Members of the public wait in line outside the Scarborough Health Centre for COVID-19 vaccines, last week.

Two men and two women died in Tobago yesterday from COVID-19, making it the deadliest day on the island since the pandemic began in March 2020.

According to the Division of Health and Wellness, two females—a 65-year-old with comorbidities and a 70-year-old without comorbidities succumbed to the disease.

Two men ages 54 and 89, both with pre-existing health conditions, also died.

The number of active cases in Tobago stood at 627, yesterday.

Secretary for the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine told Tobagonians: “Don’t panic.”

Following the spike in deaths, cases and the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant, she told residents: “We don’t yet know if the Omicron variant is worse than Delta,” she noted. “Is it more infectious but less deadly? More deadly and more infectious? Or less infectious and less deadly? So far, all known cases have been mild.

“No one has died from it. But, while we keep a level head, we do have to make preparations in case this variant has a different profile to previous ones.”

Davidson-Celestone was also concerned about recent COVID-19 deaths and the spike in cases: “Every time we lose someone it’s grief and pain for loved ones. No one should have to go through this.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them. But we all have a responsibility individually, the solution lies with our decision to vaccinate.”

The Secretary called on Tobagonians to heed the deadly trend and take the vaccines that are easily available.

“We have a path to a solution and that lies through vaccination, along with mask wearing, social distancing, and washing hands.

“Our numbers show more than 90 per cent of those hospitalised for COVID-19 are unvaccinated. T

“here is only so much we can do. We often see people ask for the vaccine when it’s too late,” she said.

She added the Tobago Regional Health Authority continues to increase the capacity of the healthcare system with additional beds.

Currently, there are five COVID ICU beds that will increase to 11 in December. She said they also have 56 COVID-19 treatment beds that will increase to 81 when the upgrade of the step-down facility to house mildly ill COVID-19 positive patients occurs.

Davidson-Celestine urged: “But we must not panic. The more dire a situation is, the more important it is to stay calm.

“Otherwise, you tend to make decisions that worsen the original problem.”