By Theresa Goodwin
The city of St John’s has been cited as one of the country’s primary coronavirus hotspots, with the constituency of St Paul’s following closely behind.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Teri-Ann Joseph shared that information during a state media interview Monday night when she gave a detailed analysis of the current active cases.
Earlier that day, 50 new Covid-19 cases had been announced by the Ministry of Health, pushing the active count to 185.
Of those, 86 are males while 99 are females. Of the 50 new additions, which are included among the 185, the ages range from 11 months to 82 years old, with 22 of them males and 28 females.
The infection rate was also said to be more dominant amongst children under 17.
The medical official said more and more youngsters are being affected by the virus.
According to Joseph, seven children, aged from babies to 11 years old, were diagnosed with the virus in 2020. Since the start of this year, 67 youngsters under 11 have tested positive – with the youngest just 11 days old.
Last year, two children aged between 12 and 17 were affected by the virus, compared to 51 from the same age bracket so far this year.
“Of the 185 cases, 12 are imported and 123 are local transmission. In terms of vaccination, 53 people are unvaccinated, five partially vaccinated, 21 fully vaccinated, 17 are below the age required for vaccination, and 101 we do not know about so we will get back to that,” Dr Joseph said.
“As it relates to deaths, we have 43 in all, however, 41 were directly linked to Covid and three were coincidental, meaning that these persons died and a test was conducted only after,” Joseph said.
Looking closer at the cases on a month-by-month basis, Dr Joseph pointed out that the greatest number of new cases in a week were the 39 that were recorded in June/July 2020. This year, February has seen the highest number of cases recorded in one week at 171. And earlier this month, 134 cases were reported in a single week.
“To be less scientific and more human, that actually scares me. We are seeing that it is increasing, and based on what we are seeing, we may actually pass the 171 in a week and this is frightening,” Dr Joseph said.
She added that the numbers reinforce the need for everyone to comply with the public health protocols put in place to curtail the virus’ spread.
The acting CMO urged people not to take the virus lightly, adding that each resident has a personal responsibility to ensure they are paying keen attention to their health in order to reduce the likelihood of contracting Covid.