Ravi Ratiram

NOMINATION DAY GREETING: United National Congress Couva North candidate Ravi Ratiram exchanges greetings with People’s National Movement Couva North candidate Sharda Satram outside the Elections and Boundaries Commission’s offices on Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas, on nomination day last Friday. —Photo: AZLAN MOHAMMED

Data at this time does not link the present spike in cases of Covid-19 in this country to Nomination Day, held approximately two week ago.

Responding to a question posed during Monday morning’s virtual press conference to update on Covid-19, Technical Director, Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health Dr Avery Hinds said, "We don’t have any data that links the temporality of the cases we’ve seen to the Nomination Day event. We will continue to look backwards and forwards at information as it becomes available but nothing links the events at this point in time.”

Hinds added, “We don’t have any information that links the contact tracing to Nomination Day. What we would like to underscore though is that if there are ill persons with respiratory symptoms moving around that that put persons at risk no matter what day it is."

Nomination Day was held on July 17. On that day, candidates were accompanied by supporters who cheered, waved flags, played tassa drums and blew whistles.

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said, “Early in our local epidemic, there were unsuccessful attempts to link the first cases with Carnival and the government and the Ministry of Health spent a lot of time debunking that theory.”

He said of the recent spike, “The first two cases, the people were symptomatic before Nomination Day, if I could remember … My understanding was that first elderly female was ill before Nomination Day.”

Asked how projections may look after Election Day, carded for August 10, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said, “We cannot project one or two or three or five days into the future. At this point, we have to work with every day as a new day. Our contact tracing is the most critical part of it, our ability to get information on the primary secondary, tertiary contacts, have those persons quarantined because what we’re trying to do now is contain the virus … I don’t want to project into the future what is going to happen in five days or in one week, I don’t think anyone can make that sort of prediction at this time.”

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