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Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh responds to a question during the sitting of the Senate yesterday

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said there were 21 confirmed cases of Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome (Mis-C) among infants in Trinidad and none in Tobago — and all have recovered.

“I checked with doctors (yesterday morning) and there are no fatalities,” Deyalsingh added in confirming the situation yesterday.

He said initially there were 29 suspected cases – 28 in Trinidad and one in Tobago.

But the confirmed number is 21 in Trinidad and none in Tobago.

Deyalsingh was replying in the Senate to a query from Opposition Senator Wade Mark on what, if any, measures are being implemented to reduce the incidence of Mis-C among infants in Tobago.

Deyalsingh said, “TT is a one country state and this Government’s approach to the COVID pandemic and all health-related matters is and will always be a national response. As such measures to reduce the incidence of Mis-C among infants is one for Trinidad and Tobago. As of March 9, there are no confirmed cases of Mis-C among infants in Tobago.”

He said to mitigate any risk of occurrence, all public health facilities are strictly adhering to the public health regulations, protocols and guidance.

The Minister added all patients who are COVID positive in state quarantine health facilities are also being monitored to minimise the risk of exposure to infants. He said all daycare centres and schools were also closed last March as were the country’s borders.

Contacted for further comments yesterday, Senator Mark said he was informed that 28 children had been diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), with one in Tobago.

However, it is not known if the number includes cases dating back to December 5, 2020 – when T&T was first informed that the condition had been diagnosed in three children who had contracted the COVID-19 virus.

Efforts to seek clarification on exactly how many children have so far been diagnosed; if they have had to be hospitalized; and what their progress reports indicate proved futile as calls to Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram went unanswered.

Referring to Deyalsingh’s disclosure yesterday, Mark said the minister claimed that 21 of the 28 are, “in the best of health.”

Pressed to say if any of the 21 are currently hospitalized, Mark said, “He did not say.”

The former House Speaker said the figures are alarming for local authorities.

MIS-C in children is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “We know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19.”

One local health official believes the figures in this area may be increasing because parents are not as prudent in ensuring that children wear face masks as they should when going out and even at home, especially in a setting where someone in the house has contracted the virus.

MIS-C is said to be observed in children mainly in ages between six and 14.

Up to December 10, 2020 – T&T was reported to have recorded 20 such cases – mainly in children of African and mixed descents.