New treatments to combat flu*


The Ministry of Health is currently engaged in a robust, nationwide Influenza Vaccination Drive for the 2020 Flu Season (October 2019 to May 2020).

This campaign has been implemented to protect the population against the Influenza (Flu) Virus.

The Ministry reports the following, as of Friday, 20th March, 2020: -

The cumulative number of vaccines administered to the public for this flu season - 105,785;

- The number of suspected influenza cases for the 2020 calendar year (as of Friday, 20th March 2020) - 509 cases; (NB the number of suspected influenza cases for the 2019 calendar year was 3,854) -

The number of confirmed influenza deaths for the current flu season – 40.

The Influenza virus is serious and is generally more severe than the common cold. The flu vaccine is available, at no cost, at all health centres. Persons in the following groups are particularly vulnerable to the virus and are urged to get the flu vaccine:

 Children aged 6 months to 5 years;

 Pregnant women;  Adults over 65;

 People with chronic medical conditions (such as Diabetes Mellitus);

 People with chronic respiratory illnesses (such as Asthma).

Persons in the health care workforce and essential services are also encouraged to get the flu vaccine.

Members of the public are advised to contact their nearest health centre to confirm the dates and times that vaccines are distributed.

Additionally, the Ministry reports the following information on the Novel Coronavirus, as at 3:00a.m., Monday, 23rd March 2020: -

The accumulated total number of flights screened –2,122 -

The accumulated total number of passengers and airline crew members screened -152,070 

The Ministry continues to advise the population to take the following necessary personal health precautions to protect themselves and their families from the Influenza virus and other diseases:

 Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub;

 Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way;

 Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs;

 Where possible, avoid close contact with sick people;

 While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them;

 Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. After using a tissue, throw it in the bin and wash hands thoroughly.


‘I’M fed up.”

These three short words sum up the emotion of patients seeking outpatient services at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, while their appointments keep getting pushed back over and over again.

While Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has showered praises on the parallel healthcare system established due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the primary healthcare system is suffering.

Despite reports from Nor­way of a number of elderly people dying after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram says the vaccine is still recommended for the elderly popula­tion as they are the ones most at risk.

Parasram, who was speaking du­ring yesterday’s Covid-19 virtual media briefing, said it is still too early to make any determination regarding the “Norway incident” as investigations are ongoing.

An elderly man and his 47-year-old son were tied up and executed at their home in Freeport.

Their decomposing bodies were found in separate rooms at the family’s La Jobas Road, Chickland Village, home yesterday.

The men were identified as Mohaid Hosein, 71, and his son, Navie Hosein.

A local security company took the State to court in 2019 for breach of a US$21.8 million contract to build a hangar in Cumuto to store five helicopters, but lost and has appealed.

Two sub-contractors are to be compensated, however.

The former government had agreed to buy the helicopters in 2014 but did not make the downpayment and the deal fell through with Bell Helicopter of Texas, USA.

Bell is one of the largest suppliers of military helicopters to the United States Army.

Saying Covid-19 restrictions would not prevent them from defending the working class, Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) president Ancel Roget led a motorcade from San Fernando to Port of Spain yesterday morning.

JTUM members are calling for a meeting with Government on allegations that workers are being victimised by employers who are citing a fall in economic activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.