COVID hospitalisations hit record high for pandemic

A mo­tor­cade of vin­tage cars lum­bered through High Street, San Fer­nan­do, on Thurs­day af­ter­noon, car­ry­ing pro-vac­ci­na­tion mes­sages as part of City Week cel­e­bra­tions.

The mo­tor­cade took place hours be­fore the coun­try record­ed 11 more COVID-19 deaths yes­ter­day and 491 new in­fec­tions.

The dai­ly up­date from the Min­istry of Health al­so showed that ac­tive cas­es stood at 8,176.

Hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions on Fri­day stood at 503 peo­ple re­ceiv­ing care in the var­i­ous fa­cil­i­ties in the par­al­lel health care sys­tem.

This meant that hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions have hit their high­est record for the pan­dem­ic to date.

The In­ten­sive Care Unit at the Cou­va Hos­pi­tal and Mul­ti-Train­ing Fa­cil­i­ty was at 100 per cent ca­pac­i­ty with 26 pa­tients.

Al­so yes­ter­day, the Ari­ma, St Ann’s, Au­gus­tus Long, Point Fortin, and St James Hos­pi­tals were all above 75 per cent oc­cu­pan­cy.

To­ba­go’s ICU had just one bed left.

The T&T Clas­sic, An­tiques and Repli­cas Club pres­i­dent Ish Mungroo said be­cause of soar­ing COVID-19 in­fec­tions they had de­cid­ed to use the vin­tage mo­tor­cade to spread aware­ness about the need for mass vac­ci­na­tions.

“We want to en­cour­age and in­spire peo­ple to vac­ci­nate. The pur­pose here is to get peo­ple to vac­ci­nate, as this is the on­ly way for­ward,” he said.

Greater San Fer­nan­do Cham­ber of In­dus­try and Com­merce pres­i­dent Ki­ran Singh mean­while said the vin­tage mo­tor­cade was a wel­come sight at a time when many peo­ple were suf­fer­ing from pan­dem­ic stress.

May­or Ju­nia Re­grel­lo, who held up a plac­ard read­ing “Vac­ci­nate To­day, Don’t De­lay,” said the own­ers of the ve­hi­cles take good care of the cars and he was pleased to have the vin­tage car mu­se­um on dis­play to bring vac­cine aware­ness to the pop­u­la­tion. 

Mean­while, na­tion­als who are ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed with Sinopharm will soon be able to trav­el to Cana­da.

Yes­ter­day, the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da an­nounced that ef­fec­tive No­vem­ber 30, the list of COVID-19 vac­cines that trav­ellers can re­ceive to be con­sid­ered ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed will be ex­pand­ed to in­clude Sinopharm, Sino­vac, and CO­V­AX­IN.

All trav­ellers seek­ing to en­ter Cana­da will al­so be re­quired to be ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed un­less ex­empt and pro­vide a neg­a­tive PCR test.

Anti­gen tests are not ac­cept­ed.

Trav­ellers are en­cour­aged to check the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da web­site to view the el­i­gi­bil­i­ty re­quire­ments to en­ter Cana­da and meet all en­try re­quire­ments be­fore head­ing to the air­port.

Ear­li­er this month, the UK an­nounced that the Sinopharm vac­cine was added to its list of ac­cept­ed vac­cines.

This meant that na­tion­als of Trinidad and To­ba­go who were ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed with Sinopharm would count as vac­ci­nat­ed by UK of­fi­cials.

That an­nounce­ment will take ef­fect from next week Mon­day.

With re­port­ing by Brent Pin­heiro

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