Professor of molecular genetics and virology at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Christine Carrington says while there are yet no confirmed cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, it is only a matter of time before the highly transmissible variant is detected here.
Carrington was speaking during yesterday’s virtual news conference hosted by the Ministry of Health.
“To date, we have not detected a Delta variant in Trinidad and Tobago. But given its prevalence around the world in different countries and also its presence in the region, it is really only a matter of time before it gets to Trinidad and Tobago,” she said.
Carrington’s comments echo those of Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
Rowley, on Thursday, said it was inevitable the highly infectious Delta variant will reach T&T’s shores.
On Friday, Parasram also noted the variant has been detected in at least 124 countries, including Barbados and the Cayman Islands.
“The Delta variant is all around us, literally and otherwise. Trinidad has not confirmed the presence as yet, but I think it being all around us, it’s only a matter of time before it gets to Trinidad as well,” the CMO said.
‘Take this very
Yesterday, Carrington said there was a possibility the variant is already here and has not been detected yet.
“We don’t get every single case of Covid-19 to be screened for the Delta variant. Also, not all samples are suitable for sequencing.
“Unless we screen every single person in Trinidad and Tobago, you are not going to detect the first case of the Delta variant in Trinidad,” she explained.
She added there are asymptomatic people who are not even aware they have the virus.
“So just because we haven’t detected it yet doesn’t mean it’s not here. So we should be taking this very seriously, even now.”
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh also warned that the variant could already be in T&T.
He stressed the need for people to get vaccinated, which provides some level of defence against the virus.
Carrington noted the Sinopharm vaccine has been found to be effective against the Delta variant.
She added the vaccine has been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death in people who contract Covid-19.
Meanwhile, North-Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) chief executive Davlin Thomas also encouraged the public to get vaccinated.
He noted people can access vaccines at the drive-through mass vaccination site at the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway.
He said no appointments are required at this venue.
“I am happy to announce this morning that no appointments are necessary anymore for access to the Wallerfield site. You can go down to Wallerfield and have your vaccinations in your car,” he said.