A recent return from a voyage from the United Kingdom has been confirmed as the first case of D&T’s COVID-19 variant of Concern (UK) – variant P117.
The case was confirmed by the Ministry of Health this afternoon.
Research shows that this strain of COVID-19 is more easily transmitted from person to person than previous strains, which is estimated to be 50 percent more contagious.
The patient gave a negative PCR test, which was taken 72 hours before departure from the UK. Arrived in Trinidad and Tobago and kept in the same room, in national isolation.
Once a positive COVID-19 result was confirmed, the patient was transferred directly to the isolated area of Goa Hospital and several training facilities.
The existence of this variant was confirmed by genetic sequencing study at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, which has been testing COVID-19 positive samples collected since September 2020.
The government has renewed its segregation protocol for seven days to 14 days of state isolation for returnees from the United Kingdom. This protocol will continue to be implemented and returnees from all other high-risk countries will be subject to seven days of state isolation and seven days of home isolation.
The Ministry stressed that it is even more important for members of the public to follow all of the recommended personal health care measures:
Public Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you go out in public
Others Keep your distance (six feet) from others
Ill stay home if you are not feeling well
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cough A cough in the tissues or in the arch of your elbow
Avoid touching your face
Clean hard hard surfaces (e.g. table tops, handrails, door handles and trolleys) as often as possible.
In order to answer a question Loop News, The Airport Authority has said that it will be guided by the Ministry regarding COVID-19 health and safety regulations. It is not clear at this time whether airport staff in contact with passengers have been placed in isolation.
The ministry will provide further details at a conference tomorrow at 11 am.