Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Update #26

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 UPDATE #26

BEGINS

 The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12am on 5th April, 2020:

REGRETABLY, THE TCI HAS TODAY RECORDED ITS FIRST COVID-19 DEATH. The individual was a middle-aged male with a pre-existing condition. Details of this were given in an earlier joint press release.

 NEW TEST RESULTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED, AND TCI CONTINUES TO RECORD NO NEW POSITIVE CASES SINCE OUR UPDATE AS AT 4th APRIL, 2020. 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.

The number of suspected cases of COVID-19 in the TCI has increased slightly to thirteen (13): The thirteen suspected cases are TCI residents returning from countries with local transmission, contacts of a confirmed case, persons presenting with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), and persons experiencing relevant symptoms but no travel history. Three suspected cases are now under hospital care and one suspected case passed away on 3rd April, 2020.

All thirteen persons had met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19, and those currently in quarantine/observation are experiencing symptoms. Samples have been collected and sent for testing, and we are currently awaiting results.

The increase in suspected cases over the past 24hrs is as a result of an individual who is experiencing relevant symptoms but has no recent travel history – contact tracing is underway.

Persons under quarantine/observation (140)—The confirmed cases (4), contacts of a confirmed case (17), possible contacts of a confirmed case (10), the suspected cases (12), symptomatic person/s under investigation (1), relatives/contacts of suspected cases or persons under investigation (24), persons travelling from highly affected countries (2), TCI residents (70). Persons under observation/quarantine are either not displaying symptoms or have not meet the case definition for COVID-19.

The decrease in quarantine/observation numbers is as a result of the expiration of the quarantine period for a considerable number of individuals (mainly TCI residents who returned from overseas); and new test results received confirming individuals (TCI Hospital staff) are negative for COVID-19. All individuals and their contacts have been removed from quarantine status.

Recently-tested staff members of the TCI hospital have consistently been included in COVID-19 statistics, suspected and quarantine figures. All 21 healthcare workers were tested, those suspected and quarantined, to ensure the safety of our valued healthcare workers and patients.

TWENTY-ONE NEW TEST RSULTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED – ALL RESULTS ARE NEGATIVE. To date, a total of forty-eight (48) test results have been received, with forty-three (43) confirmed negative and five (5) 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 Ministry of Health 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.

ENDS

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