RISHARD KHAN [email protected]
There has been a small rise in COVID-19 cases in the country and this has prompted the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Roshan Parasram, to renew calls for citizens to remain vigilant despite the low numbers, as he blames 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 new cases 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 CMO pointed out.
The cases, he indicated, all came from County Caroni, where there were about three major clusters.
“Those clusters would have possibly been involving two families, places of work. We really saw that from one individual being infected—that one person was able to spread it to quite a large number of people in a short space of time,” he said.
This, he said, brings the seven-day rolling average up to seven. This is why he reminded citizens to remain vigilant at all times.
“We are listed in Trinidad and Tobago as community spread. We have not changed that designation for quite a while now. When we look at the classification from WHO (the World Health Organisation) we are at a place where we can be classified as low community spread. This incident or incidents we are seeing in Caroni is reason for us to maintain our vigilance throughout the country.”
“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.
This cluster, he said, had the potential to cascade into a more significant outbreak, “in a very short space of time”.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh, dug his heels in to defend his policy that the country would only procure and administer vaccines approved by the WHO.