The Ministry of Health advises the population that today, two additional cases of the COVID-19 Omicron Variant of Concern were confirmed. Therefore, to date, Trinidad and Tobago has confirmed five cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
The fourth patient recently returned to Trinidad from the United States via Puerto Rico. As per existing quarantine protocols, the person provided a negative PCR test (which was taken 72-hours prior to arrival).
The fifth patient had no recent history of travel or known contact with another positive COVID-19 case.
As a result of their positive COVID-19 results both patients were isolated. The patients will remain in isolation until they meet the enhanced discharge criteria for persons with COVID-19 Variants of Concern. Additionally, contacts of the positive Omicron COVID-19 cases have been quarantined.
The presence of the Omicron variants were confirmed via gene sequencing at the laboratory of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), to date 89 countries have confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of Concern. Research has suggested that this variant is more easily spread from person to person as compared to previous variants but further information is needed on its impact on persons who contract this variant.
The Ministry of Health reminds the population of the importance of being vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible.
Additionally, members of the public are reminded to follow all of the recommended personal health protective measures, even if they are fully vaccinated:
• Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you go out in public
• Keep your distance from others (6 feet)
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Stay home if you are ill
• Cough into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow
• Avoid touching your face
• Sanitize hard surfaces (e.g. table tops, hand rails, door knobs and trolleys) as often as possible.
WHO Approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe, they are effective and they are available in Trinidad and Tobago. The public is encouraged to visit the Ministry of Health’s website (www.health.gov.tt) as well as the social media pages of the Ministry of Health and the Regional Health Authorities for further information on COVID-19 vaccination.