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The Ministry of Health has confirmed a third case of the COVID-19 Delta variant in T&T.

In a release yesterday, the ministry announced that the third case was detected in a “recently returned national” who travelled to Trinidad from Turks and Caicos, transiting through Florida.

The person had initially submitted a negative PCR test – which is required to be taken 72 hours before arrival.

The release said the person is unvaccinated and was being housed in state-supervised quarantine in keeping with the state’s protocols for unvaccinated nationals who are returning home. The person has since been moved to a state step-down facility and isolated after receiving the positive diagnosis.

In the person’s seven-day swab for COVID-19, the Delta variant was detected via gene sequencing at the Faculty of Medical Sciences lab at the University of the West Indies, the ministry noted.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 increases the risk of severe illness and hospitalisation and can lead to increase in cases of the virus in younger age groups and those who have already been infected.

The ministry is also reminding returning nationals that its entry protocols were updated on July 16 and those adults who are not fully vaccinated will be required to spend 14 days in a state-supervised quarantine facility.

Last week (August 11), the ministry announced it had detected two cases of the Delta variant in returning nationals—one returning from the United States and the other returning from Mexico, through Guyana.

The Delta variant, which is said to be two to four times more transmissible than the Wuhan strain of COVID-19, has so far been detected in 142 countries around the world.

Meanwhile, the ministry also announced that seven more people had succumbed to the virus, taking the overall toll to 1,180, and 190 new cases had been detected in its 24-hours reporting period.