Four COVID-19 related deaths were recorded as of this evening bring the death count to 65 while the number of people that tested positive reached 3,901 since testing began earlier this year, at the start of the outbreak.

The death count total for the week was five.

According to last evening’s release sent out by the Ministry of Health, the latest victim was an elderly female patient with pre-existing health conditions. The elderly female was one of four deaths recorded today.

Up to press time the number of samples submitted to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the UWI and other local sites for testing for COVID-19 stood at 29,183.

Total number of active cases are 2,083.

However, the ministry reported that 835 people were discharged from public health facilities; 918 was the number given for recovered community cases.

The Ministry of Health also stated that 35 additional people have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday evening.

According to a cardiologist, who wished strict anonymity, T&T’s statistics is “worrying” and believes that T&T “are now in the top 100 in the world for death/1 million population in COVID cases.”

“We are the worse that Venezuela, Afghanistan, Jamaica (Borders open) and Barbados (Borders open) and one of the worse in the English-speaking Caribbean…Stay safe! This is not over,” the cardiologist said.

COVID-19 positive cases are also said to be vastly increasing among the current batch of police recruits bringing the count to 45. Also, 95 per cent of the staff at the T&T Police Service’s Police Training Academy have tested positive and are currently said to be in quarantine.

Frustrations among both groups are increasing and tensions are brewing among the recruits as to how long they will have to remain in quarantine at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and why some of them, who have tested positive, were allowed to mix and mingle with those who are negative.

Guardian Media understands that the first two recruits were at home when their results came in to be positive having got their results on August 29…later that night 6 pm until 9.30 pm 39 trainees left the Academy’s St James Barracks to be tested and quarantined at UWI.

On August 30, the recruits were informed and anyone with flu-like symptoms were asked to give their name after which the dorms were sanitised.

Strangely enough, according to a police recruit who wished strict anonymity said the trainees, including the sick ones, were returned to their respective dorms.

They were subsequently tested and the results came in on September 5 where 32 trainees, who had positive results were from those in UWI.

“The following day five trainees also fell ill and were taken to UWI. The negatives were left with them and are still with them to this day. No sanitisation occurred and there was a testing of all staff on the compound—trainees and drill staff on September 7. Results were rushed and on September 9 45 trainees were taken to UWI’s Canada Hall as they tested positive with the remainder staying at the academy until September 10 when they were also brought to UWI’s Canada Hall—a stones throw away from the positive trainees,” the recruit said.

“On September 12, six trainees got a call stating that they are positive and should pack and walk over to where the positive cases were being housed noting that for several days they were housed with the negatives, using the same facilities and no sanitisation was done,” the recruit added.

The recruit added with concern that after the negative cases continued to be housed in the same area/building that to date, no information from the academy is forthcoming as to how long trainees will be at UWI in quarantine.

“Meals are delivered late. No delivery of items from family, only once per week and limited to one case of water and a ten-pound transparent bag. We haven’t seen home since the election. No bank leave, no family visit, nothing…we just here,” the recruit said.

“A trainee asked a member of staff when we would be leaving and was told ‘when COVID done’ so apparently, the TTPS has the antidote for COVID. We went out to work for OJT and we went out to work for elections at the same stations that had positive persons so that’s how we contracted COVID-19. Our instructors were allowed to leave and report for work everyday, only trainees were told to be quarantined so how can we be quarantined when four people are sleeping in a 2×4 room and we use the same toilet, bathroom, classroom, mess hall etc? The recruit added.

The recruit noted that at UWI the setting is similar, “People were ill and they were saying people faking. Now look 24 weeks from February 3. It’s way past that and why are we here? With no answers from our superiors and no plan. Like if we have to stay here until everyone tests negative to go back to the barracks to get infected again. Why are they playing roulette with our lives, why?”

The concerns of the recruits were brought to the attention of the Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, however, up to press time last evening Griffith did not address the issue.