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Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram

A total of 111 minors have been counted among nationals who have returned home since this country’s borders reopened on July 17, but only one of them has so far tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Confirming this during the Ministry of Health’s update on Saturday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram refused to disclose the child’s age or the country from which he/she had returned from as he cited patient confidentiality.

He did, however, assure the minor was, “being well isolated.”

Questioned if any particular viral strain had been detected, he said a sample had been sent to UWI for genome testing.

T&T’s current policy relating to the repatriation of unvaccinated minors and people under the age of 18 is that they can go home with a vaccinated parent or guardian.

People returning must have a negative PCR test 72 hours before they arrive, while a second PCR test is done three to five days after their entry.

Parasram said the minor would have tested positive during the three to five-day swabbing procedure which followed the family’s arrival.

Responding to public concerns regarding the vaccine and its effects, he sought to assure, “We had no one who had a second dose and was admitted to a High Dependency Unit.” This was followed by a further assurance that, “There is no fully vaccinated individual in Trinidad or Tobago as well, who has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at this time.”

Regarding deaths that continue to be recorded, Parasram said there was no one at this time who has met the criteria “of being fully vaccinated and has passed away from COVID-19 in T&T.”

A total of 388,805 people have so far received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 194,710 have received their two doses.

With over one million people currently unvaccinated at this time, the CMO said just under 400,000 are below the age of 18.

Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds said a slight increase in the daily numbers had been noted.

Principal Medical Officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said daily rolling average increases would represent an increased demand for hospital beds across different levels of care.

With a slight decrease recorded in discharges throughout the parallel healthcare system, she explained it meant net admissions had increased overall.

Total occupancy in the parallel health system currently stands at 39 per cent.

BOX

254 new COVID cases, 7 deaths

COVID-19 infections continue to increase as hundreds of cases are recorded each day.

In the daily statistical update last evening, the Ministry of Health confirmed 254 new positive cases had been recorded between the 24 hours from 4 pm on July 30 to 4 pm on July 31 – bringing the total number of active positive cases to 5,951.

Meanwhile, the death rate increased by seven as it moved to 1,077 during the same 24-hour period.

There are 311 patients in the hospital; 88 people are in step-down facilities; 174 are in state quarantine facilities; while 5, 298 people have been confined to home self-isolation.