Just because the Delta variant of COVID-19 has not yet been detected in T&T, it does not mean the strain of the virus is not here already.
This message came from the Minister of Health during Saturday’s Ministry of Health Media Briefing.
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is now the dominant strain in many countries including the US, Europe and the UK, and has been detected in over 80 countries.
The strain is of concern, as it is more transmissible than the original strain and others.
Mr. Terrence Deyalsingh noted that the Ministry is working to vaccinate as many people in the shortest possible time, to get ahead of the pending arrival or detection of the Delta variant.
Virologist Professor Christine Carrington then explained further.
“Not every single infected person in Trinidad gives a sample to be screened, there are a lot of people who are asymptomatic and don’t even know they are sick. So, we don’t get every single case of COVID-19 coming to us to be screened for the Delta variant. Also, not all sample are suitable for sequencing, so you can’t detect…unless we screen every single person in Trinidad, you’re not going to detect the first case of the Delta variant in Trinidad. There is a bit of a lag time between detection and when a virus arrives in a country. And that is not peculiar to Trinidad and Tobago, that occurs everywhere. You’ll see this is the first time we’ve detected it and then actually when you look back, you see other cases and sometimes like two weeks, a month, its been there, okay. So just because we haven’t detected it yet, doesn’t mean its not here so we should be taking this very seriously even now.”