[Reprinted: CNW, 9-7-2020]
Trinidad and Tobago’s Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh on Monday warned that the second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was being spread by young people and appealed to them to follow the measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
“And what is driving our second wave is the demographic of the 25s to 49s who are taking the virus home, infecting the families, infecting the elders,” Deyalsingh said at the Ministry of Health virtual news conference.
“The two drivers for this second wave are the behaviour of the young people between the ages 25 to 49 and the insistence of people who are knowingly ill going to work,” he added.
The latest figures released Monday by the Ministry of Health showed that the island recorded yet another death bringing the total to 35.
It said the latest death had been an elderly male with underlining medical conditions and that 2,254 people have now tested positive for the virus that was first detected in China last December and blamed for 881,000 deaths and 27 million infections globally.
Epidemiologist, Dr. Avery Hinds told reporters that there are now statistics supporting the claim that young persons were flouting the measures and are the main causes driving the pandemic here.
He said men also appeared to be contracting the virus more than women.
‘What we have been seeing overall is that there is a preponderance of males over females, the 25 to 49-year-old age group is the most affected.
“It is also one of the larger age bands in the population. So the males 25 to 49 are leading the pack. We do find that between 50 and 59 years of age, women outnumber men, but overall there are more men than women diagnosed as positive within our system,” he said.
He said the virus is spreading rapidly and urged people to follow the protocols in a bid to save themselves, warning “there is nowhere where they are no cases on the island.
“There are cases where they are people and therefore we are asking people to follow the guidelines given with regards to reducing the risks of transmission of COVID-19 in their day to day interactions.
Deyalisngh said he was also disappointed despite the new measures where persons are charged TT$1,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.16 cents) for not wearing masks in the public, persons were still flouting that regulation.
Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) said Monday that 61 fixed penalty tickets had been issued to persons for breaching the COVID-19 regulations for failing to wear a face mask between the period 6.00 pm on Sunday to 6.00 am (local time) on Monday.
It said the majority of the infractions, 56, occurred in the Eastern Division, reminding people that the TT$1,000 fine is only for the first infraction. Under the regulations, persons could be fined as much as TT$5,000 for a third offence.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service would like to appeal to all citizens to adhere to all COVID-19 regulations by wearing face masks, not having gatherings of more than five persons in public places, and practicing social distancing, in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the police added.