The growing number of covid19 cases is in the 25-49 age group, technical director of the epidemiology division of the Ministry of Health Dr Avery Hinds said on Saturday.
Speaking at the ministry’s covid19 virtual media conference, Hinds pointed out that demographic data collected also showed the cases were spilt evenly among males and females, while two-thirds of covid19 deaths were people over 60 years, with more fatalities being 58 per cent males and 42 per cent females, all with comorbidities.
As the country recorded its tenth case of the delta variant on October 8, and a total of 42 delta cases, Hinds emphasised the increases in cases of the variant has been classified as community spread.
“Almost every community or every county we have seen cases in each of them. The pattern that has shown up from the epidemiological investigation showed that they were in undetected chains, because we see people showing up who don’t have a link directly to travel or somebody who travelled.
“We have already labelled the pattern as being community spread and that means whether or not your particular community or neighbourhood has been listed, where a case has been seen, we should all be taking the extra precautions to reduce the risk of encountering someone with the delta variant, because it could be in places that we have not yet documented.”
The ten new cases were reported as follows — two cases from St George Central, two from St George East, three from St Andrew/St David, two from Caroni and two from Nariva/Mayaro counties.
Of the 42 delta cases reported — nine had no travel history, five had contact with other positive cases, three had no contact with positive cases, and one was a deceased member of a household cluster, the ministry said.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram added that once the delta variant was detected, it was expected that it would be in other areas, but the ministry was working to maintain the situation and was also working closely with Tobago.
“We have also been in collaboration with the Tobago Regional Health Authority, as well as the Tobago House of Assembly as it relates to their response. It is a national response, for both Trinidad and Tobago. We are in constant contact bearing in mind that their capacity is a little less and they are a little more isolated and we have systems in place to assist since the beginning of the pandemic," Parasram said.
“The delta variant will present itself as possibly a more severe form of the disease, in terms of hospitalisation and even requirements for ICU and oxygen need. The predominant majority so far have been mild cases and sometime symptomatic cases.”
Hinds added that the healthcare system was prepared to deal with a potential surge of delta variants, if the need arose, but the population's cooperation was needed to prevent increases.
“The health system has been organised with a parallel healthcare system to take the brunt of an increase in any covid19 cases and admissions. That system stands ready to deal with anything that comes to it. The population also has to be ready to prevent a surge.
“The rate of spread is going to be affected by the same things, no matter which variant is in circulation. So, if we adhere to the public health regulations, if we keep the masks on, if we don’t gather when we are supposed to, if we stay away from gathering when we are ill and if we get our vaccinations — these are the things that are going to help us slow the rate down of whatever variant of the virus is in the population,” Hinds said.
With the inclusion of other variants, the county of Caroni reported a slight increase in covid19 cases, Hinds said, while the other areas reported small decreases and plateaus. The daily covid19 cases of all variants averaged 200 for October, so far.
With forms one to three vaccinated students expected to return to physical school in the next two weeks, the ministry said a total of 45,870 students between 12 to 18 years have been vaccinated as of October 8.
Parasram said two people under the age of 18 had covid19 — one at Couva Hospital & Multi-Training Facility and the other at the Debe step-down facility.