Guyana’s first case of coronavirus passed Trinidad airport

Minister of National Security Stuart Young

The Guyanese woman who died this week after contracting Coronavirus first transited through Piarco International Airport in Trinidad.

Minister of National Security Stuart Young confirmed the news during a post-cabinet briefing on Thursday (March 12). “All of the contact protocols and contact tracing have been taking place. The Chief Medical Officer and his team are also in touch with CAL (Caribbean Airlines),” he said.

Caribbean Airlines confirmed that the woman travelled on March 7 from John F Kennedy International Airport in New York to Piarco International Airport in Trinidad in transit (on the same day) to Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana.

The woman reportedly suffered from pre-existing conditions, including hypertension and diabetes and was taken to the hospital days later because of an escalation of both and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. 

She later died on Wednesday, March 11.

Caribbean Airlines also said that the crew who worked on that flight have been advised to self-isolate. “In accordance with established protocols the Public Health Authorities have advised that as a precaution, the 13 crew members associated with the flights be placed on self-quarantine for a period of fourteen 14 days,” Caribbean Airlines said via a statement. “The employees will be assessed and monitored by the Public Health Authorities in keeping with the directives from the Ministry of Health.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh has also made the decision to ban all cruise arrivals until April 24 and there is a recommendation to limit non-essential mass gatherings as a result.

It is also uncertain whether Phagwah or Holi—the annual Indian festival that celebrates the start of spring—will take place as scheduled this weekend.

Deyalsingh also indicated that the protocol for testing for COVID-19 for nationals has changed. It was previously stipulated that testing would not be necessary for those who didn’t have a travel history. He has now confirmed that testing will be facilitated for individuals who do not have a travel history but do show symptoms of the virus and display flu-like symptoms.