BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - HEALTH officials in Trinidad and Tobago are at their wits end as the twin-island Republic is seeing increasing cases of COVID-19, including additional cases of the more transmissible Omicron Variant.
As of yesterday (Dec. 28), the twin-island reported another 360 new cases of COVID-19 in which 484 persons are said to be hospitalised.
All of this comes as the Ministry of Health reported six new cases of the Omicron Variant, with one person not having a travel history.
According to a statement from MOH, the new cases were reported on the evening of December 26.
Three of the six were imported by foreign nationals who travelled to the country on an international ship, which has since departed.
The Ministry reported that two cases were nationals of Trinidad and Tobago with recent travel history and one with no history of travel.
The announcement of the six cases brings the total number of Omicron cases to 11 in the twin-island nation.
Officials from the Ministry of Health are expected to host a media briefing this morning where an update will be provided.
The Omicron Variant is more transmissible and is being blamed for the reising cases in Europe, Canada and Europe. Many of the European countries are on lockdowns or travel restrictions to combat the spread of the virus.
In the region, the virus is making its presence felt in Bermuda, St. Maarten, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
In St. Kitts and Nevis, the COVID-19 Task Force and medical personnel are urging residents to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the new variant.
That comes as the Federation has left the 72-hour testing window in place for inbound travellers to the islands due to the constraint of gaining access to such tests as the countries ramp up testing due to the new variant.
“The widespread testing that is being done globally, most persons who are coming here will tell you that they already have a difficult time to get a test within 72 hours before arrival. And so requesting a 24-hour PCR test is synonymous to closing our borders,” Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Cameron Wilkinson said while responding to an SKNVIbes question at last week's NEOC media brief.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws confirmed recently that the Government would be increasing the number of tests being carried out locally to capture persons early before they spread the virus.
“It is the endeavour of the Ministry of Health to provide more testing opportunities or sessions where persons who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms,” noted Dr. Laws at the NEOC media brief.