New COVID-19 cases were tallied in the triple digits for the fifth straight day this week as 202 new cases were reported by the Ministry of Health and Wellness today. These go with four fatalities, taking the death toll to four hundred and eighteen . There are forty six hospitalizations and twelve persons are in the ICU. Of the total hospitalizations, thirty four of those people are unvaccinated, sixteen are fully vaccinated and seven have gotten just their first dose. Of those in the ICU, six of them are unvaccinated. One of the individuals who’ve tested positive this week is the United Democratic Party’s Shadow Minister of Education, Earth Lopez, who spoke to our newsroom this evening about how the vaccine helped her during this process.
Earth Lopez, Shadow Minister of Education: “You’re looking at the face of a COVID-19 positive person. I did my test the 17th of September and they took two swabs from me, one for rapid test and one for a PCR and I was cleared with the rapid test and all this while I thought I was in the clear for COVID and the results from the PCR came out this Tuesday. So let me check what date that is but I got the results from the PCR 28th of September early in the morning and I was informed that the PCR came back positive for COVID. I was in shock. Basically I don’t socialize any at all, it’s mostly from my house to my mom’s house so of course I was concerned about my mom’s health and everybody who lives there at her house but thankful they have been cleared as well. Obviously I’ve been asymptomatic and I had little symptoms of headache and chest pain that was basically it. I’ve received my first dose of the vaccine since early July and I must say that I think that my progress and the way I responded to the virus is highly attributed to the first dose of the vaccine that I took and so I take this opportunity to encourage everybody especially young people as my self because we’ve been statistically the smallest group of people flocking to do the vaccine and so I take this opportunity to encourage all young people to go and get vaccinated. All my contacts have been tested. I’ve informed all of them of my results and they went in to get their COVID test. Due to the delay of my results I actually have just a couple more days in quarantine so all this while I had COVID and I didn’t even know. I didn’t even know and so it is important that we continue to treat ourselves and everybody around us as if though they are COVID positive. We continue to wear our mask and that’s one thing I’m proud of I wear my mask everywhere I go once I go in public. Continue to keep our social distance, practice great hygiene, keep our hands clean, always sanitize or wash your hands because it really does help.”
Lopez remains quarantined for the time being. Also on the COVID-19 front, drugmaker Merck has said that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalisations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus. Based on these results, Merck is now planning to ask health officials in the United States and around the world to authorise its use. If cleared, the drug, called molnupiravir (mole-noo-pee-ra-vir), would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19, a potentially major step forward in global efforts to control the pandemic