(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – THE Covid-19 death toll has crossed the 300 mark with a record 23 new deaths occurring on Monday.
The death toll now stands at 317 since the pandemic began last year.
The Ministry of Health reported the staggering number of deaths in its daily update yesterday evening along with another 601 new cases of the virus.
The ministry said the deceased patients included:
• Seven elderly males, five elderly females, one middle-aged male and two middle-aged females, all with co-morbidities
• One elderly male, two elderly females, two middle-aged males and three middle-aged females with no co-morbidities.
This brings to 148 the number of deaths recorded for the month thus far.
A total of 6,328 new cases have been recorded during the same period. The 601 new cases, the ministry said, were detected in samples taken between May 13 and May 16.
This brings the active case load to 6,318 and the total confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 17,150.
While, 29 patients were discharged from hospital, the hospital occupancy levels remained more or less the same with 387 patients hospitalised yesterday compared to 388 on Monday.
Of these, 17 patients are in the ICU and 42 are in the HDU.
There have been an additional 116 recovered community cases, bringing the number of recovered patients to 10,515.
In Tobago, six patients were discharged and 25 new cases were recorded yesterday, taking the total active cases on the island to 94.
The island has had a total of 338 confirmed cases of the virus and four deaths to date.
At this time, 5,201 Covid-positive people remain in home isolation, while 336 are in various State quarantine facilities.
Another 129 people are in step-down facilities.
To date, 159,982 samples (74,325 at private labs) have been submitted for testing. The Ministry advised that 61,806 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19, with 1,179 of those receiving both their first and 2nd shots.
Deadliest third wave
Efforts to get a comment on the latest figures from Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh were futile yesterday.
However, the alarming increase in fatalities was earlier this month attributed to a sharp increase in infections – where the percentage of the likelihood of death would have also been increased.
Technical Director of the Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr Avery Hinds, stated on May 10, 2021, that the statistics would have been reflective of the fact, simply, that there was a Covid-19 surge under way.
The current spike was reported by officials, including Hinds, to have corresponded with the last week of March, during “Epidemiological Week 10 and Week 11”.
Hinds had then noted that deaths were being seen in younger people and in more women, whereas the previous distribution of deaths was about 75 per cent male to 25 per cent female.
“We’re seeing where the percentage of females among the deaths has increased (31.3 per cent) and we are also seeing where whereas we would have seen deaths among the 60 and above age group, accounting for about 70 per cent of all deaths, it now only accounts for about 65 or 66 per cent as there has been more deaths in the younger age groups under 60,” Hinds had then stated.
Authorities have not stated any link between increased fatalities as a direct result of the P.1 Covid-19 (Brazilian variant) but have warned that it is more infectious and is within T&T’s community spread.