In 24-48 hours, 130 beds have been added to health sector: Dr Hinds

Technical Director of the Epidemiology Division,- Dr Avery Hinds, said in the last 24 to 48 hours, 130 beds have been added to the parallel healthcare sector

Trinidad and Tobago: Trinidad and Tobago’s– Ministry of Health held a media conference on 12 May 2021 on the COVID-19 update. Technical Director of the Epidemiology Division,- Dr Avery Hinds, said in the last 24 to 48 hours, 130 beds have been added to the parallel healthcare sector at the step-down facilities, which has brought the overall hospital occupancy rate down.

Dr Hinds stated, “The ambulatory setting now stands at 41%, ICU at 74% and HDU at 93%. Dr Hinds says the decrease in occupancy is due to an increase in beds being added.”

Dr Abdul Hamid,- General Manager of Primary Care at the NCRHA, further stated that “The step-down facility at – UTT Valsayn was operationalized in 8 hours on Sunday to ease the burden on hospitals. There are currently 32 patients at the facility and will reach capacity at 40 by midday on Wednesday, with 15 people expected to be discharged soon.”

“Similar step-down facilities for decanting COVID-19 patients will be operationalized soon, for instance, in Point Fortin, to ease the burden on hospital capacity.”

Dr Hinds asserted, “The US Government has donated two field hospitals to Trinidad and Tobago, which will be operationalized as needed. They will have the capacity for 40 beds with ICU and HDU and will be deployed at the Couva Hospital and Port-of-Spain area -Jean Pierre Complex.”

PAHO/WHO Country representative Dr Erica Wheeler spoke about the Emergency Use Listing Procedure with regards to a vaccine approved by the WHO. She assured that no shortcuts were taken to bypass any safety requirements to approve any vaccine. All approved vaccines she says would’ve undergone 3 phases of trials before being considered to be approved.

There is no current plan to test individuals before vaccines are administered. Dr Avery Hinds stated- this is not global best practice and is not the best use of resources. He notes though that sufficient screening is done prior to being vaccinated to minimize any adverse effect. He reminds that people are not ‘COVID-proof’ after taking the vaccine, even after getting fully vaccinated. He said it prevents persons from having more severe disease.

Genomic testing for recent deaths are still being processed to see if the P1 variant was a factor. But Dr Hinds noted that an increase in deaths is linked to increased numbers of COVID-19.

Dr Hinds on recent CDC report that COVID-19 is airborne – He stated although it has been shown to spread further than 6 feet, the wearing of masks drastically reduces the accumulation of particles.