Friday 27 November, 2020

Local COVID-19 cases stem from young adults, sick employees

It’s been said before, but the Ministry of Health is once again calling on Trinidad and Tobago’s young adults to behave more responsibly as the country continues to battle COVID-19. Young adults and employees who physically go to work despite being ill have been identified as the biggest spreaders of the virus. 

In crunching the numbers today, Epidemiologist, Dr Avery Hinds specified that cases in these demographics have exhibited concerning and avoidable behaviour. 

“What we have been seeing, overall, is that there is a preponderance of males over females. The 25 years to 49-year age group is the most affected. It’s also one of the larger age bands in the population,” he said. 

Dr Hinds also admitted in the older age group, women lead. Even so, when it comes to fatal cases and overall numbers, men lead the way. 

Hinds says adults who find themselves at work despite exhibiting symptoms of the virus put their coworkers, auxiliary staff and those they may encounter in transportation at risk. Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh reiterated some of the suggestions made by Chief Medical Officer, Dr Roshan Parasram regarding healthier workplace practices. 

“What we are asking employers to do is the simple temperature screening. Those machines now are so cheap and that is a good screening mechanism to ensure that people with fevers don’t come in to your business place. The Chief Medical Officer also advised businesses to set up pods of workers; don’t have all your workers comingling,” he explained. 

Deyalsingh added that T&T’s current status with the virus calls for better compliance in all spheres. He said that while he sympathises with the difficulties, it’s what has to be done to get T&T’s label of having community spread curtailed. 

The Minister says that there are many common-sense methods that can be employed to avoid workplace outbreaks.  

Employees with concerns should raise these with Occupational Health and Safety personnel within the organisation. 

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