Delta

The first person to test positive for the Covid-19 Delta variant in Tobago was fully vaccinated and was shocked to learn of their Delta status, as they felt “perfectly fine”, County Medical Officer of Health for Tobago Dr Tiffany Hoyte said yesterday.

Speaking at a Covid-19 news conference hosted by the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development, Hoyte said the person developed symptoms of the Covid-19 virus on September 18, and was tested on September 20.

She said in keeping with current health protocols, the person signed a quarantine order and was under quarantine. She said a positive Covid-19 test was confirmed on September 23.

Hoyte said on Tuesday night, there was confirmation that the person also tested positive for the Delta variant of the virus.

“We’ve done our contact tracing and the person hasn’t been able to indicate any known contacts who would have had any symptoms or would have been positive for Covid-19, nor did they have any history of travel abroad or to Trinidad, or was any recent contact of anyone who had a history of travel. But we still continue to test all possible persons who may have been a source for this person, so we’re still continuing the investigation at this time,” she stated.

“Interestingly to note, in speaking to the individual, when I informed them that they tested positive for the Delta variant, the person indicated that they found it strange, as they were feeling perfectly fine and had absolutely no symptoms,” she added.

Pointing out that the person was fully vaccinated, Hoyte said: “This is a perfect example to remind persons that we have the Delta variant present among us, and part of the reason that we encourage persons to get vaccinated is so persons who are fully vaccinated—it helps to greatly reduce their risk of developing severe disease.”

Hospital space

According to the Division’s senior corporate communications officer Rion George, as of Wednesday 21,287 people had received the first dose of a two-dose vaccine, while 18,499 had received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or their second shot of a two-dose vaccine.

Asked if Tobago’s parallel healthcare system is able to cope with an outbreak of the Delta variant, medical chief of staff at the Scarborough General Hospital Dr Victor Wheeler stressed that if people fail to get vaccinated and there is an outbreak of the variant, there will never be enough space in the system to treat all cases.

“At the moment, the parallel healthcare system is managing the patients that we have, but you would notice that a couple weeks ago our occupancy was a bit higher than it is now. So even though the numbers may be a little low at the moment, with the presence of Delta coming in we would expect that those numbers may increase, so the most important way to avoid that increase is for persons to make sure they get vaccinated and follow the public health guidelines,” he urged.

Tobago recorded one additional Covid-19 death yesterday, bringing the island’s virus death toll to 89. According to the Division’s clini­cal update, the deceased patient was a 59-year-old woman with co-morbidities.

The Division also reported 16 additional Covid-19 cases, increasing total positive cases to 2, 927. Tobago currently has 336 active cases of the virus. Five people are in the intensive care unit at hospital.

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