As the COVID-19 Delta variant of concern rips through Trinidad and Tobago, the country has crossed the grim milestone of 2,000 COVID-19 deaths since March 2020. Eleven deaths in the last 24-hour reporting period pushed the nation’s death toll to 2,009 yesterday. To date, COVID has now taken the lives of one in 700 people in the country, with one in every 34 cases succumbing to the disease.
COVID-19 infections have also ramped up in the last week, breaking pandemic-to-date daily infection records. On November 17, T&T confirmed 781 cases, the highest for the pandemic to date. On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the country confirmed an additional 682 and 689 cases, taking the spots for the third and fourth highest daily reported cases to date.
T&T is now approaching 68,000 cases, with one in every 20 people across the nation having a positive test result since March 2020. Month-to-date, T&T has confirmed 10,335 cases, making November 2021 the second-highest for COVID-19 infections.
Infections are still being driven by those under the age of 59—the young and middle-aged. However, the elderly, unvaccinated and those with comorbidities are those who are disproportionately affected.
Based on the epidemiological update presented by Dr Avery Hinds, Technical Director of the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Division, adults aged below 59 make up 83 per cent of COVID-19 infections as of November 24, 2021. However, this expansive age group accounts for 34.6 per cent of total COVID-19 deaths in the country.
Since May 1, of the 1,840 COVID-19 deaths tracked by Guardian Media, nearly 85 per cent were people with at least one significant underlying health condition. The country’s seven-day rolling average for COVID-19 deaths is at its highest yet, standing at an average of 17 deaths per day.
The country’s vaccination campaign has stagnated, with third primary doses maintaining a relatively high seven-day rolling average for total vaccines administered.
Notably, after losing 48 people in 48 hours to COVID-19 over the past weekend, vaccination data from Monday and Tuesday show a spike in first-time vaccinations, at 1,523 doses on Monday and 1,270 on Tuesday.
As the country ends its ninth month with freely available and accessible COVID-19 vaccines, 54.3 per cent of the population remains unvaccinated, while 57.4 per cent of the population is not fully vaccinated.
It is well known now that the Delta variant has well established itself in communities across the country. Still, the country has only confirmed 199 cases through genetic sequences. Delta is more contagious than other variant strains and it can cause a more severe COVID-19 infection.
These severe cases are playing out across the nation’s healthcare system. With 542 patients in hospital, the country is recording its highest level of COVID-19 hospitalisations to date.
Yesterday, five of Trinidad’s seven COVID-19 hospitals were above 75 per cent occupancy, a level where already strained resources are put under even more constraints.