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Days after the Chief Medical Officer cautioned that COVID-19 cases were on an upward trajectory, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 17 new cases.

According to the ministry’s daily update, the new infections came from samples collected between March 14 and 16. The new cases bring the total to be recorded in the country since the outbreak began up to 7,807.

Two people were also released from home self-isolation as recovered community cases. These developments brought the country’s number of active cases up to 121.

Deaths remain at 140.

On Monday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram renewed calls for citizens to maintain their vigilance despite low case numbers as he blamed complacency for the increased numbers.

Speaking during a Ministry of Health virtual press conference on Monday, Dr Parasram noted the increase came within the last week.

“First we had seven (cases), then we had a spike of 10 and now we have 14 over the last 24 hours,” he said.

“Prior to that, we had been hovering anywhere between a seven-day rolling average of 3 or four for upwards of over a month or more.” The cases, he indicated, all came from County Caroni where there were about three major clusters.

This, he said, brings the seven-day rolling average up to seven. This is why he reminded citizens to remain vigilant at all times.

“COVID-19 is here. It is in the country. It hasn’t gone away and there has been a little complacency over the last couple of weeks because of the low numbers in my view,” Dr Parasram said.