By Pamela Ramcharan
Dr Avery Hinds Technical Director, Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health reveals that three of the last 31 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Trinidad and Tobago were “hanging out” at a bar.
He was speaking at a press conference hosted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s.
Giving a breakdown of the cases, he said, “Seven would have been persons repatriated and therefore brought in through the quarantine mechanism and not contributing to the possibility of onward transmission because of all the protocols that are in place and that are employed during that repatriation process.”
He added, “Then there are at least four groups that we want to look at. There is a group, one family cluster of six where the first person in that grouping, we do not have a clear epidemiologic link to where they would have picked up their infection but they spawned a primary cluster including themselves and six persons within the family and two secondary clusters one within the school setting and one within family-friend setting.”
Hinds said, “Another cluster would have accounted for another five persons, one of whom we’re not sure exactly of where they would have gotten their initial infection but in this cluster, there were at least three persons that were hanging out so to speak at a bar. Those three contributed to the second grouping that we want to speak about.”
“There were a couple of cases where the exposure appears to have been within the workplace and within those settings, what we found is on investigation one of the key findings is something of a lapse to some of the personal and preventive mechanisms, hygiene protocols masks etc, that weren’t 100% followed and adhered to in the way that we’ve been emphasizing,” he added.
He said, “We have at least four individuals that we do not have a clear epidemiological link to but that did not necessarily spread to anyone else.”
Hinds assured, “Active contact tracing is going on for each of these identified cases, identifying family members, workplaces, other places they may have visited.”