Health Minister, Terrence Deyalsingh.

A massive jump in reported COVID-19 infections yesterday is a “post-Easter spike” and likely caused by the increased activity and mingling over the Easter weekend.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh confirmed that the 134 new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday were a direct result of the Easter weekend.

He described the new figures as a “massive increase.”

“Up until yesterday, the rolling seven-day average was 61 cases. This 134 has pushed the rolling day average to 77. That is a massive increase,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Deyalsingh once again warned people aged between 20 to 49 to be extra careful of their activities.

“We have constantly said it’s driving this current upsurge, they need to re-evaluate how they are conducting themselves,” he said.

He said that that age group needed to stick to the social distancing measures and ensure that they are masked.

“Because what this demographic is doing, as we have always said, they may not necessarily get very ill but they would take the virus home and infect the elderly,” he said.

Overnight there were another three deaths from COVID complications.

“I am urging that age group to think about the elderly,” Deyalsingh said.

He also urged that same demographic to think about the children who are unable to resume normal school activities because of the high numbers of infections.

“Think about the SEA children we could not bring out to school. You have a responsibility to the elders and one to the children, this is driving the surges around the world now,” he said.

Deylsingh said that even with the ongoing vaccination programmes, people should not get complacent or comfortable.

“The only armour we have now is the public health measures, vaccinations would help but what we have noticed around T&T and other places around the world, once you launch a vaccination programme, people drop their guard,” he said.

“A vaccination programme is not the silver bullet at this point in time,” Deyalsingh said.

“It is the elderly that would face the ultimate result,” he said.

On Saturday, Energy Minister Franklin Khan passed away and there was much speculation that his death was related to the fact that he received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination four days prior. The questions were amplified in Khan’s case because another man, Ijar Haniff was injected, developed blood clots, became paralysed and passed away within just eight of receiving his jab.

Deyalsingh said he was aware of the public speculation but denied there was any link between the vaccine and Khan’s sudden passing.

“We note the two cases in the public domain, we have analysed everything in these two cases up to this morning (Sunday), and the Chief Medical Officer has absolutely no information that links these two very unfortunate deaths to vaccines,” Deyalsingh said.

“As such the vaccination programme goes on. Right now there is nothing to link these two unfortunate deaths to the vaccine,” he said.