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There is to be no adjustment to the Government’s policies regarding COVID-19 despite recording its first case of the B117 lineage, UK variant of the virus on Thursday.

A news conference hosted by the Ministry of Health on Friday addressed the incoming case with Chief Medical Officer, Roshan Parasram stating that he was informed of the case around 12.30.pm. on Thursday afternoon.

The patient who was repatriated from the UK on January 6, he said, entered the country with a negative PCR test but later tested positive upon return. Genetic sequencing was performed on the sample after which it was determined that the sample contained the variant. Parasram was informed and the patient, who he added is currently asymptomatic, was then moved from quarantining at the Paria Suites hotel to the Couva Hospital for isolation.

“The person is a repatriated national, they would have come in on a flight that left the United Kingdom from January 6, from the United Kingdom to Barbados and then Barbados to Trinidad. The person would have had their 72-hour PCR test done prior to coming onto the aircraft, meaning they would have been flying in a negative status as it is related to COVID-19. Upon coming into Trinidad, they would have been allocated to go to the Paria Suites Hotel and thereafter they were taken as per protocol via the defence force directly to the hotel. The person was in a single occupancy room and traveled alone. No one else was in that particular room.”

“Upon doing the basic swab, part of the normal protocol, we picked up positive on that particular patient. The patient was then taken to a step-down facility with other positives and thereafter taken to the Couva facility in an isolation area because of the transit from the UK, bearing in mind there was concern from the variant from the UK going backwards from December 2020.

Thereafter as per the protocol for the genome sequence protocols, which is a program run between UWI, CARPHA and Trinidad and Tobago. The sample was sent to UWI for genomic sequencing and at 12.36.p.m. yesterday professor Carrington would have informed me that the case was indeed the UK variant, she did pick it up by sequencing,” he said.

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