Trinidad and Tobago recorded 20,538 new covid19 infections in December 2021, as the Health Ministry’s covid19 update for December 31 said 579 new cases were reported, making an average of 662.5 cases per day.
December was also the deadliest month of the pandemic in this country thus far, with 711 deaths being recorded between December 1 and 31, as 19 deaths were recorded on Friday. This averaged out to just under 23 deaths per day.
The ministry said the most recent fatalities were four elderly men, six elderly women, five middle-aged man, and four middle-aged women.
Fourteen people had multiple comorbidities, including diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, lung disease, cancer, anaemia, thyroid disease, and a history of strokes. Three people each had only one comorbidity and two people had no known medical condition.
The highest number of daily cases since 2020, 984, was reported on December 3, and the largest number of daily deaths thus far – 37 – on Christmas Eve.
The total number of deaths recorded from covid19 since March 2020 is 2,869, of which 2,742 were recorded during 2021. At the end of December 2020, 127 deaths from covid19 had been recorded.
At least 11 of the new cases in December were confirmed cases of the omicron variant, the first detected on December 13.
The first case of the delta covid19 variant was detected in TT on August 11, after which there was a surge in cases.
The number of active cases is 15,797.
Since March 2020, there have been 91,899 cases, and 73,233 people have recovered.
After the first case of covid19 in March 2020, a parallel health care system was set up consisting of ward-level beds, high-dependency unit beds, intensive care unit beds, step-down facilities, and state quarantine facilities. Eventually, when the numbers became too great, people were allowed to isolate at home while being monitored, depending on the severity of their symptoms.
There are 462 people in hospital at present. Of these, 115 are at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility, with 23 in the intensive care unit and 19 in the high dependency unit. There are 47 at the Caura Hospital, 54 at the Augustus Long Hospital, ten at the St Ann’s Hospital, 68 at the Arima General Hospital, 90 at the new Point Fortin Hospital, 45 at the St James Medical Complex, 28 at the Scarborough Regional Hospital, Fort King George, and five at the Scarborough Regional Hospital, Signal Hill.
There are 166 people in step-down facilities, with none at the Claxton Bay Correctional Facility, 63 at UWI Debe, 31 at UTT Valsayn, 31 at the Point Fortin Area Hospital, 21 at the Port of Spain field hospital, none at the Couva field hospital, none at the Port of Spain General Hospital, 15 at the Tacarigua Facility, and five in Tobago.
There are 39 people in state quarantine facilities, and 14,590 in home self-isolation.
There are 539 recovered community cases and 87 people have been discharged from public health facilities.
Scientists and health experts around the world have said vaccination, while it does not stop people from contracting or transmitting covid19, reduces the risk of hospitalisation, severe illness, and death.
Friday's release said 86.8 per cent, or 8,973 of 10,336 patients, of the patients in the parallel healthcare system were not fully vaccinated. This is based on data from July 22 to December 15. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final recommended vaccine dose(s) of a World Health Organization-approved vaccine or vaccine combination.
TT began its vaccination programme against covid19 on April 6, 2021, with AstraZeneca vaccines received from the Covax facility on March 30, 2021. Since then, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Sinopharm vaccines have been distributed to the population. Vaccination has become even more urgent since the omicron variant arrived.
A third primary dose of a covid19 vaccine was offered to immune-compromised people and certain other groups beginning in November, while booster shots became available in December.
As of Friday at 4 pm, 663,483 people had received their first dose of a two-dose vaccine regimen, out of an eligible population of 1.1 million people. Of these, 120,100 received the AstraZeneca vaccine, 420,763 received Sinopharm, and 122,620 the Pfizer vaccine.
The number of people who had received their second dose was 619,944.
The number of people who had taken the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 48,773.
The total number of people who had completed one of these vaccine regimens was 668,717.
A total of 76,184 people have also received an additional primary or booster dose.
The total number of people tested to date at both public and private facilities is 511,257, of which 225,721 were done at private facilities.