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COVID-19 spread worries T&T health authorities


COVID-19 spread worries T&T health authorities

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PORT OF SPAIN – Health authorities in Trinidad & Tobago reiterated the need for adhering to the health protocols, as the country continued to register significant numbers of deaths and new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Roshan Parasram said the virus is spreading across the country with a noticeable shift in its movement.

“What we are seeing differently as opposed to two months ago where County Caroni (in Central Trinidad), Victoria (north) and St. Patrick (which covers the southwestern peninsula) would have been the counties with the largest number of cases,” he said at a Ministry of Health news conference on Wednesday.

“We are seeing roughly a spread, a similar spread among a large number of counties, including St. George West, St. George Central and St. George East (areas around the capital) hovering around the 13 to 14 per cent,” he said.

Dr. Parasram said St. George Central accounts for the greatest number and while “it is a very small geographical area, it is very highly populated, so 19.5 percent is quite a very large number in that particular jurisdiction”.

The CMO also noted there has been a shift in the effects of the vaccine in people with co-morbidities.

“A shift in the co-morbidities has been noted, so if you looked at previous graphs a couple months ago, you would have seen diabetes and hypertension possibly accounting for the greatest portion of it,” he said.

“We see a dip in the number of persons with diabetes actually becoming positive and we have to look towards the immunisation strategy that we have in the country.”

Dr. Parasram said a lot of the patients with diabetes have been getting their vaccines “and we have to keep a close eye on the statistics to see if it continues to drop”.

“It is a good sign because once you have diabetes together with COVID you tend to have complications and so we are seeing that diabetes numbers going down and we are also keeping a close eye on asthmatic patients which seem to be going up and we have to get those persons to get their vaccines as we go forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in its latest bulletin said 16 deaths and 412 positive cases had been reported over the last 24 hours.

The ministry also said 10 men and six women, all with co-morbidities succumbed to the virus, taking the death toll to 523 since the first case was reported in March last year.

The health ministry said the number of new cases reflected the samples taken between the period May 26 to June 1.

There have been 24,726 positive cases of COVID-19 in the two-island republic with 9,579 currently active.