BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - OVER the last several weeks, Trinidad and Tobago (T&) has reported triple digits COVID-29 cases and health authorities in the twin-island Republic are of the view that the more contagious Delta Variant is to be blamed.
This comes as health officials yesterday (Sept. 5) confirmed six cases of the Delta Variant on the island. That strain of the COVID-19 Virus is more contagious and is said to be more deadly than the other strains.
First discovered in India, the strain has spread to more than 50 countries, including some in the Caribbean region, Canada, the United States and the UK. And it is being blamed for the third or fourth wave being seen in many countries around the world.
In T&T, the Ministry of Health (MoH) explained that the sixth patient is a national who returned to Trinidad from the United States on August 8, 2021. And as per existing quarantine protocols, a negative PCR test was provided (which was taken 72-hours prior to arrival).
As a result of the positive COVID-19 case from a swab taken after arrival, the patient was isolated and all contacts were immediately quarantined and swabbed.
“The COVID-19 test results for all contacts were negative. The patient will remain in isolation until the enhanced discharge criteria for persons with COVID-19 Variants of Concern is achieved,” the MoH said.
The Ministry added that the presence of the Delta Variant was confirmed via gene sequencing at the laboratory of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies.
In a media statement, the MoH said: “Research has suggested that the Delta Variant is more easily spread from person to person, as compared to previous variants (estimated to be 2 to 4 times more transmissible than the original Wuhan lineage of the virus). Additionally, evidence indicates that individuals who have contracted this variant may be prone to an increased risk of severe illness and hospitalization.”
According to the Ministry, that variant might also lead to an increase in cases of COVID-19 in younger age groups and in those who have been previously infected.
“The Ministry of Health reminds the population of the importance of being vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible. Additionally, members of the public are reminded to follow the ‘3Ws’ - Wear Your Mask, Watch Your Distance and Wash Your Hands.
“World Health Organisation (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe, they are effective and they are available in Trinidad and Tobago. The public is encouraged to visit the Ministry of Health’s website (www.health.gov.tt) as well as the social media pages of the Ministry of Health and the Regional Health Authorities for further information on COVID-19 vaccination,” the Ministry explained.
The territory, yesterday, recorded 227 cases with five additional deaths, while officials on the previous day reported 187 new cases and seven deaths.