The two patients confirmed with COVID-19 remain isolated at separate hospitals.
Up to late Saturday, the first patient was said to be at the Caura Hospital while the second was at the Couva Hospital.
Providing very little information about their condition during a media briefing at the Ministry of Health on Saturday, Thoracic Medical Director, Caura Hospital, Dr Michelle Trotman revealed, "The patient at Caura Hospital has been improving and we expect a recovery within the time frame which can range—with COVID-19—to seven, ten, 14, 21 days plus depending on the particular scenario, but we do expect a recovery for him."
Regarding the second patient, Trotman said, "The patient that is at the Couva Hospital is more seriously ill. The good news is that compared yesterday (Friday) to today (Saturday), that patient even though critically ill is improving."
Explaining how the virus can enter into your body, she urged people to be particularly careful when touching their faces especially their mouths, nose and eyes as the virus attaches itself to an individual’s mucous membranes.
She advised, "If the virus cannot get into your body, it cannot become a disease. The number one way to prevent that is to wash your hands and sanitise."
Trotman said the public has been thrust into a sudden culture shock where they are no longer free to shake hands, touch, hug or kiss.
She said while many people can contract COVID-19 and not even know it, there were segments of the population that were more vulnerable. Among those are the elderly and others suffering with diabetes, cancer, renal disease, and HIV/Aids..
Trotman assured, "Eighty per cent of us will get better and those that will not get better are the people who have some reason why they won’t get better. We already know who to look for.
"Not every sniffle, not every cough is COVID-19. It is most likely the flu."
Indicating this was a mild disease from which most people would recover, Trotman said personal responsibility was key in ensuring the virus was not spread.
Regarding self-quarantine, she said it meant staying indoors and away from others for 14 days.
Griffith to self-isolate, PM exercising social responsibility
National Security Minister Stuart Young endorsed the call by Trotman for returning nationals to act responsibly and self-quarantine.
On the issue of contact tracing, he said the authorities were currently engaged in this process.
Young confirmed that Police Commissioner Gary Griffith had been abroad for some time and announced his intention to self-isolate for the prescribed time, while Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who recently returned from Ghana, has reduced his workload and was exercising his social responsibility.
Minister: No risk of running out of test kits
Deyalsingh said testing for the virus was being done for T&T by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which also tests for other Caribbean territories.
He assured, "CARPHA has enough test kits for its current use and the Chief Medical Officer has also reached out to PAHO to get more tests, so right now there is no risk of T&T or any other Caricom territory that depends on CARPHA, to run out tests. More tests are coming on stream all the time."
Pressed to say how accurate the local number of confirmed cases were following an initial correspondence from CARPHA that members states would only be allowed a maximum of 20 samples to be tested per week—which meant there could be samples still waiting to be tested that could be positive—Deyalsingh said, "Those were general guidelines put out by CARPHA."
He said following discussions with senior CARPHA officials Saturday, "What CARPHA is doing for any country that has COVID-19 patients, those general guidelines are altered, so we now have two cases, therefore we will be having more tests done.”
The minister said CARPHA was not under the care and control of T&T and, therefore, local authorities could not dictate how it should operate.
He said test kits were usually supplied to CARPHA by PAHO, and he would be unable to say how many testing kits are available.