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December is on pace to become Trinidad and Tobago’s deadliest and most infectious month of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A record 33 Covid-19 deaths were reported yesterday, as well as 956 new confirmed Covid cases, the second highest number of new infections reported in one day.

The second deadliest day of the pandemic was also recorded this month on December 15, with 32 deaths occurring that day.

Speaking during a news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s yesterday, epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds noted that December has almost caught up to November’s figures.

December has now recorded 402 total deaths and 13,432 confirmed positive cases, compared to November’s record of 462 deaths and 14,032 total cases.

“We are midway through December and we have almost caught up. So we are seeing the speed at which December is going relative to the month of November,” Hinds said.

In its daily Covid-19 update yesterday, the Ministry of Health said the 33 deceased patients were 11 elderly men, nine elderly women, five middle-aged men and eight middle-aged women.

The ministry said 19 of the patients had multiple co-morbidities, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, asthma, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and thyroid disease.

Ten people had either diabetes or hypertension, and four people had no known co-morbidity.

Of the 33 deaths, three occurred in Tobago.

This takes Tobago’s death toll to 161, and the overall death toll in T&T to 2,560.

The ministry also reported another 956 new confirmed positive cases yesterday, which it said were the results of samples taken from December 14 to 17.

This is the second highest number of confirmed cases reported in a single day after December 3, which saw 984 cases reported.

Tobago reported 145 new positive cases, pushing the island’s total active cases to 1,270.

There are now 15,339 active cases in T&T.

As of yesterday, 526 people were hospitalised across the parallel healthcare system.

Of the 113 patients at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility, 21 are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 23 are in the High Dependency Unit (HDU).

Eleven patients are in the ICU in Tobago.

A total of 13,665 people are in home self-isolation, 43 are at State quarantine facilities, and another 192 are at step-down facilities.

Recovered patients increased to 66,894 with 81 people being discharged from hospital yesterday, and 388 additional recovered community cases.

T&T has recorded a total of 84,793 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Vaccination

To date, 655,886 people have received the first dose of a two-dose vaccine regime, and 46,958 have received a shot of a single-dose vaccine.

The ministry said 54,055 people have received an additional primary dose or booster shot.

A total of 659,702 people are now fully vaccinated.

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The Commission released the letter in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) application from former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, acting on behalf of his client Ravi Balgobin Maharaj.

The Stanley John Report has detailed interviews with several police officers who spoke of rampant corruption in the Firearms Permit Section (FPS) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

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Police have busted a human-trafficking ring with the rescue of 27 young Venezuelan women, acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob has confirmed.

Speaking to the Express by phone on Saturday, the country’s top cop said human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar business and “high-class bandits” are involved.

“I make no apology for providing citizens with the opportunity to protect and defend themselves.”

So said former police commissioner Gary Griffith yesterday in response to an exclusive Sunday Express report on the contents of the Stanley John report into allegations of corruption in the issuing of firearm user’s licences (FULs).

Retired justice John was appointed to investigate the allegations by the former Bliss Seepersad-led Police Service Commission (PolSC).

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The 27-year-old mother of one has spent the last seven months in and out of hospital rooms, fighting for the chance to see her one-year-old son grow up. But with less than a month before which doctors say all treatment will prove ineffective, her family is pleading for the opportunity to save her.

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