coronavirus

The Covid-19 death toll continued to increase alarmingly, with seven more deaths being recorded by the Ministry of Health yesterday.

The death toll jumped from 196 on Friday to 203 by yesterday evening.

It is the second time this number of deaths has been recorded in one day since the start of the pandemic.

The country first recorded seven deaths on September 11, 2020.

The ministry said the latest deaths were two elderly men, one middle-age man, three elderly ­wo­men and one middle-age woman, all with co-morbidities.

This brings to 34 the number of Covid deaths recorded in just the first eight days of May, surpassing April’s death toll of 27.

Seventy-six deaths have occurred this year.

A record 402 new cases were also reported by the Ministry of Health yesterday.

It is also the largest number of cases reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

For the month thus far, there have been 2,298 new cases recorded, 500 fewer than the total number of cases recorded in the month of April.

There have been 5,980 cases ­re­corded since the beginning of the year. Active cases now stand at 3,783.

331 in hospital

Hospital occupancy saw a minor increase, with 331 people hospitalised yesterday compared to 330 on Friday.

Of this figure, 14 people are in the Intensive Care Unit compared to 11 on Friday.

Thirty-seven are in the High Dependency Unit compared to 41 on Friday.

The ministry said 22 people were discharged from health facili­ties, and another 60 people have been deemed to be recovered community cases.

This takes the number of recovered patients to 9,126.

In Tobago, two patients were discharged and three new cases were recorded yesterday, taking the total active cases on the island to 63.

The island has had a total of 265 confirmed cases of the virus and two deaths to date.

At this time, 3,014 Covid-posi­tive people remain in home isolation, while 391 are in various State quarantine facilities.

At the Caura Hospital, there are 90 Covid-19 patients, 40 are at the Augustus Long Hospital, 38 at the Arima General Hospital, 23 at the Scarborough Regional Hospital at Fort King George in Tobago, and two people at the Scarborough General Hospital at Signal Hill, Tobago.

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

Forty-six people are in step-down facilities.

Seven are at the Claxton Bay Correctional Facility, 22 at The University of the West Indies, Debe campus, and 17 are in Tobago.

To date, the country has confirmed 13,122 cases from a total of 140,718 samples tested.

The ministry said 59,786 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19, with 946 of those receiving both their first and second 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”.