The public health measures in place for COVID-19 are working. Medical officials reported that following a peak in COVID-19 cases around mid-August and plateauing figures during September, trends have shown an apparent downtick in T&T’s curve.
Speaking during the Ministry of Health’s media briefing yesterday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram confirmed, “We are seeing that curve bending downwards.” He said as more data is collected over the next few days, they will be able to make further assessments.
Referring to the last two weeks as he pointed to data regarding positive cases, Parasram said, “It averages out to about just about 40 cases per day over that period of time.”
Claiming that the positivity rate now stood between six and nine per cent per day, he said the authorities were hoping to get both rates down even further.
The CMO said 53 per cent of the cases were males, compared to 47 per cent of women.
Regarding the age demographics of infected cases, he revealed that 16.47 per cent of the cases were recorded in people less than 25 years of age, and 56.43 per cent of cases were in people between 25 and 49 years of age.
He said this meant that 73 per cent of the population less than 49 years old was affected.
Between those aged 50 to 59 years, 14.36 per cent of cases were recorded, while 17 per cent of cases were recorded among people over 60.
Parasram said approximately 30 per cent of cases had been found among males and females who were between the ages of 30 and 39.
Thoracic Medical Director Dr Michelle Trotman thanked the population for adhering to the public guidelines to sanitise, social distance, and wear masks.
She said the measures had proven to be effective to stem the spread of the virus and she appealed to those not yet enforcing them, to get on board.
Trotman said with the on,set of the flu season which runs from October 2020 to May 2021, masks can also help in reducing the spread of the H1NI virus among the population.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh encouraged vulnerable and at-risk groups to take advantage of the 100,000 free flu vaccines which will be provided to the population beginning September 29.
The vaccine which protects against the H1N1 virus and not the common flu can be accessed at all ante-natal clinics, chronic care clinics, and at two specially selected clinics in each county.
The second batch of 100,000 vaccines will arrive in the country at the beginning of January 2021.
Parasram cautioned the population that the symptoms for both COVID-19 and Influenza were similar and shared the same form of transmission via respiratory droplets.
He said it was extremely difficult to determine which virus a person had contracted without a test being done and he advised people to quarantine once they began exhibiting symptoms.
He urged people to stay at home and refrain from going to work or school during this period, and to get tested.
A total of 234 nationals who have been repatriated to T&T currently remain housed at quarantine sites including the Chancellor Hotel (19); Cascadia Hotel (43); Home of Football (24); Paria Suites (78); and the Debe campus (32).