Twelve deaths in the last 24-hour reporting period have pushed the nation’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,806.
It means Trinidad and Tobago has lost over 1,800 people to COVID-19 since March 2020. The pandemic has now taken the lives of one in every 775 people in the country.
Concerningly, yesterday, the nation also confirmed its largest jump in daily COVID-19 cases since June 4 this year, with 512 new positive samples confirmed.
This statistic means the country has now recorded over 60,000 total cases since March 12, 2020. Active cases have risen to 6,036, the highest since July 11, 2021.
In the last 10 days, month-to-date, T&T has confirmed 3,146 COVID-19 cases and 110 COVID-19 deaths, accounting for over 50 of total cases and deaths reported for October 2021.
In fact, the country moved from 1,696 deaths on October 31 to 1,806 yesterday – in a space of 11 days.
The rise in cases comes when health officials warn that the Delta variant of concern is spreading across communities.
To date, nearly one in every 24 people in Trinidad and Tobago has had a positive, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 test result.
Tracking COVID deaths
While the young and middle-aged groups of the population continue to dominate the infections across the country, the elderly and those with comorbidities are still disproportionately succumbing to the disease.
Based on the epidemiological update presented by Dr Avery Hinds, Technical Director of the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Division, adults aged 25 to 49 make up 50.5 per cent of COVID-19 infections as of November 8, 2021. However, 16.6 per cent of total COVID-19 deaths in the country are people below age 50.
Doctors and health officials have repeatedly warned the elderly (those above age 60) and people with hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease are at high risk. Nationally, T&T has a very high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, noting diabetes, hypertension, asthma, cancer, obesity and heart disease.
Since May 1, 2021, of the 1,637 COVID-19 deaths tracked by Guardian Media, nearly 85 per cent were people with at least one significantly underlying health condition or comorbidity.
Appeal to vaccinate
As the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant spreads across the country, anyone can be infected regardless of vaccination status. Advisories from health officials, data and the latest research show that vaccines can reduce transmission, length of illness and even result in infection without symptoms. COVID-19 vaccines aim to keep you out of the hospital and improve your chances of fighting the virus, preventing death.
Health officials have noted that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing hospitalisations and death. To benefit, however, someone must be fully vaccinated – meaning two weeks have passed following the last dose, depending on which vaccine regime is taken.
As the country enters its ninth month with freely available and accessible COVID-19 vaccines, over 55 per cent of the population remains unvaccinated, while over 58 per cent of the population is not fully vaccinated.
From July 22 to October 20, 93.1 per cent of patients admitted into the parallel healthcare system were not fully vaccinated, accounting for 4,809 of the 5,166 COVID-19 positive patients.
Hospitalisations, in tandem with cases, are surging.
For the first time since mid-July, hospital occupancy across the country has surged above 40 per cent.
According to the Ministry of Health yesterday, the overall occupancy in the parallel healthcare system is 47 per cent, disaggregated to 49 per cent across Trinidad and 33 per cent across Tobago.
52 of the 60 ICU beds in Trinidad are occupied, with two of the five available beds in Tobago filled.
In addition to vaccinations, there are tried, tested, and proven ways to avoid becoming a statistic — wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.