...passenger allowed to travel with positive test
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - HEALTH MINISTER in Trinidad and Tobago Terrence Deyalsingh has confirmed the presence of the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 on the twin-island Republic after test samples of an individual hadr eturned positive.
The Minister, at a press conference today (Dec. 13), announced that it was a disturbing discovery for officials of the country, since the person, who is a female passenger, was allowed to board a flight from New York while having a positive PCR test.
“This morning we were informed of the discovery of our first case of the Omicron Variant in Trinidad and Tobago. As we predicted, it is not a matter of if but when,” he stated.
While addressing reporters, the Minister reiterated his call for persons on the islands to get vaccinated as he made the announcement.
Providing details of the person’s travel history, Deyalsingh revealed the disturbing news that “in New York the person was allowed to board a flight with a positive PCR test”. He added that the unnamed female was then able to travel to “Panama where they presented a negative Antigen test”. All of which contravened the current regulations in place on T&T.
The name and details of the person is expected to be provided to the Ministry of National Security where appropriate action is expected to be taken against the individual.
He further stated that the airline would also be held liable for the action taken to facilitate the travel of the country.
“...a positive PCR test in contravention to our TT pass regulations,” noted Minister Deyalsingh.
The Omicron Variant is one that is of concern as it is suspected to be more easily transmissible, as it carries more that 30 mutations and is believed to cause breakthrough infection among the vaccinated.
The Minister commended port health officials for picking up the break in regulations.
“In keeping with international protocols in incidents like this on an aircraft, the protocols are that all persons within a two row radius have been quarantined,” he noted.