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Epidemiologis Dr Avery Hinds

Although the infection rate is still high, medical experts says the exponential trajectory of COVID-19 cases has slowed since the April 29 restrictions were implemented.

Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 virtual press conference Epidemiology Division Technical Director Dr Avery Hinds, however, urged the population to continue to hunker down and adhere to the public health restrictions.

In his epidemiology update, Hinds said cases continue to rise levels of occupancy at the ward levels holding on the higher end of the 70s and in the 80s at the Intensive Care Unit level.

In answer to a question by Guardian Media Ltd, Hinds said in a pandemic it is premature to ser goal posts and timelines at the start of restriction measures and a State of an Emegrency.

However, he said the exponential trajectory of the virus has changed in the last two weeks. “As we said on Saturday some of the larger not quite as stringent as the SOE, restrictions that had been implemented were begun on the 29th of April and as we have seen in previous cycles of these restrictions it takes approximately two weeks to begin to see whether there is an effect or not.

What we have seen or have been seeing is that in the two weeks since that while we are still seeing an increase or we are still seeing large numbers we not seeing that increase being as exponential as it had been. It did not remain on that very exponential track that it has been on in the last two weeks of April and we attribute that to some extent to some of the reductions in mixing beginning to have the desired effect.”

With enhanced restrictions imposed by the State of Emergency, he said if everyone hunkers down and takes as much precaution as possible in two weeks from the SOE they will begin to see the effects of that.

And the weeks that follow, he said will give a better idea of where the change in trajectory will take them.

“When we see the change in trajectory we will be able make additional predictions as to how soon we will get back to a particular point in the cycle on the epidemic. So it is premature to start to set those goal posts at this point in time.”

However, he again urged the population to continue to follow the protocols and those who are moving around more than they should to add their weight to the side of the seesaw that brings the cases down.

“As you just said, if everyone hunkers down then we are going to bring the weight to the side of the seesaw that brings the cases down and we are going to see a faster decline than we are currently seeing so we do want to encourage that sort of behaviour. Everyone hunkering down so we could speed up the decrease,” he said.

In the answer to another question regarding the group of people currently being vaccinated, he said people 60 and over with or without non-communicable diseases and under 60 with non-communicable diseases. However, he said people outside of those groups would have benefited from from extra doses.