TRINIDAD and Tobago has the new Covid-19 UK variant B117.
It was confirmed in a patient, a Trinidad and Tobago national, who returned from the United Kingdom.
A release from the Ministry of Health on Thursday stated, “As per existing quarantine protocols, the national provided a negative PCR test which was taken 72-hours prior to departure from the United Kingdom.
“Upon arrival in T&T, the national was immediately placed in state quarantine, in a single room.
“The patient was transferred directly to an isolation area at the Couva Hospital and Multi-training Facility once the positive Covid-19 result was confirmed.
“The presence of the variant was confirmed via a gene sequencing study at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, which has been testing Covid-19 positive samples collected since September 2020.”
The release stated that returning nationals from the UK were being kept in state quarantine for 14 days. This is up from seven days.
It stated, “This protocol will continue to be implemented and returning nationals from all other high-risk countries will be subject to seven days state quarantine and seven days home quarantine.”
The ministry stated that research has suggested that this strain of Covid-19 was more easily spread from person to person than previous strains. It is estimated to be 50% more transmissible, the ministry stated.