Terrence Deyalsingh

(flashback)‘On track so far’: Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

HEALTH officials were again forced to appeal for compliance to the Covid-19 public health regulations, as daily infections continue to rise in Central Trinidad and now the East-West Corridor.

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh and Principal Medical Officer, Institutions, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, yesterday expressed concern about a steady increase in daily infections in the past weeks and appealed for the health regulations to be respected.

The minister again condemned activities that contravene the regulations, such as gatherings larger than ten people, and said such activities were believed to be contributing to a rise in cases.

Abdool-Richards again noted rising hospital occupancy rates but later assured that the health system was coping.

“We have seen the hospital occupancy levels increase from two per cent in the first week in January to this week where it has increased to 13 per cent. That increase started around three weeks ago when we noted an increase in the number of cases that have been consistent over the last three weeks or so,” she said.

The rolling average number of cases was around three people at the beginning of 2020 and held constant until about three weeks ago.

“As of this week, the rolling average has increased tenfold from three to 30,” Abdool-Richards said, adding: “That’s approximately 30 new cases being accumulated on a daily basis and this upward trend is concerning.”

Hospital occupancy rates have increased from two to around 13 per cent since January, Abdool-Richards said.

Stay on course

Mapping of the virus’ overall movement by the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology and GIS departments has shown a shift in the transmission of cases from the Central and South regions into the East-West Corridor.

“It means that we’re now seeing a transmission of the Covid-19 virus throughout the country, said Abdool-Richards.

“It’s no longer restricted to the Central and South regions but now going onto the East-West Corridor with a similar prevalence rate or a similar number of cases as the Central and South areas.”

Abdool-Richards said this emphasised the need for adherence.

“I would like to remind members of the population that although we have had a successful roll-out of the vaccine starting yesterday (Tuesday), the Covid-19 vaccine is just an additional layer of protection for persons and for our population.

“Additionally, I would like to remind persons who have been vaccinated to continue with their Covid-19 measures to reduce the Covid-19 virus.”

This includes the critical 3Ws - Watch your distance, Wash your hands and Wear your mask properly, Abdool-Richards said.