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Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram

Rishard Khan

[email protected]

The Ministry of Health expects to see the effects of the lifting of some restrictions two weeks ago by the weeks’ end.

On October 26, beaches, gyms and places of worship were reopened by the government.

Increased movement creates more opportunities for the spread of the virus.

This is why the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roshan Parasram, yesterday said the effects of the decision could be evaluated by Friday.

“We are looking at 14 days. This 14 days ending Friday, to be basically a sort of starting block if the reopening had any effect in terms of the way you would expect to see the spike. We are hoping with, of course adherence to the guidelines, that spike does not occur.”

Technical Director of the ministry’s epidemiological unit, Dr Avery Hinds indicated yesterday that the plateau is continuing.

However, he said average daily cases were declining, hovering between 27 to 30 case per day.

On Saturday he indicated the daily average was around 33.

No additional COVID-19 deaths were recorded yesterday, however, the ministry confirmed 10 new infections.

According to its daily update, the new cases were from samples taken between November 1 and 3.

The new cases took the total number of infections for the country since March 12 up to 5,764.

The number of active cases decreased to 661.

On Monday the ministry did not announce any new infections.

Yesterday Dr Parasram said this was a result of testing logistics.

“Usually on a Sunday and a Saturday as well, a lot of the health centres, the cites for persons to get swabs are closed and we find especially on a Sunday as well, the turn out for persons are lower. The only cites they can access are the accident and emergency departments in the major hospitals,’ he said.

“So for this particular 24 hour period where we had zero being reported in terms of zero positives – yes we did do some tests however they would have been lower than the other days…and of course none of them came back as being positive.”

Over the weekend, some 174 samples were taken. When asked by Guardian Media how many samples were tested, the CMO said: “Definitely at one of the cites we had at least 20 cases coming in from the North Central Regional (Health Authority) during that particular period. I don’t know how many we would have had from the Trinidad Public Health Lab side of it which caters for the rest of the country t this point in time.”

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will update the nation as the current period of restrictions on Saturday.