The Ministry of Health said last night that the UK Variant has been detected in five positive samples sent to the University of the West Indies for genetic sequencing.

It said all five samples sequenced revealed the presence of the B117 variant (the UK variant).

The ministry said these samples were taken from foreign nationals aboard a sea vessel on March 23, 2021. The statement said upon receipt of the positive results; all five samples were sent via the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Laboratory.

The minister noted that none of these people were allowed to disembark the vessel as per the national quarantine protocol.

Subsequently, the vessel left T&T waters on March 24, 2021.

The ministry is reminding the public that all quarantine protocols remain in place to ensure the continued protection of the people of T&T.