2020 coronavirus pandemic in Trinidad and Tobago

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Trinidad and Tobago
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationTrinidad and Tobago
First outbreakWuhan, China
Index caseTrinidad and Tobago
Arrival date12 March 2020
(3 weeks and 1 day)
Confirmed cases97[1]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in March 2020.



On 12 March, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago recorded its first case of COVID-19. It was a 52-year-old man who had recently been to Switzerland.[2][3][4][5][6] He was self-isolated before he began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Contact tracing for the passengers of the patient's flight is being conducted.[6]

On 13 March, a second case of COVID-19 was recorded by Trinidad and Tobago.[7][8][9] The patient, a 66-year-old male with an unknown travel history, presented himself at a health facility and was soon isolated. Others who may have been exposed to the patient are also being quarantined.[10][11][12][13]

Two more cases were confirmed on the night of 15 March, bringing the total to 4 cases.[14][15][16]

A fifth case was confirmed on 16 March.[17][18][19]

On 17 March, another two cases were confirmed.[20][21]

Another two cases were confirmed on 19 March.[22][23][24][25]

On March 21, 40 more cases were confirmed. Sixty eight (68) nationals left for a 7-day cruise on the Caribbean sea on March 5. After a suspected outbreak of COVID-19 on board, the Costa Favolosa was forced to anchor off the coast of Guadeloupe for several days. The nationals returned to Trinidad and Tobago on March 17 via a chartered flight from Guadeloupe. They were immediately screened and tested at Piarco International Airport and later taken to a quarantine facility. On March 21 it was confirmed that 40 of the 68 persons that were quarantined tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 49.[26][27][28]

On the 25th of March, COVID-19 claimed its first victim in Trinidad. He was a seventy-seven-year-old male with known pre-existing medical conditions.

On the 26th of March, the second reported COVID-19 death was an eighty-year-old male with pre-existing medical conditions. He was among the rescued cruise ship passengers quarantined at Camp Balandra.[29] The Ministry of Health also reported that one of the patients who tested positive, was quarantined and treated has since been discharged.[30]

Prevention efforts

Health Minister Ter­rance Deyals­ingh, announced that Trinidad and Tobago had decided to implement restrictions on persons traveling from China. Persons who are living or who have visited China, will be barred from entering Trinidad and Tobago unless they had already been out of China 14 days prior to attempting to travel to Trinidad & Tobago.[31][32][33][34] Travellers whose flights originate from Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Iran, Germany, Spain, and France are also to be restricted.[35] On 16 March, Prime MinisterKeith Rowley announced that the country will close its borders to everyone except Trinidad and Tobago nationals and health workers for the next 14 days. Additionally, bars were to be closed and the school closures extended until 20 April.[36][37][38][39][40] The closure will come into effect by midnight on 17 March.[41][42][43][44]

On 13 March, Rowley announced that schools and universities would be closed across the nation for one week due to the coronavirus fears.[45][46] On 16 March, the closure was extended until 20 April.[37][47][44]

On 15 March, Police Commissioner of T&T Gary Griffith said he would be going into self-quarantine.[48][49][50][51]

Many Hindu associations cancelled Phagwa, Navratri, Ram Navami, and Hanuman Jayanti celebrations.[52][53][54] Many other events were also cancelled or postponed.[55][56]

Restrictions were put in place with regards to prisons nationwide.[57][58] BPTT closed their offices in their response to the coronavirus.[59][60] Deyalsingh said there were 3,000 test kits in Trinidad as of 16 March and 1000 more would be coming.[61] Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus announced that pandemic leave would be made available to workers with children.[62][63] On March 21, National Security Minister Stuart Young announced the closure of all borders to everyone (including nationals & non nationals) effective midnight on Sunday 22 March. He said no international flights would be allowed to enter the country. However, cargo vessels bringing food and pharmaceuticals into the country would be allowed entry.[64]


