Tobago recorded its first case of the Covid Delta variant yesterday while it continued its community spread among all counties in Trinidad.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram announced yesterday that a person in Tobago has been identified as the island’s first case, while five additional cases have been recorded in Trinidad.
In delivering the clinical update for the previous 24 hours at yesterday’s Ministry of Health’s virtual Covid-19 news conference, Parasram said the total number of Delta cases in T&T stood at 32 people.
The Government and its Covid-19 medical team have continued to urge people to get vaccinated against the virus as this has been shown largely effective against hospitalisation, severe illness and death if the virus is contracted.
Exposing the geographic distribution of the Delta variant so far as the mutation is now in community spread locally, Parasram said:
“In Trinidad, there were two in St George West, one in St George Central, one in St Andrews/St David, one in County Victoria and one in Tobago.”
He said data was being collected by the County Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds, which would be presented later on.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh later confirmed that the T&T Government has identified a country to which a tranche of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines is to be donated.
However, Deyalsingh declined to say which territory the gift would be going to, adding that this would be more appropriately addressed by the arm of the State charged with the responsibility, the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs.
Deyalsingh said the diplomatic arrangement would have been one of “government to government”.
Late yesterday, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne said T&T has made excellent progress towards sharing its excess AstraZeneca vaccines prior to expiry.
“You would recall that we benefited from the generosity of our neighbours and other nations during a phase of the pandemic when there were extreme challenges in acquiring WHO-approved vaccines. The Prime Minister’s commitment at that time was that we in turn would do everything possible to share with others, contingent on stocks at hand,” he said.
He said his ministry has been working very closely with the Ministry of Health in approaching Caribbean and Latin America countries with offers to share AstraZeneca vaccines.
“A series of diplomatic notes were exchanged, and there has been extensive bilateral dialogue, all with the objective of avoiding any wastage,” he said.
Thus far, T&T has shared 2,500 doses of AstraZeneca with The Bahamas, 3,000 doses with St Kitts & Nevis, and 4,500 doses with Dominica, Browne said.
“Additionally, we are in the final stages of arranging other consignments for elsewhere in the region, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO). In each and every case thus far, our discussions have resulted in the recipient countries covering the cost of transportation of the vaccines,” he said.