A grim milestone was recorded yesterday when in the 24 hour period between Monday and Tuesday 23 people lost their lives to COVID 19.

It means just under one person died every hour of a day in this country.

If that’s not enough cause for concern, 148 people died from COVID in the first 18 days of this month. That is far more than the murder toll for the year so far which stands at 122.

These startling statistics make May 2021 now deadlier than all of 2020. The 148 deaths recorded thus far, eclipse the total death toll for 2020, which stands at 127.

The daily reported death record is not one the country didn’t expect would break again, following 21 reported deaths on May 13.

For the fifth time for May 2021, Trinidad and Tobago has reported the deadliest day for the pandemic, with a whopping 23 deaths reported on Tuesday.

With the newly reported fatalities, the country’s death toll crossed the 300-mark in 10 days, now standing at 317. For comparison, it took 224 days from the first COVID-19 case to cross 100 deaths and 198 days to cross 200 deaths.

According to the Ministry, 15 people who died had comorbidities, including five elderly females, two middle-aged females, seven elderly males, and one middle-aged male. The remaining eight people did not have significant underlying medical conditions, including two elderly females, three middle-aged females, one elderly male, and two middle-aged males.

Trinidad and Tobago’s case-fatality rate for May 2021 is now at 2.34 per cent, meaning that at least two people may die for every 100 cases of COVID-19 T&T records. Comparatively, for the entire pandemic, the country’s case-fatality ratio is 1.85 per cent, while globally, it stands at 2.07 per cent.

Record high cases… Again

On Tuesday, the country reported 601 new COVID-19 cases, marking the second-highest jump in daily reported cases for the pandemic to date. These cases originated from samples taken during the 72 hours from May 13 through May 16.

The country’s total COVID-19 cases now stand at 17,150, with a record high of 6,318 cases considered active. Active cases include COVID-19 positive people isolated at home, in step-down facilities, or hospitals across the country.

Where are the cases?

Community spread means COVID-19 cases have spared no city, town, borough, or region across Trinidad and Tobago. Based on the latest epidemiological data from the Ministry of Health, COVID-19 cases continue to be prevalent across the country’s population centres. However, between April 25 and May 8, Sangre Grande is the only area in the country where there are more than 50 cases within the boundaries of a community.

Across Nariva/Mayaro, St. Andrew/St. Davis, St. George East, St. George Central, St. George West, Caroni, and Victoria counties are 75 to 100 cases of COVID-19 per 10,000 people. The only counties lower are St. Patrick, at 50 to 75 cases per 10,000 people, and Tobago, where there are 25 to 50 cases per 10,000 people.

Tobago’s active cases have increased to a record high on Tuesday to 94 active cases with a daily record high of 25 cases reported in the last 24 hours.

Tobago’s hospital occupancy is at 33 per cent with one patient in the Intensive Care Unit.

2nd Highest number of hospitalized patients

Hospitalization occupancy levels remain high across the country. However, even with the increased deaths, recoveries, and additional bed space, there has been minimal ease on the parallel healthcare system’s strain.

With a total of 387 in hospital, this marks the second-highest number of patients since the pandemic began, only less than yesterday’s 388.

The country’s overall COVID-19 hospital occupancy stands at 54 per cent across all levels of care in both islands, with a slightly higher 57 per cent when only accounting for Trinidad’s beds.

T&T’s parallel healthcare system now has a total of 720 hospital beds available. This count does not include the two military field hospitals, adding 40 beds each, located now at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility and the Jean Pierre Complex in Port-of-Spain.