  1. ^ a b "COVID-19 cluster along East-West corridor; 6 deaths". Trinidad Guardian. 3 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Trinidad & Tobago confirms first case of coronavirus (COVID - 19)". Dominica News Online. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  3. ^ "MOH: One case of COVID-19 confirmed in T&T". Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Jamaica Observer Limited". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  5. ^ Nanton, Sampson (12 March 2020). "T&T gets first case of coronavirus COVID-19". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b "T&T confirms first case of coronavirus". Trinidad Express Newspapers. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  7. ^ "T&T records 2nd case of COVID-19". Daily Express. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Trinidad & Tobago clamps down as two cases of COVID-19 are confirmed". Global Voices. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Second COVID-19 case confirmed".
  10. ^ "Ministry of Health confirms second case of COVID-19 in T&T". Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  11. ^ "66-year-old man is Trinidad & Tobago's second COVID-19 case". Starbroek News. 15 March 2020.
  12. ^ "T&T now up to 4 COVID-19 cases". Trinidad & Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Sixty-six year old man confirmed as Trinidad's second Covid-19 case". 14 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  14. ^ "MOH confirms two more COVID-19 cases in T&T". 15 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Trinidad and Tobago now has 4 confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 patients". St. Lucia News Online. 16 March 2020.
  16. ^ "T&T now has 4 confirmed COVID-19 victims".
  17. ^ "T&T confirms 5th COVID-19 victim".
  18. ^ "Trinidad confirms 5th coronavirus case". 17 March 2020.
  19. ^ "5th T&T COVID-19 case confirmed".
  20. ^ "T&T now has 7 confirmed COVID-19 cases". Trinidad Express Newspapers. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Trinidad and Tobago now has 7 confirmed coronavirus-COVID-19 cases". 18 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  22. ^ "T&T now has 9 cases of COVID-19".
  23. ^ "T&T COVID-19 cases now up to 9".
  24. ^ "MOH reports two new cases of COVID-19".
  25. ^ "Trinidad & Tobago now at 9 confirmed COVID-19 cases". 19 March 2020.
  26. ^ "68 Trinis back from ill-fated cruise quarantined in Balandra".
  27. ^ "40 new COVID-19 cases hospitalised at Couva".
  28. ^ "Anxiety over stranded trinis".
  29. ^ "T&T records 2nd COVID-19 death". Trinidad Express Newspapers. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  30. ^ "2nd local covid19 death confirmed". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  31. ^ "COVID-19: T&T closes borders to non-nationals for 14 days".
  32. ^ "Trinidad & Tobago Shuts Out International Community to Stem Spread of COVID-19; Schools Closed". 16 March 2020.
  33. ^ "Cabinet announces 14-day travel restrictions from China". Archived from the original on 22 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  34. ^ "3 more European nations on T&T's COVID-restricted list".
  35. ^ "3 more European nations on T&T's COVID-restricted list".
  36. ^ "Jamaica Observer Limited".
  37. ^ a b "Trinidad and Tobago unplugged: Rowley closes nation's borders for 14 days; pubs to shut down". 16 March 2020.
  38. ^ Nanton, Sampson (16 March 2020). "T&T shuts down borders, bars to be closed". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Government ramps up anti-COVID-19 measures in T&T".
  40. ^ "Trinidad & Tobago Shuts Out International Community to Stem Spread of COVID-19; Schools Closed". 16 March 2020.
  41. ^ Clyne, Kalifa Sarah (16 March 2020). "Government shuts TT borders". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  42. ^ CMC, Added 16 March 2020. "Trinidad on lockdown - NationNews Barbados - Local, Regional and International News". Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  43. ^ "Trinidad and Tobago Bans All Non-Nationals from Entering Country for 14 Days". 16 March 2020.
  44. ^ a b "Trinidad & Tobago closes its borders as COVID-19 cases double to four · Global Voices". 16 March 2020.
  45. ^ "Rowley: Schools, universities to be closed for one week". Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  46. ^ "Schools, universities close for one week, to slow spread of COVID-19". Trinidad Express Newspapers. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  47. ^ "Schools to remain closed until April 20".
  48. ^ "Coronavirus: Trinidad Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to self-quarantine". 16 March 2020.
  49. ^ "Trinidad Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to self-quarantine". 15 March 2020.
  50. ^ "Commissioner Griffith is back; self quarantines for 14 days". 15 March 2020.
  51. ^ "Griffith on return from London: I will go in self-quarantine". 14 March 2020.
  52. ^ "No Phagwa in south Trinidad". 14 March 2020.
  53. ^ "Coronavirus scare cancels Phagwa celebrations".
  54. ^ "Phagwa, ELR concert cancelled".
  55. ^ "Events cancelled over covid19 fears". 12 March 2020.
  56. ^ "TT, regional events cancelled over covid19". 13 March 2020.
  57. ^ "Prisons lock down over COVID-19".
  58. ^ "Prison Service limits visits to prevent COVID-19 spread".
  59. ^ "Coronavirus: Trinidad and Tobago natural gas company BPTT closes offices". 16 March 2020.
  60. ^ "BPTT closes offices for one month".
  61. ^ "3,000 covid19 test kits in TT". 16 March 2020.
  62. ^ "Pandemic leave for workers with children".
  63. ^ "Trinidad: Workers, you can get Pandemic Leave". 16 March 2020.
  64. ^ "T&T's borders closed to all".
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