Country records second day of over 300 new COVID cases

The country recorded over 300 COVID-19 cases for the second consecutive day yesterday when the Ministry of Health confirmed 335 cases from samples collected between October 31 and November 3.

It came just one day after the ministry confirmed the highest jump in cases since June 9 when it recorded 393 cases on Wednesday.

The new infections make it 1,320 cases to be confirmed since Sunday.

In Tobago, the island recorded it highest jump in new infections with 55 cases reported in 24 hours, the most since the pandemic began.

The cases aren’t out of the blue as the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Division’s Technical Director, Dr Avery Hinds, explained last week that COVID-19 cases were on the increase since early October. Last month’s total COVID-19 cases of 6,620 surpassed the monthly totals for July, August and September- the plateau months of this current wave of infections.

Dr Hinds then cautioned that this steady increase could catalyse another spike if the population did not follow the public health protocols and get vaccinated. While Dr Hinds was more reserved in his prediction by stating it as a possibility, the Medical Association’s public relations officer Dr Keegan Bhaggan viewed the spike as imminent and inevitable given the now widely circulating Delta variant among the population. He said a sharp increase in infections after a period of plateauing was witnessed in every country whose population the variant took root.

The Ministry of Health also reported 10 additional COVID-19 fatalities yesterday; four elderly males, three elderly females and three middle-aged males. These fatalities make some 43 people who lost their lives to COVID-19 within the first four days of November and since Sunday make it 57 deaths in just five days. The pandemic’s death toll locally now stands at 1,739.

According to the ministry’s release, eight of the patients who died yesterday had multiple comorbidities including diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer and heart disease. It said two of the fatalities had only one comorbidity, hypertension and cancer respectively.

The number of cases remaining active increased to 5,243- just 315 cases shy of what it was when Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley first called the State of Emergency on May 15, days ahead of this country’s most severe and deadliest spike in cases.

There were also 327 patients hospitalised across both islands with 25 and 12 patients warded in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU) respectively at the Couva Medical and Multi-Training Facility.

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