The Ministry of Health confirmed three more deaths this morning and an additional two this evening, which brings the total of Covid-19 related fatalities to 27. Nineteen of those deaths came within the last month.
The deceased patients were described as two elderly males, two elderly females and one adult female, all with co-morbidities’.
A co-morbidity is defined as ‘the presence of one or more additional conditions co-occurring with a primary condition’. In the case of Covid-19, co-morbidities include hypertension, asthma, liver disease and diabetes.
At present, Trinidad and Tobago has 1,085 active cases of Covid-19 with 80 persons hospitalised, seven in step-down facilities and 962 in home isolation, along with 38 new positives who ‘will be processed for admission at the discretion of the CMOHs (County Medical Officer Health)’.
From the 65 persons hospitalised at the Couva Hospital, six are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and another 13 are at its High Dependency Unit (HDU).
The twin island republic has recorded 1,797 positives from 23,934 unique patient tests since the onset of the pandemic. More than three quarter of those positives came within the last month.
Wired868 looks at a timeline of government initiatives to combat the spike in infections since the start of the second wave and its impact on the spread.
As a general rule, chief medical officer Dr Roshan Parasram said that health care professionals expect a roughly two week lag before they see the effects of behavioural change by the population.
Friday 31 July
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announces that the number of persons permitted in a public gatherings will be reduced from 25 persons to 10, while a rotation policy will be implemented for public sector workers. He notes recent infections at schools and bars and vows to monitor situation.
- At the time of announcement, T&T has 169 positive cases from 6,379 unique patient tests. There are 29 active cases with 8 deaths.
Wednesday 5 August
The active case load doubled within five days of the government’s alterations to the public health ordinance, so Dr Rowley addresses the public again. This time, he announces the closure of SEA classes with immediate effect—although there is still no change for bars.
- T&T has 199 positive cases from 7,804 unique patient tests. There are 56 active cases with 8 deaths.
Monday 10 August
Dr Parasram suggested that activity related to the 2020 General Election campaign might be responsible for a spike in the novel coronavirus.
- As the EBC closed polling stations, T&T had 281 positives from 9,725 unique patient tests. There are 135 active cases and 8 deaths.
Saturday 15 August
Dr Parasram reveals that T&T is now in the highest possible Covid-19 category: community spread. Nowhere on the island can be considered safe from the virus.
Dr Rowley announces sweeping changes, as the numbers allowed in public gatherings drops from 10 to 5, in-house dining and drinking as well are outlawed along with contact sport, while beaches and rivers, churches and all places of worship, gyms, water parks, casinos and members clubs, schools and education institutions, and cinemas are all closed.
Public transport is ordered to operate at 50 percent capacity. All changes are effective from 17 August.
- At the time of the announcement, T&T has 497 positives from 11,748 unique patient tests. There are 348 active cases and 10 deaths.
Monday 17 August
It is two weeks since, on 31 July, the government changed the permitted numbers at public gatherings from 25 to 10 and ordered the rotation of staff within the public sector. Despite the changes, T&T has 15 times as many active cases.
- The country’s Covid-19 tally is now 588 positive cases from 13,060 unique patient tests. There are now 436 active cases and 12 deaths.
Wednesday 19 August
Two weeks have passed since the closure of SEA classes on 5 August—although Dr Parasram suggested that a more meaningful event might have been an end to the campaigning for the 10 August General Election.
The spike has slowed, but only slightly. The twin island republic has exactly 10 times as many active cases as a fortnight ago.
- T&T now has 686 positive cases from 15,066 unique patient tests. There are 534 active cases and 12 deaths.
Wednesday 26 August
Dr Parasram announces that, with hospitals nearing capacity, the Ministry of Health will allow positive persons to quarantine home, unless they are moderately to severely ill. And, with a backlog of 600 tests, the government will no longer swab patients before discharge but will instead check 14 days from the onset of their symptoms or their first positive tests.
There will also no longer be a mandatory test for primary and secondary contacts unless they display symptoms. Instead, they will also be asked to home quarantine.
- At the time of the announcement, T&T has 1,411 positives from 19,333 unique patient tests. There are 1,204 active cases and 15 deaths.
Monday 31 August
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi explains that the new law relating to the wearing of masks makes it a punishable offence for anyone above the age of eight to be in public without masks. The fines are set at TT$1,000 for first offence, TT$2,000 for second offence and TT$3,000 for third offence.
Trinidad and Tobago will hope to see an impact on the rate of infection by 13 September.
Trinidad and Tobago vs Covid-19 (in numbers)
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 10 August)
- 129 cases in 22 days.
Local infections of Covid-19 since Election Day (11 August to 1 September)
- 1,516 cases in 22 days.
The Ministry of Health reminds members of the public to adhere to the ‘new normal’ and:
- 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.
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.