The Ministry of Health said the seventh case of the delta covid19 variant confirmed in Trinidad and Tobago was detected in an unvaccinated returning national.
In a release on Saturday, the ministry said the patient was a recently returned national who travelled to Trinidad from the Turks and Caicos Islands, transiting through Florida.
It said the patient provided a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival, as per existing quarantine protocol, and was immediately put in quarantine, as is the protocol for unvaccinated adults.
The ministry said after the patient’s seventh-day swab came back positive, the patient was transferred to and isolated in a state step-down facility. The patient remained in isolation until the enhanced discharge criteria for persons with covid19 variants of concern were achieved.
It said the presence of the delta variant was confirmed via gene sequencing at the laboratory of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI.
The ministry reminded the population of the importance of being vaccinated against the covid19 virus as soon as possible. Additionally, members of the public are reminded to follow all recommended personal health protective measures, even if they are fully vaccinated.
The World Health Organization said there have been confirmed cases of the delta variant in 174 countries. It said research has suggested that the delta variant is more easily spread from person to person as compared to previous variants and is estimated to be two-four times more transmissible than the original Wuhan lineage of the virus.
Additionally, evidence indicates that individuals who have contracted this variant may be prone to an increased risk of severe illness and hospitalisation. This variant may also lead to an increase in cases of covid19 in younger age groups and in those who have been previously infected.