.

Last Friday, 336 nationals returned, including the 306 crew members aboard the Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship and 29 nationals who returned from Venezuela.

A further 370 citizens are expected to return within the next three days, including students from The University of the West Indies’ (The UWI) campuses in Mona, Jamaica, and Cave Hill, Barbados.

Some students are expected to return from Barbados today.

Students in Barbados are scheduled to depart on a Caribbean Airlines plane at 1.35 p.m.

They are expected to arrive at Piarco International Airport at 2.40 p.m.

Each student had to pay a total of $3,632 for their airline ticket from Barbados.

All these students are expected to go into State quarantine upon arrival.

On Saturday, Deyalsingh said the parallel healthcare system cannot accommodate any more returnees until this batch is cleared and allowed to leave.

This would normally take two weeks.

Deyalsingh said if a positive test occurs at a facility, that facility cannot be used for a further two weeks while it is being sanitised and “aired out”, making it unusable for at least a month.

This means that with the Caura Hospital now housing six Covid-positive patients it will take some time before this facility can be used to quarantine others.

Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, acting principal medical officer in charge of institutions, has said the parallel healthcare system has treated and managed some 957 people since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.


THERE is a backlog of 7,000 ballistics cases in Trinidad and Tobago.

This climbing backlog is as a result of a shortage of ballistics examiners and lack of space which has resulted in delayed legal proceedings.

Last month, two arms of the Ministry of National Security—the National Forensic Science Centre (NFSC) and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)—collaborated to launch a training programme, entitled Firearm and Toolmark Examiner Training, at the Police Training Academy in St James.

TRINIDAD and Tobago nationals stuck abroad have become so desperate to return home that some have attempted to bribe staff at the Ministry of National Security to get preferential treatment in the exemption process.

Now, National Security Minister Stuart Young is warning that this will not be tolerated and anyone attempting to bribe his/her way back to T&T will be reported to the police.

Young was speaking during the Ministry of Health’s virtual news conference yesterday, where he revealed that ministry staff have been offered bribes.

Political parties can have walkabouts with more than 25 people, but they must be separated into smaller groups.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh gave this advice yesterday, as he urged political parties and candidates to adhere to the public health regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as they embark on their pre-election campaigning.

AS investigations continue to determine who shot Ornella Greaves in Beetham Gardens, more and more cell phone videos are being released on social media sites.

Greaves, a mother of five, who was pregnant when she was killed was shot at about 10 a.m. on June 30 when police officers and Beetham Gardens residents clashed during a violent protest.

CHIEF executive of Namalco Construction Services Naeem Ali has filed private criminal charges against three police officers alleging that they assaulted him and stole $.2 million from his vehicle during an exercise in Penal two Wednesdays ago.