Trinidad and Tobago health authorities on Wednesday confirmed that the country had registered two cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said that the first patient is a recently returned national who traveled to Trinidad from the United States, while the second patient had arrived after traveling from Mexico, transiting through Panama and Guyana.
“As per existing quarantine protocols, the nationals provided negative PCR tests, which were taken 72-hours prior to arrival. The nationals were immediately placed into State-supervised quarantine, as per the protocol for unvaccinated adults.
“As a result of the positive COVID-19 results from their seventh-day swab, the persons were subsequently transferred and isolated in a state step-down facility,” the ministry said.
It noted that the presence of these Delta variants were confirmed via gene sequencing at the laboratory of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies (UWI) and that the public is aware, this laboratory has been testing COVID-19 positive samples from Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states since September last year.
The ministry said that since re-opening its borders on July 16, Trinidad and Tobago has updated its quarantine protocols for persons entering the country.
It said that these protocols state that all returning adults, who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, should spend 14 days in a State-supervised quarantine facility, adding that these entry protocols will continue to be implemented.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been confirmed cases of the
Delta variant of COVID-19 in 142 countries.
Research has suggested that the Delta variant is more easily spread from person to person as compared to previous variants (estimated to be two to four times more transmissible than the original Wuhan lineage of the virus).
Additionally, the ministry said evidence indicates that individuals who have contracted this variant may be prone to an increased risk of severe illness and hospitalization.
“This variant may also lead to an increase in cases of COVID-19 in younger age groups and in those who have been previously infected. The Ministry of Health takes this opportunity to remind the population of the importance of being vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible.”
Trinidad and Tobago has recorded 1,144 deaths and 40,574 positive cases of the virus following the first case in March last year.