Don't blame bars for the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, says the Barkeepers and Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT).
According to data presented by the association on Sunday evening, a surge in Covid-19 positive cases began 14 days after nomination day on July 17.
On nomination day prospective general election candidates, accompanied by supporters, went to Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC) offices in each constituency to file their nomination papers to be validated by the respective Returning Officer, to have their candidacy is confirmed.
BOATT was responding to statements by epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds that hundreds of people began flocking to bars for a last lap before bars were forced to close, in keeping with the Covid-19 restrictions. Hinds stated that it was this behaviour that led to the recent spike in Covid-19 positive cases.
Presenting data compiled by medical experts, BOATT stated, "Our medical experts outlined certain events on the graph which shows the daily COVID positive cases by date collected in Trinidad and Tobago, one of which is a so called “last lap” event. They went on to outline 2 weeks after the event and subsequently suggested that the “last lap” event was responsible for a peak in COVID 19 positive cases. This data was compiled by our medical professionals of the public service whom responsibility is to provide the public with true and accurate data and Not to only outline certain events."
BOATT stated that after being allowed to reopen on June 22, Trinidad and Tobago remained free of local Covid-19 positive cases for 27 days.
"The BOATT would also like to point out that the start of the steady incline of local COVID positive cases came exactly 14 days after nomination day which was held on the 17th of July 2020. This incline in cases began as cluster spread and then subsequently escalated to community spread."