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The number of confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Trinidad and Tobago now stands at 60.

The number was disclosed by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh at a press briefing in Port of Spain on Wednesday morning.

Deyalsingh said that 44 positive cases came from the cruise ship passengers, and that there was still "very limited exposure to community spread".

A total of 370 samples have been tested as of this morning.

Deyalsingh appealed again to the 20,000 people who entered Trinidad and Tobago over the past 14 days to keep to themselves as far as humanly possible.

Don’t go out, to work, to the mall, in a taxi or at the grocery, to limit community spread, he said.

Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram said a large number of these people have been doing the right thing, but it would only take few to put citizens in jeopardy.

He said that law enforcement was monitoring people, and if required people would be quarantined, stricter quarantine measures to be around homes, or for fines or a term of imprisonment imposed.

He said there were examples of people not doing the right thing, and if people did not abide, the full force of the quarantine law would be enforced.

Deyalsingh also called big numbers in giving the assurance that the local population and frontline workers would be well-protected in the fight against Covid-19.

Deyalsingh said over one million N95 particulate masks will soon be in stock as part of the PPE gear available to persons in essential services, such as healthcare workers.

He said 37,000 masks are currently in stock, with incoming amounts of 26,000 and 195,000 expected soon.

Several hundred thousand are expected from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), he said.

This country also received 1,000 goggles and at a handover yesterday, 1,000 thermal scanners  from China.

Another 10,000 are expected and Deyalsingh said the system will be stocked with 25 to 30,000 scanners soon.

There are also over 13 million disposable gloves available to frontline workers and there will be no reusing of PPE gear, as is happening in other countries where health systems are  being overwhelmed.

He said this country was still in a good place and its population well-covered but again emphasised that irresponsible persons who ignore anti-virus protocol could collapse that system.

He is also looking to change some of the  jargon being used, switching social distancing to "keep apart", as some were not grasping that congregating was not encouraged.

ADVISORY

The Ministry of Health is urging the public to wash hands regularly with soap and water or thoroughly clean 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:

 Wash your hands properly with soap and water o Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available

 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.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

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.

AT least four people born in Trinidad and Tobago have died from complications relating to coronavirus disease COVID-19 in New York, a US state now considered the global epicentre of the pandemic.

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.

PEOPLE who have the COVID-19 coronavirus can die if they wait too long to seek help and their symptoms worsen, says Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram.