One employee based at the ANR Robinson International Airport has returned a positive covid19 result after mass testing on Wednesday, says Dr Anthony Thompson, covid19 response team member at the office of the Country Medical Officer of Health.
Responding to questions during a virtual news conference hosted by the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development on Friday, Thompson said he was involved in the exercise at the airport on Wednesday.
This comes on the heels of the announcement by the Airports Authority (AATT) that 187 employees at the Crown Point airport and staff at other agencies on the compound were expected to undergo covid19 testing on Wednesday.
The mass testing was done after two AATT employees in Tobago died of covid19 recently.
Thompson said: “The way it would have happened is that we would have been selecting a small sample of the 180 for us to use antigen kits on and one of the 23 persons that we tested was antigen-positive. At which point, we then got the test done on the gene expert at hospital, and that person was informed of the results and isolated the very day."
On Thursday, Tobago recorded 49 new covid19 cases and two deaths. Thompson said some of the new cases were linked to spread at the airport.
“Some of those 49 results were persons from Airports Authority who were brought into the green room (old hospital, Fort King George), rather than waiting till we did the exercise that day at the airport. Reason being, they would have called in saying that they were contacts of the case – of the original cases – and they would have had symptoms. So we would have brought them in to test immediately or as soon as practicable. So some of those would contribute to the 49 – the 180 samples, that would not have counted.”
Giving a weekly update, Thompson said since last week’s summary, 109 new cases have been documented. This, he said is an increase from 101 cases in the last report.
He said over the reporting period, there had been six new deaths and the active cases up to June 2 were 201, an increase from 143.
“The curve continues to climb. Over the last week, the trajectory of the curve seems to slow a bit, but that was more a reflection in testing that would have occurred over the long weekend – in terms of getting samples down to Trinidad and getting results.”
In looking at the new case seven-day average, he pointed to a drop which he said has started to climb again.
“The sample positivity rate is hovering just above 20 per cent, which means that one in every five of the tests that we perform will come back with a positive result.”
He appealed to the public not to mix households.