Trinidad and Tobago has recorded its first case of the Omicron variant.
This was announced by Minister of Health (MoH) Terrence Deyalsingh who was speaking at a conference hosted by his Ministry on Monday.
What’s particularly “disturbing”, according to Deyalsingh, is the fact that the woman who brought the virus into T&T, boarded a flight in New York City despite presenting a positive COVID-19 test.
The woman showed a positive PCR test to travel authorities before flying to Panama where she gave a negative antigen test prior to entry into T&T on December 9.
This is in complete contravention of the existing travel entry requirements.
However, the Minister said the woman did not make it past port authorities who took note of the positive test. As a result, she was quickly isolated and tested. The sample was retrieved on December 10 and the findings were presented on the evening of December 11.
“The individual was flagged at the airport and once the individual was flagged our protocols worked and hats off to our port health workers and the person was sent immediately to a step-down facility. So at no point in time was anybody in the general public, her family, village, community exposed to her,” he said.
Fourteen passengers that were nearest to this person have also been ordered to self-isolation.
It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to present false documentation such as vaccination records, COVID-19 test certificates or make false statutory declarations on the TT Travel Pass that is required to be filled out 72 hours before entry into T&T.
If charged and found guilty, the accused may be subject to a penalty of $350,000 and six months in jail on summary conviction.