La cepa británica del coronavirus llegó a Trinidad y Tobago

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UK covid19 strain reaches TT

Trinidad and Tobago has its first confirmed case of the UK covid19 variant – variant B117.

The Ministry of Health made this announcement in a statement on Thursday. The variant was found in a returned national who travelled from the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister, on Thursday in Tobago where he is campaigning with the PNM’s Tobago Council ahead of the January 25 THA election, said he never stopped worrying about the virus’s impact on the country’s well-being.

“I have been worried from day one and I continue to be worried, because you would have seen through the international news how easy it is to go from a comfort zone to calamity.”

Rowley also gave an update on the status of his own health after he had surgery to clear arteries leading to his heart at West Shore Private Medical Hospital in Cocorite on January 8. He was discharged two days later.

Rowley said he is surviving and doing reasonably well.

“At my age, I am not a teenager any more. I am not like you all. But I am still at work and I am pleased. I thank God for the opportunity to continue.”

The PM said although he has slowed down his regime, he still is not getting as much sleep as he requires.

He said as one gets older different health challenges arise.

The Ministry of Health said the presence of the UK variant was confirmed via a gene-sequencing study at the UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences, which has been testing covid19 samples collected since September 2020.

The patient provided a negative PCR test, which was taken 72 hours before leaving the UK, under quarantine protocols. The ministry said the patient was immediately put in a single room in state quarantine on arriving in TT.

It said once the positive covid19 result was confirmed, the patient was transferred directly to an isolation area at the Couva Hospital and Multi-training Facility.

THe ministry said government will continue its 14-day state quarantine for returning nationals from the UK, and those from all other high-risk countries will be subject to seven days’ state quarantine and seven days’ home quarantine.

The ministry said because of the higher risk of transmissibility, of the new variant, it has become even more important for the public to follow all the recommended personal health protective guidelines.

The World Health Organization says the UK variant has been reported in at least 60 countries. It was first detected in the county of Kent, England on September 21. It has been estimated to spread at least 50 per cent more rapidly than the previous strains. However, while it may spread faster, it has not been determined to be more deadly.

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh and Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram could not be reached for comment on the latest development. The ministry’s communications department said there would be a media briefing on Friday at 11 am.

TT Registered Nurses Association president Idi Stuart said the association expects all systems to treat with the new variant would already be in place, almost a year after the original virus reached TT.

“We would hope our healthcare system is robust enough, well-tested and well-oiled to treat with any variant coming in the future.

“We would expect all human resources, all facilities, all training to have been completed for us to successfully navigate this new variant and, with that expectation, the association does not see it should be able to cause us much discomfort. We’d be guided by the science. And if the science indicates that something new needs to be done, then we understand the ministry and the RHAs would have to unroll that new precaution.”

The UWI project which detected the virus began in December. It is being done by molecular genetics and virology professor Dr Christine Carrington and a team of researchers. On January 5, at the Health Ministry’s media conference, Carrington said her team implemented the project at the request of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

“We analysed virus in diagnostic samples from Jamaica, and showed the presence of the UK variant of concern, which has now been detected in 38 other countries around the world. We have also screened other samples provided by the TT Ministry of Health and by CARPHA for both the UK and South African variants that are of concern,” she said then.

Jamaica was the first country in the Caribbean to report cases of the UK covid19 strain, with four cases being detected among passengers from a December 21 flight from the UK. The Jamaican government then banned flights from the UK for a two-week period, later extended to January 31.

Since the rapid spread of the new strain in the UK, lockdowns of varying severity have been carried out by the various countries in the UK. Lockdowns remain in place in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with some projected to continue until March.

Worldwide, there have been 97,948, 473 cases and 2,095,787 deaths from covid19.

This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

Trinidad and Tobago has its first confirmed case of the UK covid19 variant – variant B117. The Health Ministry said the variant was found in a returned national who travelled from the United Kingdom.

In a release on Thursday, the ministry said the presence of the variant was confirmed via a gene-sequencing study at the UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences, which has been testing covid19 positive samples collected since September 2020.The UK variant is said to be 70 per cent more transmissible than the strain of the virus previously found in TT.

The patient provided a negative PCR test which was taken 72 hours before leaving the UK, under existing quarantine protocols. The ministry said the patient was immediately put in a single room in state quarantine on arriving in TT.

It said once the positive covid19 result was confirmed, the patient was transferred directly to an isolation area at the Couva Hospital and Multi-training Facility.

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