The Brazilian variant of the covid19 virus has been detected in a covid19-positive patient from the Nariva/Mayaro county. Its presence was confirmed on Monday.
In a release, the Health Ministry said the contact tracing required to restrict the spread of the variant had already begun.
The Brazilian strain has variations from the original version of the virus that may help it evade antibodies, which can fight coronavirus thanks to earlier infection or vaccination.
The ministry reminded the public that all quarantine protocols remain in place to ensure the continued protection of the population.
The ministry said the sample was sent, via the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), to the UWI Laboratory, where it was genetically sequenced and the variant of concern detected.
The public is asked to remain vigilant and follow all public health guidelines related to covid19.