CORONA__use_covid19

Trinidad and Tobago has experienced the deadliest day yet with regard to Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health reported nine new deaths yesterday, taking the death toll from the virus to 224. It is the highest death toll in one day since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

The ministry said the latest deaths were three elderly males, three elderly females and one middle-age male, all with co-morbidities; in addition to one middle-age male and one middle-age female without co-morbidities.

This brings to 55 the number of deaths recorded in just the first 11 days of May, more than doubling April’s death toll of 27. Ninety-seven deaths have occurred for the year thus far, compared to 127 in 2020.

The ministry also reported 348 new cases of the virus, which takes the active case-load to 4,078.

For the month thus far, 2,978 new cases have been recorded, surpassing the number of cases recorded in all of last month. April had seen 2,798 new cases.

A total of 6,662 cases have been recorded since the beginning of this year.

The ministry said 32 persons were discharged from health facilities yesterday and another 87 people have been deemed to be recovered community cases.

This takes the number of recovered patients to 9,500.

In Tobago, six patients were discharged and 17 new cases were recorded yesterday, taking the total active cases on the island to 68.

The island has had a total of 282 confirmed cases of the virus and three deaths to date.

At this time, 3,370 Covid-positive people remain in home isolation, while 425 are in various State quarantine facilities.

Hospital occupancy is as follows:

* Caura Hospital — 78 patients

* Augustus Long Hospital — 41

* Arima General Hospital — 50

* Scarborough Regional Hospital, Fort King George in Tobago — 27

* Scarborough General Hospital at Signal Hill, Tobago — 1

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

Fifty-nine 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 17 are in Tobago.

Hospital occupancy saw a slight increase with 335 people hospitalised yesterday compared to 330 on Monday.

Of this figure, 15 people are in the Intensive Care Unit and 48 are in the High Dependency Unit.

In total, 662 hospital beds are available in the parallel healthcare system, inclusive of step-down facilities.

At present, 375 beds are occupied, representing 56 per cent per cent of total bed space as follows:

Caura Hospital — 78 beds occupied out of 100

Couva Hospital — 138 out of 216

Arima Hospital — 50 of 72

Augustus Long Hospital — 41 of 48

St Ann’s Hospital — zeros beds occupied out of 10

Scarborough Regional and Scarborough General Hospitals — 28 beds occupied out of 106

UWI Debe — 20 beds of 50

UTT Valsayn — 20 beds of 20

Point Fortin — 0 beds occupied out of 40

Thirty ICU beds are available throughout the parallel healthcare system of which 15 are currently occupied. Of the 60 HDU beds available, 48 are occupied.

To date, this country has confirmed 13,802 cases from a total of 147,470 samples tested. The ministry advised that 60,487 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19, with 1,179 of those receiving both their first and 2nd shots.

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Three Opposition MPs are calling on the Government and the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) to have a heart and stop disconnecting the water supply of errant customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein yesterday wrote to WASA’s executive director Lennox Sealey urging him to suspend the drive and display humanity as people are suffering and strapped for cash in the pandemic given the lockdowns.

The same UNC people calling on the Government to instruct WASA to hold its hand on debt collection are the same ones who complain in the Parliament and elsewhere that they constituents are not getting water.

“You cannot have it both ways. You cannot have your cake and eat it,” Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said yesterday, as he responded to calls from several UNC MPs to grant a moratorium on the payment of water rates and stop its disconnection drive during the pandemic because people are under pressure.

Smooth sailing.

Braving inclement weather, Barataria resident Kenneth Campbell, 84, boasted he had gotten his second Sinopharm vaccine at Barataria Health Centre yesterday.

While awaiting his driver, Campbell, father of late forest ranger Keith Campbell (who was killed in the line of duty in 2016), said: “The first vaccine, I got was from a man. I did not feel it. The second vaccine was from a woman, and I felt it. It went well.”

Starting Wednesday and yesterday, he was among thousands of elderly citizens (age 65 and up) who got vaccines under the Health Ministry’s “Triple E System—the Elderly Express Experience.”

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith is reminding citizens that patrols will be out prior to and during the enforcement of this weekend’s extended curfew.

In a media release issued yesterday, Griffith noted the actions and comments of “social media trained law enforcement experts”, who appeared to be questioning the rationale in implementing roadblocks throughout the country.

Time is critical if you are searching for a missing loved one.

Kelvin Ballantyne had been missing for about three months from his Tobago home before his family members in Trinidad were informed that he had disappeared.

Kelvin, also known as “Redman”, is described by his sister, Cindy Noel, as “one of the most well-known people in Lambeau, and maybe even across the island because of his job as an electrician”.