Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram is predicting that 2021 will be a much better year than 2020 because vaccines will be made available to T&T and other countries worldwide to protect people from the COVID-19 virus.

“Having the vaccine coming soon and being used in most parts of the world should be viewed as a positive sign for all of us looking at this pandemic going forward. 2021 should be viewed more positively than 2020 was because we have a number of vaccine candidates that have been successful and have been rolled out in different parts of the world. It is the light at the end of the tunnel and gives all of us a sense of hope. If and when it comes to T&T, I hope that all including the vulnerable groups should take their vaccines,” he said speaking at the Ministry of Health’s press conference on Saturday.

Parasram quoted from a press release that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) released yesterday which stated that the COVAX facility would eventually have 15 different vaccines available for member states and the distribution will most likely start at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

A question was also raised about the reports of deaths in Norway after the Pfizer vaccine was taken.

Parasram responded by saying that T&T has the opportunity to see the vaccine being rolled out in other countries to see what are their adverse effects and the strategies for how these vaccines will be rolled out locally.

“It is too early for the Norway incident or any other incident that has not been fully investigated as there are too many confounding factors to make a determination as yet.”

Parasram reiterated that vaccines alone will not stop COVID-19 and the public needs to continue to abide by health regulations.

Dr Osafo Fraser, Chief Medical Officer of Health for St George East who also spoke at the virtual press conference said the protocols for virtual carnival events would be the same as when people are in public spaces such as hand sanitizing and mask-wearing.

27 new COVID cases

CLINICAL UPDATE from the Ministry of Health

*The total number of people tested 77,299

*Positive cases last 24 hours 27 persons

*Positive cases since March 12 are 7,370

*Total Recovered Patients 6,923

*Total Active Patients 316

*Total Number of Patients in hospitals 40

*The number of deaths is 131

*Number of people at quarantine sites 300

*Those on home isolation 245