Main Body: As of Friday, April 3, Trinidad and Tobago's borders remain closed until further notice and internal restrictions are in place amid the ongoing global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All airports and seaports are currently closed to inbound traffic until further notice while the current entry ban applies to all travelers, including Trinidad and Tobago citizens. Reports further state that while there are no current restrictions on outbound travel, very limited flights are leaving the country. Stay at home measures were ordered for all non-essential workers until Wednesday, April 15, while schools and universities are closed until Monday, April 20.
As of Friday, April 3, 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus and six associated fatalities have been confirmed in the country. Individuals who suspect they have symptoms of the virus are being asked to call a government hotline at 877-WELL (9355). Further spread of the Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.