Trinidad and Tobago has confirmed its first two cases of the covid19 delta variant of concern.
The variant was detected in two recently returned nationals who travelled from the US and Guyana.
They were handled according to protocols for unvaccinated returning nationals.
In a release, the Health Ministry also said the first patient had travelled to Trinidad from the United States.
The second had come from Mexico, transiting through Panama and Guyana.
The release reported, “As per existing quarantine protocols, the nationals provided negative PCR tests which were taken 72 hours prior to arrival. The nationals were immediately placed into state-supervised quarantine, as per the protocol for unvaccinated adults. As a result of the positive covid19 results from their seventh-day swab, the persons were subsequently transferred and isolated in a state step-down facility.”
The ministry said the presence of the delta variant was confirmed via gene sequencing at the laboratory of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI.
The Health Ministry reminded the public that on July 16, 2021, quarantine protocols were updated for people entering the country.
“These protocols state that all returning adults who are not fully vaccinated against covid19 should spend 14 days in a state-supervised quarantine facility. These entry protocols will continue to be implemented.”
The World Health Organization says there have been confirmed cases of the delta variant of covid-19 in 142 countries.
Research has suggested that the delta variant is more easily spread from person to person than previous variants, and is estimated to be two to four times more transmissible than the original Wuhan lineage of the virus.
Additionally, evidence indicates that people who contract this variant may have an increased risk of severe illness and hospitalisation. It may also lead to an increase in cases of covid19 in younger age groups, and in those who have been previously infected.