Covid19 cases trend down, but CMO urges caution


Dr Roshan Parasram. –

Although daily new covid19 cases have been trending below ten for the past week, Ministry of Health officials say they are still monitoring cases before there could be any advice to further reopen the country.

At the Ministry of Health’s virtual press conference on Monday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said cases last week averaged about eight per day, but the numbers still have to be taken with “a grain of salt.

“You will find that less people seek care in the latter two weeks of the year,” he explained. “This is beyond covid19. This is what we have seen in the years gone by.”

He said people would quicker wait until the first couple weeks of January, or until their symptoms worsen, before they seek medical care.

Parasram said hospital occupancy levels, which are also low, paint a better picture as to how many people are still infected. For the morning period, he said, there were only 18 people in the Couva Health Facility, one in the Caura Hospital and one person in intensive care.

Monday’s 4 pm covid19 update reporteda total of 23 patients in hospital, ten new cases and 127 deaths since the pandemic reached Trinidad and Tobago.

Parasram said the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the country well into January, with the hope that if there are any hidden pockets of the disease, it will show up along with hospital admissions before it shows anywhere else.

“We will look at it for the next two weeks and continue to sample people who come to us voluntarily,” Parasram said. “There has been an indication of certain things, for example, CXC examinations beginning on January 15, and then a possible staggered reopening of schools.

“So there are things we have to look at. But we have to look at the numbers for a couple weeks going into January. Then we can make some determinations as to what is happening.”

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