The Couva Hospital.

Rishard Khan

[email protected]

Trinidad and Tobago’s COVID-19 tally rose above 400 yesterday with confirmation of 78 cases coming announced by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry announced 43 cases in its 10 am update and another 35 in its 6 pm update.

It said the 78 cases were the results from tests taken between August 5 and yesterday.

Of these recent cases, 45 were “pending epidemiological investigation”, 32 were contacts of recently positive patients and one person was from a test conducted at a private lab.

Yesterday’s figures brought the total number of positive cases in the country to 404 with 257 active cases.

The number of deaths remained at eight while 139 patients have been discharged.

Yesterday’s figure was the largest number of cases announced in one day.

Protocol dictates that all positive cases be put immediately into hospitals designated for COVID-19 care within the parallel healthcare system. These are currently the Couva and Caura hospitals which have a capacity of 175 and 100 beds respectively.

The numbers come on the heels of the announcement that the Ministry of Health is attempting to decant as many patients as possible into step-down facilities in anticipation of a spike in COVID-19 cases anticipated to occur in the coming days and weeks. Virologist Dr Christopher Oura believes this spike will occur by this weekend, some five to seven days after the General Election which saw a number of large gatherings and several people disregarding the public health guidelines.

Barring these new cases, occupancy at the Couva hospital is expected to be at 21 per cent with 37 patients and between nine and 14 per cent at Caura with between nine and 14 patients.