FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 UPDATE #40
The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12am on 19th April, 2020:
THE TURKS & CAICOS CONTINUES TO RECORD ONE COVID-19 DEATH.
THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CONFIRMED POSITIVE CASES REMAINS AT ELEVEN (11). Two confirmed positive cases are currently under hospital care.
HOWEVER, A PATIENT FROM THE TCI HAS BEEN CONFIRMED POSITIVE OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY AND EFFORTS ARE CURRENTLY UNDERWAY TO DETERMINE WHICH COUNTRY WILL OFFICIALLY REPORT THE CASE, AS TO AVOID DOUBLE COUNTING.
THE NUMBER OF SUSPECTED CASES OF COVID-19 HAS RISEN TO THREE (3). THE SUSPECTED CASES ARE TCI RESIDENTS EXPERIENCING RELEVANT SYMPTOMS; TWO WITH, AND ONE WITHOUT, A HISTORY OF CONTACT WITH CONFIRMED CASES.
The individuals met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19. Samples have been collected and sent for testing.
QUARANTINE/OBSERVATION NUMBERS HAVE INCREASED TO 102. This includes: The active confirmed cases (patients in the TCI that are currently infected) (9), contacts of confirmed cases (34), indirect contacts of confirmed cases (31), suspected cases (3), relatives/contacts of suspected cases (8), symptomatic persons not meeting the case definition and their contacts (17). Persons under observation/quarantine are either not displaying symptoms or have not meet the case definition for COVID-19.
The increase in quarantine/observation numbers is primarily as a result of contract tracing efforts, where contacts and indirect contacts of confirmed cases have increased; along with the additional suspected case and their contacts, and symptomatic persons not meeting the case definition and their contacts.
On 1st April, 2020 the case definition for COVID-19 was amended for TCI; a travel history is no longer needed to fit the criteria. Given the closure of the TCI borders it is likely that new case would be as a result of local transmission.
NO NEW TEST RESULTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED. To date, the TCI has received a total of eighty-three (83) test results, with seventy-two (72) confirmed to be negative and eleven (11) positive confirmations. Persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and their contacts, were moved from quarantined status and asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health. Those cases confirmed positive are in isolation with contact tracing aggressively continuing.
THE PUBLIC IS HEREBY REMINDED THAT LOCKDOWN MEASURES HAVE BEEN EXTENDED AND YOU ARE TO STAY AT HOME – ONLY LEAVING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL UNDER THE SPECIFIED GUIDANCE.
The Ministry of Health ALSO takes this opportunity to remind the public of offenses committed under section 18 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 in regard to false Statements/information. You do not have to be the originator of the statement/information in order to be charged under the law.
Please note the following definitions:
- A suspected person is someone who meets the case definition as outlined by WHO and CARPHA – and is experiencing symptoms.
- A person in quarantine is an individual on island who has come from infected country(ies) or may have come in proximity to suspected or confirmed cases – and have not exhibited symptoms.
Let’s continue to reduce the risk by:
1. Washing our hands for 20secs or more
2. Practicing social distancing
3. Prepare your home, office and other surroundings by following the advice of the Ministry of Health and other credible health agencies.
For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health website, www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus; email: COVID19@gov.tc; or call our hotline numbers, (649) 232-9444 and (649) 333-0911, if you or someone you know has symptoms or signs of COVID-19.