Covid-19 Cases in Children Increasing in Tobago

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

THERE has been a steady increase of Covid-19 cases in children in Tobago from April to August.

A reason given for the spike could be that adults were carrying the virus home to the children.

This is according to Tobago’s Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Tiffany Hoyte who spoke at the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development virtual press conference on Thursday.

She said, “Overall, we have an increase in our number of community cases, we have community spread that is ongoing.”

Dr Tiffany Hoyte

Before the presence of the Gamma variant or formerly the Brazilian variant of the virus, she said one or two persons from a household would have tested positive.


But that has  since changed.

Dr Hoyte said, “What we have found is that whenever there is a household with a positive case, most of the other members when we test them as primary contacts,  also turn out to be positive, a lot of the time. We know the kids would have been home but we are having cases where it’s families  being affected through that spread where  it’s who are working or adults in the home  test positive. When we screen the family that the kids are also testing positive.”

In her presentation, using graphs, Dr Hoyte said in August, 27 zero to five-year-olds tested positive for the virus, 31 six to ten-year-olds, 47 eleven to 15-year-olds and 45 sixteen to 20-year-olds  contracted Covid-19 compared to April’s data.

In April, 16 children altogether got the virus with four children in the zero to five age group. There were no cases in January and one case in the zero to five age group in February and March.

Pestex 12

Tobago reported its first case of the Gamma variant in July.

The Pfizer vaccine which is now available to persons from the age of 12 is being administered at various sites throughout Trinidad and Tobago and the Division is hoping that more person in that particular age group be vaccinated.

Dr Hoyte who was also asked if unvaccinated teachers will be allowed to teach a fully vaccinated class said the Division of Education will have to make that decision.

The Division’s secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine added that the data regarding the number of vaccinated teachers will be subsequently available.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had announced that only vaccinated children will be allowed  to attend in-person classes for Forms 4, 5 and 6 from October.

More females  than males getting Covid 

To date, Tobago has recorded 2,399 positive cases of Covid-19 with a total of 435 active cases as at 10pm on Wednesday.

Statistician with the Covid-19 Task Force Desmond Perry said recently more women were getting ill than men especially in the 39-40 and 30-39 age bracket, which also accounted for the majority of cases over the reporting period on the island.

Perry said 57% were female and 43% were male. And the 30-39 age group accounts for most of the Covid-19 cases recorded with 23.5%. It was followed by the 40-49 age group with 15.9% of the cases.

Overall, for the month of August, there 771 Covid-19 positive cases being reported in Tobago, Perry said.

Davidson-Celestine said while vaccine hesitancy was still prevalent, the Division was able to vaccinate 41% to 42% of the targeted population of 45,000 adults and 6000 persons between the ages of 12 to 18.

In Tobago, 19,195 persons have received a first dose of the vaccine and 14, 719 individuals have received a second dose as at 10pm on Wednesday.


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