Port of Spain, PRESS RELEASE (January 25, 2021) – The Ministry of Health (on January 21) advised the population that Trinidad and Tobago has its first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Variant of Concern (UK) – Variant B117.
The patient is a returned national who travelled from the United Kingdom. As per existing quarantine protocols, the national provided a negative PCR test which was taken 72-hours prior to departure from the United Kingdom. Upon arrival in Trinidad and Tobago, the national was immediately placed in state quarantine, in a single room. The patient was transferred directly to an isolation area at the Couva Hospital and Multi-training Facility once the positive COVID-19 result was confirmed.
The presence of the variant was confirmed via a gene sequencing study at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, which has been testing COVID-19 positive samples collected since September 2020.
The population is reminded that previously, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago updated its quarantine protocols for retuning nationals from the United Kingdom from 7 days to 14 days state quarantine. This protocol will continue to be implemented and returning nationals from all other high-risk countries will be subject to 7 days state quarantine and 7 days home quarantine.
Members of the public are asked to note that research has suggested that this strain of COVID-19 is more easily spread from person to person than previous strains (estimated to be 50% more transmissible).