DEAD: Sisters Georgette, left, and Karen Rawlins both fell victim to  the Covid-19 virus

Eleven more people have died of Covid-19.

The May death toll of 66 people includes the tragedy of two sisters dying days apart, a police officer and a Point Fortin Borough Corporation driver, among others.

The Ministry of Health delivered the alarming figure via its daily update yesterday evening, along with news of 615 more cases.

The death toll has now jumped to 235.

It is the highest death toll in one day since the start of the pandemic, and continues a trend of multiple deaths being reported every day this month.

The ministry said the latest deaths were three elderly males, three elderly females, two middle-­age males and one middle-age female, all with co-morbidities; as well as one middle-age male and one young adult female without co-morbidities.

This brings to 66 the number of deaths recorded in the first 12 days of May and 108 deaths that have occurred for the year thus far.

The ministry also reported that 615 new cases of the virus had been confirmed, the highest number of new cases reported in one day.

However, the ministry said the new cases reflect the results of samples taken over a five-day period, from May 7 to May 11.

While a relatively low number of new cases had been reported on Monday (99), the ministry said this was most likely due to normal weekend closure of some testing sites and health facilities where swabbing takes place.

“Thus, it should be underscored that the reported positive cases reflect a high percentage of infection within the population. The cases tested reflected a positivity rate in excess of 40 per cent, which is a cause for significant concern,” the ministry stressed.

The active caseload now stands at 4,588.

For the month thus far, there have been 3,593 new cases recorded.

There have been 7,277 cases recorded for the year thus far, surpassing the total number of cases recorded in all of 2020.

A total of 7,150 cases were recorded from January to December last year.

The ministry said 18 people were discharged from health facilities yesterday, and another 76 people have been deemed to be recovered community cases.

This takes the number of recovered patients to 9,594.

In Tobago, four patients were discharged and five new cases were recorded yesterday, taking the total active cases on the island to 69.

The island has had a total of 287 confirmed cases of the virus and three deaths to date.

Hospital occupancy

At present, 3,548 Covid-positive people remain in home isolation while 439 are in various State qua­rantine facilities.

Patients are hospitalised as follows:

• Couva hospital—142 patients

• Caura Hospital—82

• Augustus Long Hospital—42

• Arima General Hospital—51

• Scarborough Regional Hospital at Fort King George in Tobago—25

• Scarborough General Hospital at Signal Hill, Tobago—1

No Covid-19 patients are at the St Ann’s Hospital at this time.

Eighty-two people are in step-down facilities. Seven are at the Claxton Bay Correctional Facility, 32 at The University of the West Indies, Debe, 20 at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Valsayn, and 23 are in Tobago.

Hospital occupancy saw another increase, with 343 people hospitalised yesterday compared to 335 on Tuesday.

Of this figure, 15 people are in the Intensive Care Unit and 55 are in the High Dependency Unit.

To date, this country has confirmed 14,417 cases from a total of 148, 770 samples tested. The ministry advised that 60,585 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19, with 1,179 of those receiving both their first and second shots.


Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley did not attend yesterday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, causing consternation from Opposition Members because it was the day set aside for Prime Minister’s Question Time.

THE legislative road has been paved for the decriminalisation of pepper spray in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2021 was passed yesterday in the House of Representatives with no objection.

Health Minister Terrence Deyal­singh is unable to determine the impact of the decision to destroy 60 million doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccines, at a Baltimore, Maryland, plant in the United States, on Trinidad and Tobago’s order of 800,000 J&J doses due to arrive in August.