There were nine new positive COVID-19 cases reported yesterday.

Of this figure, four cases were reported to be contacts of recently positive COVID-19 patients with the remaining five pending epidemiological investigation.

This, according to the Ministry of Health 10 am and 6 pm COVID-19 daily updates.

The total number of positive cases now stands at 182 with 40 patients hospitalised at both Caura and Couva Hospitals.

Questioned about the first seven new cases reported in yesterday’s 10 am update, National Security Minister Stuart Young said< “last night we settled the new regulations with the Attorney General… from today which would drop the number of persons in public gatherings from 25 to 10.”

Young said he was aware that a prison officer has been tested positive, stating that the prisons have been adhering to all health protocols.

He said fortunately, the prison officer was not at work.

“He had just come into the administration to get something done. He was on vacation. We are tracking down the primary contacts. I want to keep the prisons free of COVID and we will do all that we have to.”

Young said a fire officer also contracted the virus last week.

He said the country has been having reimported cases ( those who come into the country) which have been increasing the figures.

The spike, he said could possibly be “persons who have come back in …completed their quarantine but has been asymptomatic whilst in quarantine and them come out.”

Young said there are “cases around the world where persons 47 days later then test positive.”

Yesterday, the Health Ministry gave instructions to close the Montrose Government Primary School due to contact of a COVID case.

The ministry, in a release, said there was a need to quarantine all children who attended the school for SEA classes.

A release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs) yesterday said together with the Children’s Authority they have been working with management of the St Jude’s School for Girls’ following two positive COVID-19 cases at the facility.

The release stated that the Health Ministry conducted the tests following reports that a child and a staff member were presented with flu-like symptoms.

The school has since implemented all health protocols to ensure the health and well being of the children and staff, while parents, guardians and caregivers have been notified of the situation.

Meanwhile, there was concern among Southern Division police officers as 14 of their colleagues are now under self-quarantine, following some contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

In the past week, both the Moruga and Barrackpore Police Stations were temporarily locked down and sanitised following notices from the Ministry of Health.

Guardian Media understands that the Ministry asked at least one person to submit to a nasopharyngeal swab yesterday.

According to reports, a constable worked at a political meeting and walkabout in the Moruga district on Friday night.

By Saturday morning, he got a call from the Ministry of Health informing him that a female family member tested positive for the virus, and public health officers may soon call him for testing.

During contact tracing, the ministry found that he had interacted with about eight other officers.

In another incident last week, the ministry contacted a constable at the Barrackpore Police Station, informing him that two of his friends from the Moruga area tested positive for the virus.

In tracing the contacts of the officer, who lives in Princes Town, the ministry advised four women constables and a constable to self-quarantine. Contacted yesterday, Southern Division Snr Supt Wayne Mohammed confirmed the incidents, saying that they ensured sanitising of both stations. Mohammed said the primary and secondary contacts of the confirmed COVID-19 cases went into self-quarantine as they await further instructions from the ministry.

While there was concern about spread among officers in the division, Mohammed said his charges are aware of their role in this pandemic and remain committed.