Members of the public cross South Quay, Port-of-Spain, yesterday as they make their way into City Gate, yesterday.

Trinidad and Tobago has broken a dire record with a whopping 223 new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday from samples taken between April 25 and April 27. The increase marks the highest daily reported number of cases since the pandemic began in T&T on March 12, 2020.

During this month (April 2021), Trinidad and Tobago’s COVID-19 statistics have rivalled the surge between September and October 2020, where active cases reached a record high of 2,459 on September 16, 2020.

The reported number of COVID-19 cases in April this year currently stands at 2,144, just under triple the amount reported from January 1 to March 31 this year. The highest monthly reported cases total stands at 2,772 for September 2020.

These rapid rises in cases broke several daily records throughout the month.

April 28 now holds the record for the highest number of reported cases in the 72-hour sample collection period. The previous records occurred on September 18 and September 19, 2020, where 217 and 202 cases were reported. April 20 and April 22, 2021, with 171 and 167 cases respectively, are also now the sixth and eighth highest registered number of cases in one.

Another record shattered – over 10,000 cases recorded

Trinidad and Tobago has also now recorded over 10,000 COVID-19 cases, with the latest figure standing at 10,170 as of yesterday.

Of these, 1,656 cases are active, meaning that these cases are isolated at home, in step-down facilities, or hospitals across the country. Compared to active cases at the start of the pandemic, this figure is the country’s 34th highest.

As the country’s cases increase, so too has the deaths.

In the last 24 hours, Trinidad and Tobago reported two COVID-19 deaths; both were elderly females with comorbidities, driving the country’s death toll thus far to 163. From April 1 to date, T&T has recorded 21 deaths.

September 2020 still holds the deadliest month for COVID-19 in T&T, with 54 recorded deaths. October 2020 is in second, with 32 recorded COVID-19 deaths.

Hospitalizations also rise

This month, the country recorded high COVID-19 hospitalization levels, with peak occupancy to date on April 27, where 152 people were in the hospital. This marks the 6th highest total of hospitalized patients to date for the disease.

As of yesterday, 150 people are in hospital for COVID-19, the seventh-highest number for hospitalized patients.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roshan Parasram, said in Wednesday’s Ministry of Health press conference that the current hospital occupancy for COVID-19 patients is 58 per cent.

At the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility, there are 103 total patients receiving different levels of care.

This figure is the sixth-highest since the pandemic began. The highest number of patients at the hospital occurred on August 25, last year, where 111 COVID-19 positive people occupied the facility.

Dr Parasram also added that the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy is at 27 per cent, and the High Dependency Unit (HDU) is at 12 per cent.

Over the last month, ICU and HDU patients have also been increasing.

As of yesterday, there are 12 patients in the HDU, T&T’s third-highest total since the start of the pandemic. In ICU, there are five patients, down from the six that were being treated for much of the last month. There are also 24 COVID-19 positive people in step-down facilities across both islands.

At the same conference, Minister of Heath Terrance Deyalsingh said there are 411 beds available for COVID-19 patients with 39 ICU spaces. He explained that with the ongoing rise in cases, there are plans to prevent the hospital system from being overwhelmed by using the paediatric tower at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility and reactivating the Arima Hospital. These two additions will increase the country’s COVID-19 beds by approximately 200.

Tobago cases at record high

Cases have also surged in Tobago over the last month, with the island reporting its highest number of active cases as of April 28, 2021, now standing at 40.

During the previous 24 hours, one person was discharged, and four new cases were reported on the island, driving Tobago’s total to 226 cases.

The island also reached peak hospitalization levels on Tuesday this week, with 29 patients at the Scarborough Regional Hospital in Fort King George.

Wednesday, 17 patients remained at the Scarborough Regional Hospital, with one warded at the Scarborough General Hospital and 12 now in step-down or transitional facilities. To date, the island has reported two deaths, both occurring in 2020.