Tobago Student Cleared of Coronavirus After Return From China

SCARBOROUGH, Trinidad, Wednesday February 26, 2020 – A Tobagonian who was hospitalized after developing a fever, days after returning from China, has tested negative for the new Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The confirmation from the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development came after rumours began circulating on social media that COVID-19 had reached the twin-island republic’s shores.

The THA said in a statement issued yesterday evening that samples of blood, urine and nasal swabs taken from the female student – who had spent several months in China where more than 2,700 people have already died of the virus – tested negative.

When the student, who had been in China on a scholarship, arrived at the ANR Robinson International Airport last Friday evening, she was immediately isolated from all other passengers, interviewed and examined by port health officials.

The clinical team that examined her found that she was in good health at the time, but in keeping with government’s policy that nationals returning from China be quarantined and monitored at their home, the student was taken directly home by health officials and kept under 24/7 guard.

However, she was admitted to Scarborough General Hospital two days later with a low-grade fever and samples taken from her were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency lab in Trinidad.

“Since admission to the hospital, the individual had no fever or symptoms of COVID-19,” the Division said in its statement yesterday.

The student will continue to be monitored by health officials for the remaining nine days of the required 14-day home quarantine.

COVID-19, which was first discovered in Wuhan, the capital of the central Chinese province of Hubei, has infected 80,980 globally and nearly 3,000 have died.

A 61-year-old man in Brazil was today confirmed as the first known COVID-19 case in Latin America.

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