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Technical Director of the Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health Dr Avery Hinds during yesterday’s press conference.

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The Ministry of Health has recorded nine new cases of COVID-19 from samples collected between March 26 and 28. The new cases brought the total infections recorded locally up to 7,986.

There were 217 people in home self-isolation, 15 people at hospitals and four people in step-down facilities. There were 309 people in state quarantine facilities. Deaths remained at 142.

The number of active cases now stands at 245.

The ministry’s Epidemiology Division technical director Dr Avery Hinds called during yesterday’s virtual press conference, for increased individual responsibility to curb the current increase in COVID-19 cases.

“That rolling seven-day average has gone from a low of three to its current position of 17. That’s approximately 17 new cases being accumulated on a daily basis. This upward trend is a cause for concern,” Hinds said while presenting the latest epidemiological data.

He also noted that there was a higher prevalence of the virus within the population as indicated by the ratio of positive samples returning against the number of samples taken.

Hinds noted that the increase began around two weeks after restrictions for outdoor sporting activities were relaxed.

However, he noted contact tracing has not been able to produce a direct link to one of these activities.

“While we note the sporting activities themselves, the sporting exercises may not be the immediate driving factor—certainly the gatherings before, during and after may be driving some of this exchange along with the increased tendency to be gathering that we seem to be seeing in the general population,” he said.