Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds has said although the Ministry of Health has indicated some things that have contributed to the recent surge in covid19 cases, no strict pattern of behaviour has led to the increase in numbers.
Hinds was speaking at the Ministry of Health’s virtual press conference on Monday.
He said contact tracing, as reported over the past few weeks, has found individuals were not wearing masks at work, or attending religious gatherings while ill, or moving around from bar to bar with family members who also turned up sick. There have also been instances where individuals have turned up with no known contact at all.
“Nothing has changed, really, as to what has been identified as high-risk behaviours. We have both cluster and sporadic cases showing up in the population.”
Hinds said the increase in numbers on a weekly and daily basis are still steady at present.
“The current rolling average has gone from a low of three to a possible 17 with cases being accumulated on a daily basis,” he said.
He also mentioned that the ministry noticed that the increase began two weeks after the relaxation of covid19 measures on February 21 to allow large gatherings for group sporting activities.
“While sport is not the immediate driving factor, certainly we saw more after relaxation of measures, along with the increase tendency to gather that we are seeing.”
He said the spillover of cases which originated in County Caroni can now be seen along the East-West Corridor and down to Penal. Numbers are currently concentrated in Counties Caroni, Victoria (which spans Pointe-a-Pierre to Moruga), and St Patrick (Siparia to Icacos).
“Although Caroni’s cases have begun to come down, we’re seeing the exact opposite in neighbouring counties,” he said.
Hinds said he understands people are growing tired of doing the right thing, but the extent to which people change their behaviours will change the rate at which the virus spreads.