Ministry of Health meets with Shanghai Experts on COVID-19
TSTT Corporate Communications
The COVID-19 crisis has entered a crucial point in which public health agencies are required to respond decisively in order to control and mitigate the virus. It has been argued that China’s enactment of aggressive public health policies have been effective. The country’s new cases of COVID-19 and fatality rates have both declined significantly therefore lessons learnt from China will be instructive. With this in mind, national telecommunications provider, TSTT, in partnership with technology giant, Huawei, facilitated a virtual meeting between COVID-19 health experts from Shanghai, China and the Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago recently.
The meeting was hosted by His Excellency Song Yumin, Ambassador of China to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
The local Ministry of Health contingent was led by Dr. Maryam Richards, Principal Medical Officer, and included top medical practitioners from each of our regional health authorities who form part of the COVID-19 team. Among the practitioners were Dr. Rajeev Nagassar, Dr. Neal Hinds, Dr. Rajiv Bhagaloo and Dr. Marlon Rampaul. Virtually joining from China were Bei Zhaojian, Director General of Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, Sun Xiadong, Deputy Director General of Shanghai Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Shen Yinzhong, Director of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and Shen Weizhe, Section Chief of Foreign Affairs of Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.
During these turbulent times, TSTT, headed by CEO, Dr. Ronald Walcott, has been ensuring that keeping the local health community connected is a top priority for the organisation. According to Dr. Walcott, “Virtual conferencing solutions like TSTT’s telepresence has become critical to the development of a coordinated global response to the COVID-19 crisis and its implications. Since large parts of the world have been shut down, convening remotely provides the opportunity to facilitate critical conferences like this which seeks to contribute to the national action plan in response to the outbreak. We will continue to pursue comprehensive steps to ensure that the connectivity needs of the nation is properly handled during these extraordinary times.”
The video-conferencing technology, provided by Huawei, enabled conference attendees to connect with each other, creating and sustaining a bilateral discussion revolving around evidence based practice, academic research and experience related to the current pandemic. There was also an emphasis on mechanisms for treatment modalities and testing.
Following the conference, His Excellency Song Yumin, Ambassador of China to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago remarked that the information exchanged including the expert advice regarding the lockdown and other measures to combat the virus were quite helpful. He stated, “Such exchange of information and knowledge is significant because China has developed the expertise to fight the virus. There is a tremendous amount to be gained and learnt from their experience with COVID-19 which could serve Trinidad and Tobago in their fight against this disease.”
His Excellency expressed his gratitude to TSTT for facilitating the meeting. In his closing statement he commended the high quality and state of the art equipment used to facilitate the meeting. He even indicated that the Shanghai participants applauded the high quality and excellent transmission.
Dr. Maryam Richards, Principal Medical Officer, Ministry of Health Trinidad and Tobago advocated the need for more sessions like this. According to Dr. Richards, “This meeting was an excellent example of bilateral technical cooperation between the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of health, acting on behalf of the government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. We are grateful to TSTT, Huawei, His Excellency, and the People’s Republic of China for giving us this opportunity to be a part of an excellent learning experience for the local medical fraternity. The knowledge gained will be assimilated and will be employed to amend or revise our practices.”
Dr. Richards went on to say, “Given the current need for social distancing and the need for real time exchange of information, this medium of using a TSTT’s telepresence facility was exceptional. We had an excellent transmission of information. We really appreciate the hospitality of TSTT in terms of enabling this exercise in such a short time without hiccups. We look forward to future collaborations between TSTT, Huawei, and the People’s Republic of China.”
As part of its commitment to Trinidad and Tobago during the COVID-19 pandemic, TSTT will continue to provide connectivity to support knowledge-sharing virtual conferences of this nature.