Covid19 cases, clusters continue to rise in St George East


A woman and a girl out shopping in Arima on January 23. Ministry of Health officials warn of a rise in covid19 cases in St George East communities such as Arima. PHOTO BY ANGELO MARCELLE –

PUBLIC health officials are again pleading with residents of St George East to be more responsible in the fight against the covid19 pandemic as cases and clusters in the area continue to rise.

A covid19 cluster refers to a group of cases from the same area around the same time.

From December 27, 2020 to January 9, 2021, there were eight covid19 clusters throughout the country.

At that time, the highest number of cases in any given cluster was five.

But between January 10 and January 23, it increased to 14 clusters. And the highest number of cases in a cluster rose to 18.

Seven of these 14 clusters were in St George East.

Speaking at the Health Ministry’s virtual press conference on Saturday morning, geographic information systems (GIS) manager of the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Division Roshan Seeramsingh said the data “speaks volumes and speaks to what is taking place in the home.”

In one instance, he said, 13 of these cases came from three households.

And from the 95 covid19 cases from the country’s clusters, 48 of those people were from St George East.

“This is highlighting that something is going on there. There are cases which have continued to show up within the same regions, highlighting there is greater need for personal responsibility in those areas.”

Dr Osafo Fraser, County Medical Officer of Health for St George East, said many people contracted the virus at their workplaces.

He warned those who work in office settings not to get so comfortable that they forget to take the necessary precautions.

“There were at least two separate instances of individuals who were positive at work and when we did the contact tracing, each one of those had at least 15 contacts in the workplace.”

He said while he understands it may not be “the most comfortable thing,” all employees should keep their masks on while at their desks or workspaces.

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