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Trinidad and Tobago enters COVID-19 state of emergency tonight

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Posted: Saturday, May 15, 2021. 8:59 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Keith Rowley has announced a state of emergency in the republic relating to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) reports.

The twin-island republic will be under curfew from nine p.m. to five a.m. local time, from midnight local time Saturday.

Trinidad and Tobago has reported 15, 279 confirmed cases and 265 deaths, compared to Belize’s 12,274 cases and 323 deaths.

More infections are expected in the coming days, Rowley said, necessitating a State of Emergency despite every effort being made to prevent it. The length of the state of emergency, he added, depends on the level of cooperation from the public in staying home and maintaining health protocols. Additionally, he said the May 23rd lifting of some restrictions will be dependent on Epidemiologist Dr. Avery Hinds’ data in the coming days.

Principal Medical Officer Dr. Maryam Abdool-Richards noted that the 7-day rolling average for active COVID-19 cases is now 380, and there is an increase in COVID-19 admissions of 30 to 50 patients across the hospital system on a daily basis. She said as fast as bed capacity was increased this week, they were filled.

Trinidad’s major hospitals have occupancy rates between 71 and 90 percent; Tobago is at a quarter.

The Prime Minister said essential services will remain open during the SoE. They include National Security, Health, Energy, Utilities, Ports and Airports, Food Supply chain (packaging, preparation, supermarkets), Pharmacies, Transport. The full list of essential services will be stated in the updated Public Health Regulations. 

PM Rowley made a plea for people not to hoard food and other items as the State of Emergency comes into effect. He assured that regular supply systems with remain open daily and there is no need to rush and go out to stock up on food and gas today.

Thoracic Medical Director at the Caura Hospital, Dr. Michelle Trotman, made another plea for citizen to distance, sanitize, and wear masks.  She again noted that doctors have been hearing confessions from sick and dying patients who admit they went to parties where they would have contracted COVID-19.

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