By Sue-Ann Wayow
MORE young people in their thirties and forties are dying from Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago says Chief Medical Officer CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram.
He said this was “a worrying trend.”
Those persons had no pre-existing medical condition he said at the press conference hosted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Monday.
The number of deaths related to Covid-19 stands currently stands at 179.
Referring to P1, the Brazilian strain of the virus, Dr Parasram said, “It is a concern as to whether it (the recent deaths) can be attributed or not to P1, only time will tell as we confirm those samples.”
The Ministry of Health reported five more Covid-19 deaths on Monday.
Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds also spoke about the increasing deaths and cases leading to a possible overwhelming of the parallel healthcare system in a very short space of time.
Dr Parasram said in April it was expected that more people would be gathering due to the long Easter weekend and there was now a snowballing effect with positive cases.
He said there were about ten new cases of the P1 variant of the virus from different parts of the country predominantly St George’s Central and St George’s West taking the number to approximately 25 cases from some 300 samples tested for any form of variants and the majority would have been picked up from community transmission.
He added that because the new strain was more rapidly transmissible.
“P1 is said to be about 1.5 to .5 more transmissible than the previous strain which is the main strain, the Wuhan strain. It tends to be more transmissible.
“What we are seeing is increasing viral loads of persons meaning they have a higher viral load and a lot of times, they have less symptoms in the early stages.
“What it means is that if you have higher viral loads with less symptoms, you can move through a population much faster. It is a recipe for quicker spread and that is what we are seeing with P1.”
However, there was still no medical evidence that P1 was more severe than Covid-19 in terms of negative effect on persons, Dr Parasram added.
And he said, “The role of P1, it seems to be well established. It seems to be conforming to what we know, which means it is moving faster, hitting harder as there are headlines from other countries so we have to double up with our restrictions and be extra vigilant.”