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As of Tuesday morning, the Health Ministry reports the following:

• Number of samples submitted to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing for COVID-19 = 332

• Number of samples which have tested positive = 53

The Ministry provides the following update:

• Two additional persons have tested positive for COVID-19.

One of these persons has a history of recent travel.

This person was isolated immediately upon disembarking the aircraft at the ANR Robinson International Airport and is being treated in isolation in Scarborough, Tobago.

The Ministry of Health in a press conference this morning explained the process of contact tracing. They have identified and classified persons as either Primary contacts or Secondary contacts. Primary contacts are the persons within a household exposed to a recent traveler or someone who has been exposed to the virus, for example a spouse or child. A secondary contact is an individual who may have come into contact with a Primary contact, for example at work, religious or any social gathering.

Contact tracing was initiated. Additional information is available in the media release issued from the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development, Tobago House of Assembly (THA) on Monday.

The second new case is a primary contact of an existing recent imported case.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley all said at a press conference on Monday that the transfer of the virus from an imported case to someone in Trinidad was inevitable.

• Forty-one (41) of these positive cases came from the group of nationals who recently returned from a cruise, (40 from the group of 68 nationals who returned together and one additional person, who was also on the cruise, but returned to Trinidad and Tobago separately, prior to the other 68.).

The Ministry of Health urges the public to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.

Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

The public is also urged to take the following personal hygiene measures to protect

themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze

o Dispose of tissue immediately after using

o Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you do not have a tissue

• Avoid touching your face

• Sanitize hard surfaces (e.g. table tops, handrails, doorknobs and trolleys) as often as

• possible.

• Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms

• Practice social distancing

o Maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and others, especially anyone who is coughing or showing signs of illness

• Stay home if you are ill

It is also advised that all public transportation vehicles should operate with windows open and, where possible, limit their occupancy.

The Ministry will continue to provide accurate information to the public in a timely fashion. The public is therefore urged to disregard and avoid sharing all unconfirmed, misleading and/or false information about COVID-19 (formerly Novel Coronavirus).

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The current shutdown of non-essen­tial businesses and other restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 can “possibly” be exten­ded beyond April 15.

So said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday as he lamented that Trinidad and Tobago’s COVID-19 situation is expected to wor­sen in the coming weeks.

BARS, private members clubs, ­casinos, gaming and betting facilities and cinemas will remain closed until April 30.

This according to a new Regulation—The Public Health Novel Coronavirus No 7 Regulation, which was released yesterday and which extends the prohibition on certain activities from April 15 to April 30.

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WALKING to the grocery, fast food outlet or work is fine, but sitting down in public just watching the world go by will result in a stern talking to by the police and they will not leave until you get up.

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