Gail Alexander

This country’s latest COVID-19 wave has featured in an international report placing Trinidad and Tobago among India and a handful of developing countries being hard- hit by the virus again.

The countries are largely Asian. Suriname is the only other country listed along with T&T from this region in a Bloomberg.com article.

The article stated that it isn’t India alone which is suffering fierce new COVID-19 waves. The virus was described as threatening the developing world “less equipped to curb it” in the past month.

Information came from data as of May 2, with the source being the United States-based Johns Hopkins University.

Top of the list was Laos, with a 22,000 per cent increase change in cases versus the previous month’s cases. That country is now seeking medical equipment, supplies and treatment.

Nepal and Thailand followed with fresh cases more than 1,000 per cent on a month to month basis.

“Also top of the list are Bhutan T&T, Suriname, Cambodia and Fiji as they witnessed the epidemic erupt at a high triple-digit pace,” it was stated.

Increases were attributed to the more contagious virus variants “… though complacency and lack of resources to contain the spread were also cited as reasons,” the article also stated.

It was stated that although these countries lack India’s population or the COVID flare-up that country had, “the reported spikes in these handful of nations have been far steeper, signalling the potential of uncontrolled spread.”

It was noted the spikes are severely straining these countries’ health care systems and “prompting appeals for help.”

It was also stated that the resurgence and first-time outbreaks in some places that largely avoided the pandemic last year emphasised the urgency of delivering vaccines to poorer, less influential states.

The article quoted Professor David Heymann (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) saying the disease appears to be becoming endemic and “will therefore likely remain a risk to all countries for the foreseeable future.”