Another sombre day for T&T as for the first time in the COVID-19-pandemic history, the country has recorded related deaths above 20 in the 24-hour reporting period.
The Ministry of Health reported that 21 people have succumbed to the virus, marking the deadliest day yet for T&T.
Thirteen of those who died had comorbidities, including five elderly females, three middle-aged females, four elderly males, and one middle-aged male.
The remaining eight people did not have significant underlying medical conditions, including one elderly female, three middle-aged females, one elderly male, two middle-aged males, and, concerningly, one young adult male.
T&T’s death toll has risen to 256, with 87 deaths reported in the last 13 days.
The first five months of 2021 now have a higher death toll than all of 2020, with 129 deaths versus 127 deaths.
T&T’s mortality rate for May 2021 is now at 2.18 per cent, meaning that at least two people may die for every 100 cases of COVID-19 T&T records.
COVID-19 cases continue to climb
Yesterday, the ministry reported 397 new COVID-19 cases, marking the fourth-highest jump in daily reported cases for the pandemic to date. These cases originated from samples taken during the last 72 hours from May 9 through May 12.
T&T’s total COVID-19 cases now stand at 14,814, with a record high of 4,814 cases considered active.
Active cases include COVID-19 positive people isolated at home, in step-down facilities, or hospitals across the country.
The Ministry of Health has indicated that the country’s positivity rate now stands above 40 per cent. This means for every 100 samples collected for testing, at least 40 would return COVID-19 positive.
The number of recoveries has also increased.
The ministry reported 37 patients discharged from public health facilities, and there have been 113 recovered cases for those who were COVID-19 positive and self-isolating at home. With 150 being reported recovered in the last 24 hours, this marked the seventh-highest jump in recovered cases.
2nd highest number of hospitalised patients
Hospitalisation occupancy levels remain high across the country. However, with the increased deaths and recoveries in the last 24 hours, there has been minimal ease on the parallel healthcare system’s strain.
With a total of 342 in hospital, this marks the second-highest number of patients since the pandemic began, tied with May 9, 2021. T&T’s overall COVID-19 hospital occupancy stands at 50 per cent across all levels of care in both islands, with a slightly higher 53 per cent when only accounting for Trinidad’s beds.
Based on the latest numbers from the Ministry of Health, there are 137 hospitalised at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility, marking a 63 per cent occupancy.
The Caura Hospital currently is at a 75 per cent occupancy level.
At the Arima General Hospital, there is a 64 per cent occupancy. The Augustus Long Hospital is reporting a 96 per cent occupancy. The St Ann’s Hospital, with ten beds available for psychiatric patients who test COVID-19 positive, remain at zero per cent capacity.
Health officials have warned that T&T’s parallel healthcare system may be overwhelmed by Monday based on current trends.
T&T’s parallel healthcare system now has a total of 682 hospital beds available. This count does not include the two military field hospitals, adding 40 beds each, located now at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility and the Jean Pierre Complex in Port-of-Spain.
The University of Trinidad and Tobago’s Valsayn campus is now at 100 per cent occupancy with all 40 beds occupied.
At the University of the West Indies’ Debe campus, 68 per cent of beds are occupied.
At the Point Fortin Hospital, there are no COVID-19 patients warded.
According to the Ministry’s numbers, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Couva Hospital high, at nine and 55, respectively.
This results in a 50 per cent occupancy at Couva’s ICU. The hospital’s HDU capacity is variable, as the difference between a ward-level bed and an HDU bed means the requirement of oxygen via a face mask for a patient and an increased nurse-to-patient ratio.
Tobago’s active cases have declined on Thursday, down to 65 active cases, the island’s 3rd highest peak. The Tobago’s Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development reported one new case, and five patients were discharged. Tobago’s hospital occupancy is at 25 per cent, with one patient in ICU.