One more family is in mourning as the Ministry of Health has confirmed that an additional person died from the virus. The additonal death means the year ended with 127 COVID-19 related deaths.

The recent fatality was an elderly male with pre-existing medical conditions.

The ministry’s update also said 18 new infections were confirmed from samples submitted between December 28 to 30; two of which are in Tobago. This made 7,150 infections recorded for the year since the first infection was discovered on March 12.

The total number of people to have recovered also rose to 6,650 after the ministry released 22 people from its care; one person was discharged from a public health facility and 21 others were released from home self-isolation as recovered community cases. This resulted in the number of active cases decreasing to 373.

But as the year closed came a major announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Yesterday, the WHO listed the Comirnaty COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for emergency use, making the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine the first to receive emergency validation from WHO since the outbreak began a year ago.

“The WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) opens the door for countries to expedite their own regulatory approval processes to import and administer the vaccine. It also enables UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organization to procure the vaccine for distribution to countries in need,” a WHO release said.