Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine has called for the public to "pay attention to the science," as she called for vigilance amid the spike in covid19 cases.
On Monday her division announced one covid19 patient was discharged, taking the active cases in Tobago down from 47 – the largest number of positive cases on the island since the pandemic started.
The situation is much worse nationally with 241 new cases reported by the Ministry of Health on Sunday.
The active total is 2,506 cases. Multiple deaths continue daily and was 174 as of Sunday. Tobago was responsible for just two of those fatalities.
In a press release on Monday, the division said the rapid rise in positive cases on the island is of major concern.
Davidson-Celestine said now is not the time to panic, but to be level-headed and proactive.
She noted that the country got through similar covid19 restrictions last year to help curtail the spread of the virus.
The secretary acknowledged the economic impact of the measures which can be extremely frustrating.
Davidson-Celestine said, "It is also a trying and tense time for health services, the division and the Government as we battle to create a balance between survival of our people and survival of the economy."
She added, “It is in fact difficult to achieve both in this instance, therefore saving lives will always take first priority.”
She urged the public to look at what is happening in other places as she noted there will be dire consequences if the health system is overwhelmed. “So far we have managed to continue with normal health services even while many countries cannot even offer the basics. If we don’t have the public support and buy-in, the separation of pathways that we now enjoy will become a thing of the past."
Davidson-Celestine noted vaccination will help the country get out of the pandemic.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel, hope is just around the corner and members of the public must pay attention to the science, and recognise that this is the only way to chart course out of this pandemic."