Four additional local samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency in Trinidad & Tobago have tested positive for the Mu variant.
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronald Georges said the samples were collected between August 27 and 31. There was also one positive Delta variant sample.
“The Mu and Delta variants should be considered to be circulating in the territory and, of note, of samples typed over the last two batches only Mu and Delta variants have been identified,” Dr Georges said.
The Acting CMO further said that cases have been identified between both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. However, he said most cases did not require hospitalisation.
“There have been few cases requiring hospitalisation specifically for the treatment of COVID
-19 symptoms and others who have been hospitalised for other reasons and happen to be COVID
-19 positive over the period,” Dr Georges explained.
The Mu variant, first identified in Columbia, is now present in 58 countries worldwide.
It was first identified in the territory on September 5 when two samples tested positive. The Mu variant is currently classified as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization (WHO).
However, Dr Georges explained that the variant is said to have several mutations which indicate that it may be transmitted easily and have the potential for immune escape.
Meanwhile, the Delta variant is still being classified as a ‘variant of concern’ by WHO. The acting CMO said while the government continues to change protocols to stimulate economic activities, it is important that people take the necessary precautions and adhere to the measures put in place.
“All persons should therefore continue to adhere to all quarantine requirements to limit the spread of COVID
-19 and all positive cases should ensure that they follow the isolation guidelines and continue to take every opportunity to get vaccinated,” Dr Georges said.