TCI News

TCI First COVID-19 case may not be ‘patient zero’

#TurksandCaicosIslands – March 23, 2020 — The first COVID-19 case for the Turks and Caicos may not be ‘patient zero’, as government today informed that the individual has no recent travel history.

The announcement, made from Grand Turk, just before an emergency parliamentary meeting did more to raise questions, than it did to offer answers; little to no information was offered on the patient nor was any timeline given.

Sunday’s health dashboard, which provides up to date national and world statistics on the coronavirus did inform there were two patients held in isolation as serious suspected cases.  However, no reference was made to either of the two people.

It was said contact tracing should take the Ministry of Health team to family, friends and business contacts of the individual.

Announcement of first COVID-19 case for Turks and Caicos made by TCI Premier and TCI Ministry of Health

The Director of Health Services for the Turks and Caicos Islands, Dr. Nadia Astwood said the results of the test came in today, Monday March 23. 

At this time, TCI is not conducting random testing for the coronavirus; suspected cases of COVID-19 only. Samples are being collected from patients and air-transported to the Reference Laboratory in Nassau, Bahamas as the Turks and Caicos lacks of capacity and capability to test for COVID-19 within the country.

The announcement for the lone case of COVID-19 came just one day before the Turks and Caicos is preparing to shut its air and sea ports to visitor arrivals.

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