Tobago records its first confirmed case of the Gamma variant, also known as the Brazilian or P1 variant.
Confirmation of this comes from the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development in the Tobago House of Assembly.
It says the Gamma variant is more contagious than the previous strains of COVID-19, which means it spreads more easily.
The Division and Tobago Regional Health Authority are ramping-up testing for variants of concern and will continue to provide updates if any variants are detected in Tobago.
In a media release the Division says additionally, systems are being prepared to deal with the Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain globally.
Acting County Medical Officer, Dr Tiffany Hoyte, said: “the Gamma variant circulating in our community is contributing to the rise in cases.
Dr Hoyte says the presence of this variant means the fight to save lives and to reduce the spread of the virus will become more difficult.
Dr Hoyte says since it is more contagious than the original virus, we expect more cases, and with more cases come more deaths.
The Acting County Medical Officer in the sister isle said the aim is to save lives and prevent persons from being hospitalized.
Dr Hoyte said the key to achieving this is to get most of our population vaccinated.