covid-19

Trinidad and Tobago has been ranked as one of the world's developing nations where the Covid-19 virus is surging.

A Bloomberg report dated May 3, 2021 quoted data from the John Hopkins University which showed T&T recorded 3,127 Covid cases in the past month (data measured up to May 2) compared to 701 cases in March.

Trinidad and Tobago joins the list of countries such as India, Nepal, Thailand Suriname among others where there are record case numbers.

"It’s not just India. Fierce new Covid-19 waves are enveloping other developing countries across the world, placing severe strain on their health-care systems and prompting appeals for help," stated the report.

It noted that the increase is mainly because of more contagious virus variants, though complacency and lack of resources to contain the spread have also been cited as reasons.

Ranked by the change in newly recorded infections in the past month over the previous month, Laos came first with a 22,000 per cent increase, followed by Nepal and Thailand, both of which saw fresh caseload skyrocketing more than 1,000 per cent on a month-over-month basis.

"Also on top of the list are Bhutan, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Cambodia and Fiji, as they witnessed the epidemic erupt at a high triple-digit pace," stated the report.

Bloomberg stated that in Laos last week, the health minister sought medical equipment, supplies and treatment, as cases jumped more than 200-fold in a month.

Nepal, it added, is seeing hospitals quickly filling up and running out of oxygen supplies.

Health facilities are under pressure in Thailand, where 98 per cent of new cases are from a more infectious strain of the pathogen, while some island nations in the Pacific Ocean are facing their first Covid waves.

"Although nowhere close to India’s population or flare-up in scope, the reported spikes in these handful of nations have been far steeper, signaling the potential dangers of an uncontrolled spread. The resurgence -- and first-time outbreaks in some places that largely avoided the scourge last year -- heightens the urgency of delivering vaccine supplies to poorer, less influential countries and averting a protracted pandemic," it stated.

“It’s very important to realize that the situation in India can happen anywhere,” said Hans Kluge, the regional director at the World Health Organization for Europe, during a briefing last week. “This is still a huge challenge.”

“All countries are at risk,” said David Heymann, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “The disease appears to be becoming endemic and will therefore likely remain a risk to all countries for the foreseeable future.”

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