Travellers from China arrive after ban announced

Days af­ter the trav­el re­stric­tion was an­nounced by Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh, sev­er­al trav­ellers who re­cent­ly trav­elled to Chi­na were let in­to the coun­try.

The rev­e­la­tion came on the heels of a Chi­nese na­tion­al’s case hav­ing to be ad­journed by High Court judge Hay­den St Clair-Dou­glas at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain yes­ter­day morn­ing, due to con­cerns over the coro­n­avirus.

Yan Fang Hong, 47, who was due to ap­pear in court yes­ter­day, left Chi­na on Thurs­day and en­tered the coun­try through a con­nect­ing flight in New York on Feb­ru­ary 1. (See ar­ti­cle be­low)

Asked how Hong could en­ter the coun­try af­ter the ban was an­nounced on Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 30, Deyals­ingh said: “The Pres­i­dent had to sign off on that or­der which she did on the 31st. The Chief Med­ical Of­fi­cer (CMO) has to sign off an or­der and that was done on the 31st. Im­mi­gra­tion has to be alert­ed. So al­though Cab­i­net took the de­ci­sion on Thurs­day 30, it would take some time to the pol­i­cy to reach down on the ground to Im­mi­gra­tion.”

Deyals­ingh was un­able to in­di­cate when the or­der reached Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials and said he would need to find out from At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi. Guardian Me­dia at­tempt­ed to reach Chief Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fi­cer Char­maine Gand­hi-An­drews, Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young and AG Faris Al-Rawi to as­cer­tain when the or­der was of­fi­cial­ly im­ple­ment­ed. How­ev­er, no re­sponse was giv­en up to press time.

Chief Med­ical Of­fi­cer Dr Roshan Paras­ram al­so re­vealed to Guardian Me­dia that “we would have had a cou­ple peo­ple com­ing through.”

While ac­knowl­edg­ing the de­lay in im­ple­ment­ing the re­stric­tion, he al­so of­fered a dif­fer­ent ex­pla­na­tion to Deyals­ingh’s, ex­plain­ing that a de­ci­sion was made to al­low in­to the coun­try, those trav­ellers who were al­ready en route to T&T when the re­stric­tion was an­nounced.

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