CMO Dr Roshan Parasram

Sunday’s confirmation of five Delta infections among the population has solidified the belief that the variant of concern is now circulating widely among the local population as community spread.

The sentiment was expressed by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram at Monday’s virtual press briefing. This likelihood was always acknowledged by Dr Parasram and other health officials even prior to last week’s detection of the first two cases among the population.

But unlike those two cases, the Ministry of Health knows the source of infection for some of these recent cases. Four of the five cases were in contact with previously confirmed COVID-19 patients. “Those cases themselves would not have been deemed Delta as yet and of course testing is ongoing,” Dr Parasram said.

He noted that once the sequencing of those initial cases is completed, it is likely to test positive for the Delta variant. Of the Delta cases confirmed on Sunday, one was an unvaccinated national minor who recently travelled to Trinidad from New York.

The other five cases were detected in the community with no recent history of travel. One of these cases was another unvaccinated minor. The detections bring the total number of Delta variant cases to be confirmed n the country up to 17, eight of which were detected among the population.

While the variant is now strongly believed to be circulating among the population, Dr Parasram said it was still in its early stages. This is why he urged people to get vaccinated.

Reporter: Rishard Khan