Covid19 cases starting to rise

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards. –

Acting principal medical officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said the Health Ministry has observed an uptick in the number of covid19 hospitalisations over the past week, after a decline which began on February 18.

At the Health Ministry’s weekly covid19 media conference on Wednesday, Abdool-Richards said the increase in cases was observed beginning last Thursday.

“There are 156 patients in the parallel health care system, representing a national occupancy of 25 per cent.

“There had been a general decline in the number of patients from February 18, with the lowest number observed being 87 patients.

“On July 28, the number of hospitalised cases exceeded 110. There has been an increase in hospital admissions over the last week.

“On July 13, we noticed the increase in the rolling average of confirmed cases, then on 23rd July we noticed the increase in accident and emergency (A&E) cases, and hospital occupancy began to increase on July 28.

“The A&E patient numbers are a precursor and a way of identifying how many patients go into the parallel healthcare system, and currently number 24 patients. There are 11 intensive care unit patients (ICU) across Trinidad and Tobago.”

Abdool-Richards said the ministry had been tracking the vaccination status of patients in the parallel health care system between July 22, 2021, and July 27, 2022, and currently 80 per cent of patients in the system were not vaccinated.

“The Health Ministry continues to advocate for you to become vaccinated and boosted to reduce the risk of needing treatment at a high-dependency unit or ICU.”

CMO Dr Roshan Parasram said there were two paediatric cases in hospital. He said most hospitalised patients were over 50, with the vaccinated patients generally not needing to be escalated to higher levels of care.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the ministry continues to monitor all data, not just the increase in hospitalisations.

“The current seven-day rolling average of cases is 174, the positivity rate is now 29 per cent, the rolling seven-day average of deaths is now one death. ICU levels are at 11 out of 63, a rate of 17.4 per cent, and we are doing 418 tests per day. Where the uptick will go depends on the population. Are they masking up in high-risk indoor situations? Are they getting their vaccinations?”

Deyalsingh said the Couva Hospital continues to be used as TT’s premier covid19 institution.