PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, January 31, 2020 (CMC) – The government of this twin-island republic will soon be restricting the entry of passengers from China, for a period of 14 days, as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread.
The decision was announced by Health Minister, Terrence Deyalsingh, during a post-Cabinet media briefing, yesterday.
According to the Health Minister, the incubation period is recommended, out of the abundance of caution.
Deyalsingh indicated that the Attorney General is currently drafting the legal notices, required to implement the restrictions.
The measures will come into “near immediate effect”, as soon as legal notices go out, as was done in the government’s response to the Ebola virus, in 2014 to 2015.
Under the public health ordinance, the coronavirus will be listed as a dangerous infectious disease.
Deyalsingh assured that current systems in place, have been working to stem the spread of the virus to the twin island republic.
It was also revealed that as airport screenings continue, over 250 flights have been screened, and no passengers have exhibited symptoms of the virus.
The Health Minister assured the country that tools are in place to protect front-line workers, who will be provided with any additional resources required.
No information has as yet been provided on quarantine arrangements.
Regarding calls, from the public, to either cancel or postpone Carnival 2020, the Minister said festivities will go on as planned, barring the occurrence of “something really dramatic”.
Over 7000 people have been infected, worldwide, and 170 dead, since the virus emerged in Wuhan, China, late December.
There have been no cases of the new coronavirus, locally or regionally, but the Health Ministry has instituted mandatory screenings at airports, out of an abundance of caution.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation(WHO) has declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern.
The declaration was made, during the meeting of an emergency committee in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday.