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07 Apr 2020 | 07:49 PM UTC

Trinidad and Tobago: Authorities extend stay at home order until April 30 /update 3

Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago extend the stay at home order issued due to concerns regarding COVID-19 until April 30: face masks in public spaces also made mandatory

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Event

On Monday, April 6, the government of Trinidad and Tobago announced that the stay at home order which had been issued for the non-essential workforce on Thursday, March 26, amid concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) will be extended until Thursday, April 30. Authorities also stated that all of those undertaking travel to public spaces such as grocery shops and pharmacies will be required to cover their noses and mouths with facemasks. Restricted opening hours have also been introduced for shops selling groceries, which will close at 18:00 (local time), and pharmacies, which will close at 20:00 (local time). Although religious gatherings are still permitted, these will be reduced from ten to five people.

The country's borders remain closed to all international flights until further notice.

As of Tuesday, April 7, there are 105 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected.

Context

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.

Advice

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.