Trinidad Records First Case Of JN.1 COVID Variant

(CMC) – Health authorities in Trinidad and Tobago have confirmed the first case of the JN.1 variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as the country continues to record an increase in deaths associated with the virus in recent weeks.

A statement from the Ministry of Health said that while there is no evidence to suggest that JN.1 causes more severe illness, it may spread more easily from person to person compared to other variants.

“For the period from December 23, 2023, to January 15, 2024, five deaths were recorded. As of January 18, 2024, six deaths were recorded, four of which occurred in January 2024,” the ministry said.

The authorities went on to say that this trend of increasing cases has been occurring globally over the last several months. Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh said that “as a result of increased movement of persons, which usually occurs during the Christmas and Carnival seasons, among other factors,” a similar trend has been noted in the Caribbean.

The ministry is encouraging people to weigh the risk to themselves, their families, and their communities and take the necessary precautions to safeguard lives. It said it would continue encouraging the public to practice good hygiene to reduce the spread of viruses, including Influenza and COVID-19.

The authorities warn that people belonging to vulnerable groups are more prone to severe outcomes if they contract COVID-19. The elderly, pregnant women, immunocompromised persons, and those with chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are advised to exercise greater caution at this time.