Dr Anthony Thompson. Photo: THA
By Chantalé Fletcher
SEVEN samples taken for Covid-19 testing are flagged by the Office of the County Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) for genomic testing and especially for variants.
This is according to Covid-19 response team member for CMOH Dr Anthony Thompson who spoke at the Tobago Division of Heath, Wellness and Family Development virtual presser on Thursday.
He said, “No results have been received as yet.”
Dr Thompson said, “That persons who died are members of the community; people that we know, some more prominent than others. As the circle gets smaller, the pain and grief we feel as a community increases.”
Referring to the Covid-19 curve, which is again starting to show an upward trend he added, “Over the last week there was a bit of a dip towards the end of last week.”
This reflected the increase in the number of people being discharged from care as well as the reduction of new cases being reported due to the interruption in testing over the week with the holidays, Dr Thompson said.
In terms of positivity rate of the samples for this week, Dr. Thompson made reference to previous weeks 10 and 11 which highlighted a decrease caused by interruptions in testing and retrieval of results.
He added that it was hoovering steadily above 20%, however, 5% was the benchmark recommended.
Dr Thompson said, “So things are heading in a direction that is unfavorable.”
He said the actual case numbers and trend numbers are going in the direction of a negative scenario.
Dr. Thompson said, “We still have a lot of work to do as a community to bend the way we want them to.”
Last week, a change in policy was announced to allow persons to isolate at home and the monitoring of such persons have begun.
Policy for essential workers
Dr Thompson added that for essential workers who have been tested for Covid-19 but did not yet receive a result, they are being allowed to work as long as they exhibited no symptoms of the Covid-19 virus.
He said such persons included healthcare workers, members of the police service and those who work with the Airport Authority.
Dr Thompson said, “It became impossible to just quarantine persons as we would with normal members of the public when they are tested. Organisations where basically we cannot afford for the organisation to shut down, what the policy has been is that we test you but we cannot quarantine you. What we do is we ask you to limit your movements from work to home because we still need you to come out to work.”
“In that way we allow the organisation to function while we still have the ability to test everyone,” he said.