The Brazillian variant of COVID-19 has been found in three other patients. In a press release issued this afternoon, the Ministry of Health stated that of the 3 additional cases, 2 are nationals, and one is a non-national. The following is a press release from the Ministry of Health:

The public is urged to be extra vigilant at this time as the P1 variant ( Brazilian Variant) has been detected in 3 additional COVID-19 positive samples in Trinidad and Tobago. This was confirmed on the night of 22nd April, 2021 by the team at the University of the West Indies that conducts genetic sequencing on COVID-19 positive samples.

Of the 3 additional cases, 2 are nationals and 1 is a non-national. 1 sample came from a person under the age of 18 years.

It is important to note that the cases have not been geographically or epidemiologically linked to the previously identified P1 variant case, or to each other. The variants were detected in cases from the Caroni, Victoria and St. George West counties.

All contact tracing and isolation procedures are in progress and being managed by the relevant County Medical Officer of Health, with the aim of containing these Variants of Concern.

Current research suggests that the main mode of transmission of the P1 Variant is by respiratory droplet infection, the same as for all other strains. As such, adherence to the public health measures will help to reduce transmission of all strains of the virus. To this end, the public is again urged to maintain all public health measures outlined below:

· Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you go out in public

· Keep your distance from others (6 feet)

· Stay home if you are ill

· Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

· Cough into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow

· Avoid touching your face

· Clean then sanitize surfaces (e.g. table tops, door knobs and cell phones)

The Ministry also reminds the public that even persons who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are advised to continue to follow all of the public health guidelines in order to safeguard their health and that of their loved ones.