Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has advised the nation of new measures to be implemented, as Trinidad and Tobago ramps up its defence against COVID-19.
Dr Rowley said the country was facing a major crisis and emergency, and that it was important that this country “disconnect” from the rest of the world, in order to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus, which has now become a global pandemic.
Two sub-Committees of Cabinet have been set up to oversee the measures to be implemented.
Among the measures the PM announced a short while ago:
• T&T’s borders will be closed from midnight on Tuesday 17 March, 2020.
• Citizens from other countries will not be allowed to enter T&T, except under exceptional conditions. Health care professionals will receive exemptions.
• Government will bring home 75-plus citizens who are in other Caribbean countries, at present.
• CAL’s operations will shut down for the next 14 days, except for helping T&T national’s return home. CAL will receive Government support to ensure the airline remains viable after the outbreak is over.
• Pandemic leave will be implemented.
• Schools will be closed until 20th April, 2020.
• Bars will be closed.
• Gatherings of 25 or more persons must be discontinued.
• Government will dip into the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund to access monies to ensure the country continues to receive food and pharmaceuticals. It also will shore up its social programmes, namely food cards and other grants, to ensure vulnerable persons will have the necessary support.
The Prime Minister appealed to citizens to take especial care of senior citizens in the midst, who are the persons most vulnerable to developing serious health complications from COVID-19.
He says Government is doing all it possibly can to ensure no citizen is left behind.