Two more COVID-19 deaths were recorded yesterday, bringing the country’s total fatalities from the virus up to 55, the Ministry of Health confirmed.

The most recent deaths were elderly males with comorbidities.

The number of active cases also rose to 2,299 after 99 new infections were recorded. The ministry, however, noted this was not representative of a 24-hour increase, as it included results from samples taken as early as September 3. The new cases bring the total of people infected locally since the first case was recorded on March 12 up to 3,141.

The number of people who recovered from the virus also went up to 787 after 15 people were discharged.

During yesterday’s virtual press conference, Ministry of Health officials also revealed that the country has seen people between the ages of 35 and 39 dying from the virus.

In a statistical breakdown of COVID-19 cases recorded locally, director of the ministry’s Epidemiology Division, Dr Avery Hinds, explained that of the deaths recorded, the majority were male or with the “over 60 age group being the majority.”

“But fatalities are not limited to individuals in that age group,” Hinds noted.

“As the graphic shows, there have been fatalities as far down as the 35 to 39 age group…those are in the minority but they emphasise the importance of everyone regardless of age taking good care, to take note of symptoms, to access care early – especially if they’re aware of having any underlying conditions.”

Hinds appealed to everyone to take respiratory symptoms seriously “because no one is immune to the virus and no one is assured that they won’t have an adverse outcome.”

Presenting on the daily caseload for the second phase of infections, which began on July 20 with case 139, Hinds said: “As we progress toward September, we are seeing slightly smaller numbers and we are hoping that this trend indicates that the measures that have been implemented are beginning to take some sort of effect.”

He explained that the effects of public health measures usually take “a few weeks” before they can be visible but said he hopes the data before them is the start of that trend.

“We would continue to monitor and we’ll continue to update as the information becomes available,” he said.

Hinds also said the ministry is monitoring overall deaths locally, especially those related to respiratory ailments such as pneumonia. He said the data shows lower numbers of these deaths for the period June to September than the average of the past three years.

“The deaths for this year has not surpassed that average number of fatalities from pneumonia…while we do see that there have been increases since May and August, those increases have not yet surpassed the average but we continue to monitor them,” Hinds said.

Hinds said this data is “another good metric for when there are unreported or undetected issues that the health system needs to address.”