Trinidad and Tobago announces additional COVID-19 control measures

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley
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(Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago) “Except for the absolute essentials… the rest of the country is to batten down for the next two weeks.”

This was the message from Prime Minister Dr the Hon Keith Rowley to the population at a media conference held at the Diplomatic Centre, St Anns today, (Friday 07 May, 2021).

Dr Rowley said in an effort to “stave off a calamity”, additional measures needed to be implemented to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The following adjustments will take effect from midnight:

  • Unless deemed essential, people are to work from home
  • Public transport reduced to 50%
  • Only medical emergency services for dental, ophthalmology, occupational therapy allowed
  • All open essential establishments are to be at 50% capacity
  • All businesses are to be closed by 8 p.m.
  • All construction to cease
  • Unless live in, domestic workers are prohibited
  • Public gatherings remain at five
  • Only emergency automotive repairs are allowed
  • Delivery services for restaurants or food services are prohibited
  • Membership/discount clubs will be allowed to remain open for the sale of essential items only.

Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon Stuart Young indicated that the full list of essential services will be published in the upcoming Public Health Regulations.

Acting Principal Medical Officer, Dr Maryam Richards revealed that hospital capacity as of 10:00 a.m. today is as follows:

  • Caura Hospital – 98%,
  • Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility – 75%,
  • Augustus Long Hospital – 44/45 beds (almost filled)
  • Arima Hospital – 60%.

She also indicated that additional beds are being added to increase bed capacity, but stressed that the human resources needed to service these beds are limited.

Dr Richards also indicated that as a result of the high number of cases, the ambulance system has been affected and is overwhelmed.

Minister of Health, the Hon Terrence Deyalsingh confirmed that the World Health Organization (WHO) has granted emergency approval to China’s Sinopharm Beijing Covid-19 vaccine.

Trinidad and Tobago was promised a donation of one hundred thousand vaccines from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

These vaccines are expected to begin their journey to Trinidad and Tobago as early as next week.  He also indicated that Government is in talks to purchase on a commercial level, hundreds of thousands of Sinopharm Beijing Covid-19 vaccines from China.

Trinidad and Tobago is scheduled to receive 33,600 vaccines from COVAX on Monday 10th May, 2021.

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