HEALTH MINISTER Terrence Deyalsingh has said that this country is not under a lockdown in light of Covid-19 but rather restrictions are place.
Speaking during Monday morning’s Ministry of Health virtual press conference, Deyalsingh said, “There is no lockdown in Trinidad and Tobago right now, there is none. People are free to move around, there is no State of Emergency, there is no lockdown, there is no curtailment on people’s civil liberties, the Constitution is up and running. Let me make that absolutely clear.”
Deyalsingh however said that there are “certain restrictions on certain activities that pose a challenge to the health care workers.”
Thoracic Medical Director at Caura Hospital, Dr Michelle Trotman said without these restrictions, the situation could have been worse. She said, “We are thankful to the Government for allowing what we have suggested to help to control what we saw coming as a spiral increase in cases. I am very, very thankful that the measures that were put in place did not allow that to happen because if it had, we could definitely have been in a far worse place than we are now.”
She added, “The restrictions as far as we can see in the clinical environment is allowing us to see a small but appreciable release and decrease. We need cycles that are 14 days, 28 days to allow to see how these changes are actually happening. So I know after the first 28 days we came forward and asked for an additional 28 days, that we are now in the middle of the six week period and we are seeing the difference. With the measures that CMO (Chief Medical Officer) have taken we are now able to have at Caura empty wards where they were filled before.”
Deyalsingh also said there is a decline in the number of cases. He said that this was reflected in figures presented last Saturday by the ministry’s epidemiology division technical director, Dr Avery Hinds. “You are seeing the epi curve (epidemic curve) coming down. The number of cases are not going up, they are in fact coming down.”
An announcement on the second round of restrictions was made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on August 15. Last September 12, he said these restrictions would remain for 28 days but will be reviewed by September 28. They include:
No in-house dining at restaurants and bars, take-out is allowed.
Closure of beaches, rivers, gyms, water parks, casinos and members clubs and cinemas.
No more than five people are to be gathered outside of the homes.
Ten people allowed to attend weddings and funerals.
Travel to Tobago restricted to essentials.