EIGHT more people have died from covid19, said the Ministry of Health update on Sunday, in the country's highest daily death toll to date since the start of the pandemic.
Since last year March, the pandemic has killed 211 people in Trinidad and Tobago.
Previously, the worst death toll had happened last September 11 when seven people had died, closely followed by six people reported dead last Tuesday.
The update on Sunday said some 233 more people were infected with the virus, from Thursday to Saturday.
In all, at present in Trinidad and Tobago there are now almost 4,000 people known to be infected with covid19, or some 3,907 active cases to be exact.
Since last year, some 13,355 people have contracted covid19. This includes 9,237 patients who have recovered, 342 now in hospital and 54 in step-down facilities.
Some 408 people are in state quarantine, while 3,278 are in home self-isolation.
In all 145,268 people have been tested, of whom 64,320 were tested at private facilities. So far 60,174 people have been vaccinated, with 946 fully vaccinated with a second dose.
A description on the ministry website indicated that the eight deceased reported on Sunday were predominantly not elderly people who were initially most vulnerable to the virus at the start of the pandemic, but were mostly under the age of 65. They were mostly middle-aged, that is 45-65, and young. One young person who died did not even have a pre-existing vulnerability known as a co-morbidity, the statement said.
It described the eight deceased as "one middle-aged male, three middle-aged females and two elderly females, all with co-morbidities, and one young adult male and one elderly female without co-morbidities." This trend was in line with figures given recently by epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds indicating that 56 per cent of new covid19 infections are occurring in the 25-49 age
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Newsday saw police officers having to shoo away individuals from liming on Brian Lara Promenade, which the police and Port of Spain City City Corporation had the day before blocked off with steel barricades and marked as off-limits with red tape.
This measure came after repeated appeals to avoid covid19 seemingly fell on the deaf ears of a hard core of limers at the promenade who are seen nightly to be drinking alcohol and talking loudly up in each other's faces with no protective face masks being worn.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh told last Thursday's post-Cabinet briefing that the sight of such negligence had moved him to tears earlier that day.
At that briefing, the Prime Minister had led a chorus of cries for people to stay home unless on essential work/business so as to curb the person-to-person spread of the virus.
Principal Medical Officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards had last Monday warned that the country's parallel health care system would be overwhelmed within seven to ten days at the then-current rate of infection, a 233 rolling day average. By Thursday, the seven-day rolling average had worsened to 271. Health officials flatly told the public said that if a loved one falls ill he or she will not be able to be accommodated at places like Caura Hospital which is now full.
Dr Rowley had initiated a stepped approach to try to encourage people to avoid spreading the virus. Initially, on April 29, he had ordered restaurants and bars shut. Last Monday he had fully banned all food vending including street food plus all retail selling except for essentials such as supermarkets, pharmacies and bakeries. By Friday he had banned restaurant delivery services as the deliveryman could spread the virus, and told people to stay at home unless on essential work/business. He ordered all outlets shut by 8 pm nightly, urged public and private organisations to let as many workers as possible work from home and ordered public transport to operate at 50 per cent capacity down from a previous 75 per cent. He asked Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to help to get the message across to the public. After this, that very Friday evening Griffith led officers to erect barricades at the promenade. By Saturday, Griffith found himself having to close West Bees Supermarket owing to about 100 customers being crammed together under tents waiting to do shopping but meanwhile posing a covid19 risk.
Rowley had on Friday asked aloud that if these strictures do not reduce the covid19 spread by May 23, what would people expect him to then do, alluding to an extension of the period of these measures.
While doses of both the Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to arrive this week, Rowley warned that inoculation gives no one a free pass to be careless in interacting with others.
The country's death toll and daily number of new covid19 cases have been very high for May. It is May 1, 171 death-toll, 248 infections; May 2, 174 death-toll, 241 infections; May 3, 179 death-toll, 158 infections; May 4, 185 death-toll, 235 infections; May 5, 189 death-toll, 399 infections; May 6, 191 death-toll, 291 infections; May 7, 196 death-toll, 324 infections; May 8, 203 death-toll, 402 infections; and May 9, 211 death-toll, 233 infections.