With a Case Fatality Ratio(CFR) of 2.8, Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley puts it on record that Trinidad and Tobago is not the world leader in Covid-19 deaths, and neither is it at the top of the list in the Caribbean Community(CARICOM).
Responding to a question posed to him in the house of representatives, the Prime Minister stated that Trinidad and Tobago ranked 44 in CFR, which is calculated by the total number of deaths divided by the total number of positive cases. He said this was the global standard used. Nevertheless, Dr. Rowley did not say where Trinidad and Tobago was ranked at 44 in CFR, nor 51 based on deaths per capita as he also stated.
The question that was posed to Dr. Rowley: “Is the Prime Minister concerned that with almost similar, climatic demographic and social characteristics as our CARICOM neighbours, Trinidad and Tobago has among the highest rates of Covid 19 deaths per capita in the world.” The question was asked by Naparima Member of Parliament(MP), Rodney Charles, and was mocked by Dr. Rowley.
“If we had taken the advice of our colleague who is just reading this out and used climatic response to Covid, where sunshine was supposed to kill Covid, we certainly would have had the worse condition in the world.” Dr. Rowley said.
Dr. Rowley also noted that the premise of the question by the opposition parliamentarian was inaccurate since Trinidad and Tobago’s demographic was different from other CARICOM states. He reasoned that this country had one of the highest rates of Non-communicable diseases(NCDs) in CARICOM.
Several technocrats at the Health Ministry including epidemiologist, Avery Hinds, and Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh have repeatedly stated, hypertension and diabetes are two of the more common comorbidities that persons who have died from Covid-19 had been nursing.
In clarifying the question, Charles asked: “Is the Prime Minister aware that data from John Hopkinson University places us first in the world on a per capita basis for Covid-19 deaths.”
However, Dr. Rowley did not answer the question directly but said: “These things have been varying for the past two years and our colleagues on the other side are only concerned about where we are when they think we are in a bad position. When we are in a good position they dismiss it.” However, he did point out: “Covid has been varying with respect to levels of infection, spikes, and deaths.”
On the John Hopkins University website, Trinidad and Tobago is ranked as the 44th nation with a CFR of 3.0 and a death per capita of 172.5 per 100,000. Three CARICOM members came higher: Bahamas, Suriname, and Grenada.
However, on November 25, Trinidad and Tobago did take the title for the highest daily confirmed COVID-19 deaths per million people according to data taken from the aforementioned university.