FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 UPDATE #11
The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12pm on 23rd March, 2020:
TCI recorded its first case of the COVID-19 novel Coronavirus. A sample which was sent to the National Reference Laboratory in the Bahamas returned a positive result. We understand the public concern this will cause and ask for public calm and patience as the Ministry continues to aggressively investigate – More details will be forthcoming from the Ministry of Health.
The TCI had 8 suspected cases of COVID-19: Tourist visiting the country (1). The other seven suspected cases are TCI residents returning from countries with local transmission and contacts of a confirmed case (7). All 8 persons met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19, thus they are experiencing symptoms. Samples have been collected and sent for testing.
The decrease in suspected cases over the past 24hrs is due to negative results, received earlier today, for two (2) suspected.
Persons under quarantine/observation (204)—The suspected cases (8), persons under investigation for having contact with persons travelling from highly affected countries (1), relatives/contacts of suspected cases (26), persons travelling from highly affected countries — UK, Austria & Spain (4), TCI residents (165). Persons under observation/quarantine are all not displaying symptoms or have not meet the case definition for COVID-19.
The increase in the number of persons under quarantine/observation, as compared to yesterday, is due to returning TCI residents from countries with local transmission.
A total of twelve (12) test results have been received to date, with elven (11) confirmed negative and one (1) positive confirmation. Persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and their contacts, have been moved from quarantined status and asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health. The confirmed case is in isolation and contact tracing is aggressively continuing.
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.