55 cases in 18 days; T&T’s Covid-19 spread eclipses first wave of infections

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Trinidad and Tobago now has more Covid-19 cases in its second wave of infections than the first. The Ministry of Health confirmed two cases yesterday and eight more this morning as the country’s tally rose to 207 positives, since the onset of the pandemic.

The twin island republic has 55 cases of locally transmitted novel coronavirus within the last 18 days. In contrast, there were 50 confirmed local cases in 31 days during the first wave of the virus.

Photo: A Covid-19 swab test in Jakarta.
(via Reuters)

Local infections of Covid-19 in first wave (27 March to 26 April)

  • 50 cases in 31 days.

Local infections of Covid-19 in second wave (20 July to 6 August)

  • 55 cases in 18 days.

As of this morning, there were 43 persons hospitalised at the Caura Hospital and another 16 at Couva with five ‘en route’. Of the recent 10 cases, three were ‘contacts of recently positive Covid-19 patients’ while seven are ‘pending epidemiological investigation’.

Despite the recent spike, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday that the Ministry of Health has ‘some element of control’ over the current spread, due to the success of its contact tracing.

“If we had no idea what [the current Covid-19 positive numbers] meant in terms of who infected whom, you might have had a different decision from me this morning,” said Rowley, yesterday. “But because we have been able to track who has been infecting whom, we say we are in some element of control.

“[…] The virus is not raging out of control… We are in a relatively good place in terms of managing the risk.”

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Dr Avery Hinds, the technical director of the Epidemiological Department at the Ministry of Health, concurred.

“We will continue to trace and to chase and to test where required,” said Hinds. “So far, the work we have done has given us a pattern and some confidence that we are finding the people.”

Rowley said the country cannot afford another ‘lockdown’ and urged the public to be responsible. He also called on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) to enforce the Public Health Novel Coronavirus regulations and to be especially vigilant at bars.

“The last lockdown cost us billions of dollars—if we have to go to another lockdown such billions are not available,” he said. “And the jobs we have saved may not be salvageable in the next go-around…”

The Ministry of Health reminds members of the public to:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you go out in public;
  • Keep your distance from others (six feet);
  • Stay home if you are ill;
  • Clean then sanitise surfaces, such as tabletops, door knobs and cell phones;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser;
  • Cough into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow;
  • Avoid touching your face.
Photo: A classroom is sanitised in Kolkata.

Persons are urged to call Covid-19 hotline numbers: 877-WELL, 87-SWRHA or 877-3742 (Trinidad) and 800-HEAL (Tobago) if they feel unwell; or they can report a possible breach of Covid-19 regulations by calling 555, or sending messages—inclusive of photographs and videos—to the Police App or via Whats App to 482-GARY.

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