Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Trinidad records first case of coronavirus

Published:Thursday | March 12, 2020 | 4:04 PM
Trinidad Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh - CMC photo

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago Thursday confirmed it had recorded its first “importer case” of the coronavirus (COVID-19) after a resident returned from Switzerland on Monday.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh told a hastily arranged news conference that the family of the 52-year-old individual who “resides in Trinidad and Tobago” had been placed in isolation since Wednesday.

“It is a mild case, arrangements are being made to have him transported from his home to the Caura hospital.”

Deyalsingh said that the confirmation had come from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and National Security Minister, Stuart Young told reporters that citizens should not panic and follow the advice of the authorities.

“What we are asking people to do is to be self-cautious,” he said.

The health authorities in Trinidad said that tracing is taking place with regards to contacts the unidentified individual would have made and reiterated that overseas travel should only be necessity or an emergency.

Trinidad and Tobago, now joins Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana as the only Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to have recorded positive cases of the virus which has killed more than 4,000 people in more than 110 countries since it was first detected in China in December last year.

Meanwhile, the state-owned regional airline Caribbean Airlines Tuesday said that 13 crewmembers who had been associated with the flight that carried the individual who later died in Guyana last Saturday have been placed on self-quarantine for 14 days.

The 52-year-old woman had travelled from John F. Kennedy International Airport on BW526 to Guyana and died at a hospital in Georgetown on Tuesday.

“Caribbean Airlines assures all stakeholders that the safety, security and good health of its customers and employees is its highest priority and when the information on the passenger was received, immediate action was taken,” the airline said in a statement.

It said public health authorities are also contacting all persons who may possibly have been affected on the flight that made a stop in Trinidad before travelling to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

“The company’s aircraft are cleaned daily at all ports in keeping with industry standards. Further, in this instance, additional sanitation processes were used as outlined by the regulatory authorities,” it said.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at or