The 10-month-old daughter of a Freeport woman who works at a private medical facility is one of the nation’s newest cases of COVID-19.
According to reports, the baby’ mother, father, seven-year-old sister and three other family members have all tested positive for the virus
There have been several other toddlers who have tested positive for the virus since the virus hit T&T’s shores.
In its updates yesterday, the Ministry of Health confirmed 92 more cases of the virus, bringing the overall total number of positive tests in the country since March 12 to 1,099. Some 919 of these patients are active cases. There was also an additional death, an elderly man with pre-existing medical conditions, yesterday, taking the total number of fatalities up to 15. There have been 960 cases and seven deaths recorded since phase two of the pandemic began on July 20 with case 139.
But speaking during yesterday’s Ministry of Health update, Epidemiology Technical Director Dr Avery Hinds said despite anticipating a spike in cases following General Election activity, they had not been able to link any of the over 700 cases and seven deaths which followed the August 10 event through contact tracing exercises.
Hinds said that no patient has yet indicated their presence at a gathering associated with the election but noted this “does not mean they weren’t there.”
“But the information that is shared with us as healthcare professionals is the only information that we can document. It’s not going to be easy or perhaps even possible to determine how many of those persons that have been contacts, that have been positive were at a gathering of any kind without the information being provided to us,” Hinds said.
However, over the last week, two people who were seen on the campaign trail, former minister and MP Tim Gopeesingh and a political activist, tested positive.
On the evening of the General Election 15 days ago, there were a total of 281 cases of COVID-19 in the country. As of 6 pm yesterday, that number had grown to 1,099.
Since the date of the election, the country’s transmission classification has also been upgraded from “sporadic” to “community” and has led to a number of changes to procedures which were once lauded as “the tried and proven” during the first phase of infections in the country between March 12 and April 2020.
But Hinds said the rapid increase in cases now being witnessed was not an uncommon occurrence.
“The early part of any epidemic is the phase and the stage in which you do see rapid increases in the number of cases diagnosed. That’s the stage we’re at, that’s the pattern we’re seeing,” Hinds said.
But Hinds said the increase could be slowed as a result of the partial lockdown measures implemented on August 17. However, he underscored that in order for it to work citizens need to adhere to the regulations outlined.
“The measures that we implement would take some time to work. We are now one week out from the implementation of the restrictions and while we’re still seeing an increase – this is what is expected – but we need to hold fast to the measures,” he said.
“Numbers would continue to increase for a while but if we hold fast to the measures, that speed at which it increases would eventually level off and we’d see fewer numbers, but only if everyone is adherent.”