PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government Thursday announced stricter measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) after the country recorded 328 new cases of the virus in a 24 hour period.
Late Wednesday, the Ministry of Health reported that 223 new COVID-19 cases – from samples taken between April 25 and 27– have pushed the overall total past 10,000.
The country has now recorded 10,170 COVID-19 cases since the first reported infection in March 2020. From these, 8,351 patients have recovered. The death toll has also increased to 163 after the Ministry of Health recorded two new deaths on Wednesday. There are now 1,656 active cases.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley stated that “the numbers we are seeing now are slightly ahead of the projected numbers that we would have made in some quarters and in some other quarters we would see the curve not going in the direction we would like it to go.
“But taking the raw number 328, as against 250, as against 180 and as against 15 you don’t have to be an Einstein to understand what we dealing with,” Rowley said, reminding the country that Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the world is dealing with a pandemic.
“Difficult as it is it is the best option open to us,” Rowley, who has just recovered from virus, told a news conference.
He said the new measures would go into effect from midnight and last until May 23.
He said that all restaurants, bars, malls, places of worship, gyms, fitness centres as well as spas, hairdressing and beauty places, casinos, cinemas, theatres and clubs, will be closed.
In addition the public service will operate on essential services. Rowley said that in the case of Tobago, there will be a cut in the number of flights to the island, as well as a reduction in the number of passengers utilising the sea bridge. All tours to areas of recreation will also be curtailed in both islands.
The government also announced that the police would now be able to enter private homes and end activities that contrive the existing health protocols.
Rowley said that the introduction of the vaccine had also contributed to persons engaged in a relaxation of the various protocols, such as wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands.
‘We still have a lot of people who believe COVID is a hoax,” he said, adding that behaviours at home also contributed to the spread of the virus.
Rowley said recently the United States had indicated it would be making approximately 60 million doses of the virus available to other countries and Trinidad and Tobago was hoping to be among those benefiting from the gesture.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.