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A woman walks past the Arima General Hospital, which is being used to treat COVID-19 patients.

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There have been a total of 54 COVID-19 related deaths for September after the Ministry of Health confirmed two additional deaths yesterday in its updates.

The recent deaths, the ministry said, were two elderly females – one with co-morbidities and the other with pre-existing conditions. The deaths bring the total tally for the country since the epidemic began on March 12 to 76. Of these deaths, 68 occurred in the second phase of infections which began on July 20 with case 139.

The ministry also confirmed that 68 people tested positive for the virus from the 280 samples submitted for testing within the last 24-hour period. This took the overall number of cases in T&T to 4,531.

However, despite the additional cases, the number of active cases decreased to 1,882 after 106 people were released from the care of the ministry. Discharged from public health facilities were 21 patients while 85 were released from home isolation as “recovered community cases.”

These cases refer to persons who were previously COVID-19 positive and in self-isolation at home and subsequently met the discharge criteria and were released. The released patients make it 2,560 people to have recovered from the virus locally.

According to the ministry’s 10 am update, there were 110 people receiving treatment at hospitals while 11 were in step-down/transition facilities.

Meanwhile, employees at the First Citizens’ (FCB) Gulf View, La Romaine branch are concerned after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 and two others fell ill. They claimed the bank was not closed or sanitised and the workers who were in contact with the employee have not been quarantined or sent for testing. According to the workers, the employee displayed symptoms of the virus while at work. The employee was last out about two weeks ago but her colleagues said they were only told she tested positive on Monday. However, they were told they had nothing to worry about because the employee wore her mask at all times. One worker complained, “One other worker fell ill last week Tuesday and she has not been back out to work. No one is saying what going on with her. We also hearing that a cleaner test positive. We don’t know if that is true but we don’t know what is happening.”

The bank has neither confirmed nor denied an employee tested positive or that employees were concerned for their safety. In an email response to Guardian Media queries, however, the bank stated, “First Citizens is committed to the safety and protection of our staff, customers, members of the public and all our stakeholders. The group has well established and in-force policies and protocols in keeping with public health guidelines, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and to treat with actual or suspected cases of the virus. These protocols and practices continue to serve to protect our stakeholders and to mitigate further risks, even in the current context of community spread.”