The Ministry of Health has recorded 28 additional cases of the COVID-19 Omicron Variant of Concern, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 56.

According to the Ministry of Health, 18 of the cases had no history of recent travel and no known contact with recent travellers. Two of the cases had recent travel history or contact with a recent traveller; while 8 remain under epidemiologic investigation.

The following is a press release from the Ministry of Health:

The Ministry of Health advises the population that between the 18th and 20th January, 2022, twenty-eight (28) additional cases of the COVID-19 Omicron Variant of Concern were confirmed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of the    COVID-19 Omicron variant, in Trinidad and Tobago, to 56.

Eighteen (18) of the cases had no history of recent travel and no known contact with recent travellers. Two (2) of the cases had recent travel history or contact with a recent traveller; while eight (8) remain under epidemiologic investigation.

As a result of their positive COVID-19 results, each of the patients has been isolated and will remain in isolation until the enhanced discharge criteria for persons with COVID-19 Variants of Concern are met. Additionally, contacts of the positive Omicron COVID-19 cases have been quarantined.

The presence of the Omicron variant was confirmed via gene sequencing at the laboratory of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies.

As of January 6, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that the Omicron Variant of Concern had been identified in 149 countries. Research has suggested that this variant is more easily spread from person to person as compared to previous variants but further information is needed on its impact on persons who contract this variant.