T&T has another local Covid-19 infection, three cases ‘pending epidemiological investigation’

EPL Infrafred Sauna

Trinidad and Tobago has another confirmed case of Covid-19 with no known travel history.

The Ministry of Health confirmed this morning that its counter for the novel coronavirus now stands at 142, after another positive result in the last 24 hours. The infection of the most recent patient, who has already been transferred to Caura Hospital, is ‘pending epidemiological investigation’.

Photo: The novel coronavirus.

It means the country has had three positive cases without any apparent travel history in the past week. It is uncertain whether patient number 142 is linked to either of the other two local cases.

Prior to this week, Trinidad and Tobago did not have a confirmed locally transmitted infection since 26 April.

The Ministry of Health recently stopped the habit of daily press conferences and did not hold one today. However, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said yesterday that it is too early to panic about the new cases.

“This is not cause for panic but it is cause for concern,” said Deyalsingh, at yesterday’s virtual press conference. “[…] When we had closed the borders [in late March]—and you remember we had 19,856 persons coming in—both the CMO [Dr Roshan Parasram] and I, every day for the next three weeks… we were in a state of almost panic on a daily basis […] waiting for the hammer to drop on this country with cases. It did not happen.

“When we started to reopen the economy, the CMO and I again were in a constant state of heightened anxiety. With each phase of the re-opening, we were expecting cases. It did not happen.

“[…] The fact today is 23 July and we have [only] two cases that we are looking at […] it tells us, as the CMO just said, we may not have that number of active clusters to possibly worry about. But we are coming before you because we are concerned.”

Photo: Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.

As of this morning, the Ministry of Health has submitted 6,328 samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and its UWI site for the testing of 4,795 unique patients, with 1,533 repeat tests.

There were 142 positive results, 128 persons discharged and eight deaths. Six patients are warded at the Caura Hospital at present.

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