T&T to be under State of emergency amid COVID pandemic

During the media conference held on 15 May 2021, the Prime Minister of T&T - Dr Keith Rowley, announced a state of emergency with a curfew in place from 9 PM to 5 AM from today mid-night.

Trinidad and Tobago: During the media conference held on 15 May 2021, the Prime Minister of T&T – Dr Keith Rowley, announced a state of emergency with a curfew in place from 9 PM to 5 AM from today mid-night.

PM stated, “More cases are expected in the upcoming days. Every attempt was made to prevent this from happening, but – the State of Emergency is needed at this time. None of us can say we have been in a State of Emergency during the pandemic.”

He added, “This has to do with cooperation from the public in staying home and maintaining health rules. Essential services would remain open during the emergency, which includes – National security, Utilities, Ports and Airports, Health, Energy, Food Supply chain (packaging, preparation, supermarkets), Pharmacies, Transport. The complete list of essential services would be stated in the updated – public health regulations.”

PM Rowley further requested people not to hoard food and other items as the – state of emergency comes into effect. He ensured that regular supply systems would remain open daily, and there is no need to rush and go out to hoard on food and gas today.

Dr Michelle Trotman, – Thoracic Medical Director at the Caura Hospital, also requested the citizens to maintain distance, sanitise, and wear masks. On the postponement of the – secondary entrance assessment exam, PM Rowley cited, “The Minister of Education would approach this in a short time, however face-to-face contact with teachers and students at all levels would be immediately halted.”

Minister of Health, – Terrence Deyalsingh, said a portion of the vaccines would be administered to elderly persons in Homes.

 As with the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine, priority would be given to- 

  •  Health care workers
  •  Persons over 60 with or without co-morbidities
  •  Persons under 50 with co-morbidities

PM highlighted a Washington expert who said vaccine shortage might last for years. He, therefore, urged people to take Dr Tim Gopeesingh’s advice to take whatever COVID-19 vaccine is available when their time comes.

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

The following is a breakdown of COVID-19 hospital occupancy:- Arima – 85%, Augustus Long – 90%, Caura – 78%, Couva – 71%, St. Ann’s – 80%, Tobago – 25%.

The following is a breakdown of bed occupancy levels for COVID-19 patients- HDU beds- 95%, ICU beds- 100%, Ward beds- 66%, Step-down beds- 57%. On this, Dr Richards said beds are being converted with ventilators daily. The ambulance system is at 50% in terms of transport of COVID-19 patients.