The Ministry of Health has confirmed 106 new cases of Covid-19 for the Easter weekend so far, as today’s clinical update revealed 42 positives from 396 tests.
However, the government is braced for a further spike in the coming days—when the Ministry of Health will tabulate the impact of increased socialising as a spin-off from the long weekend.
For the last four days of March, the tally of new cases was: 15, 9, 18, and 22 respectively. For the first four days of April, however, the count has been: 46, 44, 20, and 42.
The 152 positive cases in April have come from 1,111 tests. The total number of infected persons in Trinidad and Tobago since the onset of the novel coronavirus in March 2020 stands at 8,178 from 111,436 tests. There have been 145 deaths.
Thus far, the government’s only material change to the Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-ncov)] (No 32) Regulations as a result of the increase in infections has been a ban on ‘recreational sports’, which, according to Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, encompasses all sporting activity apart from international teams and athletes.
Despite the rising numbers, only 33 persons are hospitalised with Covid-19 at present while 303 persons were in ‘self-isolation’ as of Sunday morning. The remainder were yet to be contacted by the county medical officers of health (CMOH).
At present, there are 349 persons in state quarantine and seven in step-down facilities.
Trinidad and Tobago’s international borders remain closed with persons needing travel exemptions to enter.
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.
It was only a matter of time. I fully expected this, in fact I ‘predicted’ this was going to come. Why?
This disease – Covid 19 – is not spread by the old and disabled. It is spread by the younger, mobile crowd – those who are going out to raves, parties, beaches, public gatherings and so on. Or even those who are just going about their normal, daily lives; to and from work et cetera.
To vaccinate this sector of society is probably the wisest thing to do, but yet the opposite is actually being done. Vaccines are given first to the elderly, vulnerable, people with underlying health issues who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ and so forth. The majority of these people are already taking precautions and not moving about and not risking coming in contact with others. The risk of being infected, for them, is already low, and even lower for them to spread the disease.
Clearly it is the mobile people who are spreading the virus. It makes more sense to inoculate them to reduce the spread. This is why every time we hear of large gatherings, such as the party at Sea Lots over the Easter weekend, there is sure to be a rise in Covid cases after several weeks.
Indonesia is trying the approach you’re suggesting (younger, mobile population). Health officials around the world have to choose between slowing transmission with that approach or slowing severe health outcomes and death by vaccinating the most vulnerable. T&T has chosen to prioritise vaccinating those most vulnerable (elderly, those with NCDs) and those who are most exposed (frontline healthcare workers etc). It might have to do with how many vaccines you have access to in the short term. It’s much easier (and faster) to vaccinate a small population of vulnerable, than a large, young and healthy working population.