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The Ministry of Health has advised that Trinidad and Tobago has six new cases of the COVID-19 Delta Variant of Concern. This brings the total number of cases of the COVID-19 Delta Variant which have been confirmed for Trinidad and Tobago to 17.

One case is an unvaccinated national minor who recently travelled to Trinidad from New York.

The 5 other cases have no recent history of travel. One of these cases is another unvaccinated minor.

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

All patients have been placed in isolation until the enhanced discharge criteria for persons with COVID-19 Variants of Concern is achieved. Contact tracing, testing and quarantining of contacts have also been initiated.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been confirmed cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in 185 countries. Research has suggested that the Delta variant is more easily spread from person to person as compared to previous variants (estimated to be 2 to 4 times more transmissible than the original Wuhan lineage of the virus). Additionally, evidence indicates that individuals who have contracted this variant may be prone to an increased risk of severe illness and hospitalization. This variant may also lead to an increase in cases of COVID-19 in younger age groups and in those who have been previously infected.

“The Ministry of Health urges everyone who is eligible, including those aged 12 to 18, to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible,” the statement said.