The Ministry of Health is today advising citizens that Trinidad and Tobago has its first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Variant of Concern (UK) – Variant B117.
According to a media release issued by the Health Ministry the patient is a returned national who travelled from the United Kingdom. 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 Trinidad and Tobago, 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 population is reminded that previously, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago updated its quarantine protocols for retuning nationals from the United Kingdom from 7 days to 14 days state quarantine. This protocol will continue to be implemented and returning nationals from all other high-risk countries will be subject to 7 days state quarantine and 7 days home quarantine.
Members of the public are asked to note that research has suggested that this strain of COVID-19 is more easily spread from person to person than previous strains (estimated to be 50% more transmissible). Thus, it becomes even more important for members of the public to follow all of the recommended personal health protective measures:
Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you go out in public
Keep your distance from others (6 feet)
Stay home if you are ill
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Cough into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow