Community spread of covid delta variant in Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Acting county medical officer of health Dr Tiffany Hoyte – THA

Nine days after the Ministry of Health detected Tobago’s first covid19 delta variant case, the variant was found in three more patients on the island. Secretary of Health Tracy Davidson-Celestine had urged Tobagonians to brace for community spread as health officials couldn’t say where the first case originated from.

In a release from the division on Friday, acting County Medical Officer of Health Dr Tiffany Hoyte confirmed the island is now experiencing community spread of the variant. Hoyte said, “With the ongoing community spread of the delta variant, it is crucial that persons who are not yet vaccinated take advantage of receiving one of the various brands of covid19 vaccines available.

“The covid19 vaccines do not completely eliminate the possibility of getting infected, but they definitely reduce your chances of being infected with the virus. If someone who is fully vaccinated happens to get infected, they are less likely to suffer severe symptoms. The combination of increasing the number of persons in our country who are fully vaccinated together with practising the 3Ws (wash your hands, wear your mask and watch your distance) is the sure way to reduce the spread of covid19.”The division said the three delta cases show no travel history “but are known contacts of positive cases.”They were tested between September 27 and October 1 and were placed into quarantine. Contact tracing took place immediately. Davidson-Celestine said, “Delta is among us. The hospitalised covid19 cases are still overwhelmingly unvaccinated persons and the covid19 deaths are almost unvaccinated people. “Our economy continues to be partially shut and people are hurting socially, emotionally and financially. We can fix these problems if we step up for vaccination. Almost seven billion vaccines have been given globally, the data shows the vaccine is safe and helps to reduce covid19 death and suffering.”

The secretary said Tobago has crossed 60 percent of the target population of 36,000 with at least one dose of the shot, and will soon hit 50 per cent of the entire vaccine eligible population of 45,000.