Janelle De Souza
Between Friday and Saturday, 92 more beds were added to the parallel health care system, 60 at the new Point Fortin Hospital and 32 at Couva hospital.
At a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s on Saturday, principal medical officer in charge of institutions Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said because of the new beds, the country’s overall hospital occupancy was 70 per cent – 76 in Trinidad and 31 per cent in Tobago.
She noted Caura was at 93 per cent occupancy, Couva was at 71, Arima at 99, Augustus Long at 81, St Ann’s was at 100, Point Fortin was at 73 per cent on Saturday morning but was “almost at maximum levels” by 2 pm.
“This demonstrates that, although we continue to add beds and we continue to reallocate limited resources by moving and rationalising doctors, nurses and equipment, the beds continue to be filled.”
She said over the past four to five days people more people are being discharged than previously because of an improvement in the “operational and allocated efficiency” of the system.
“We have additionally converted about 30 ward beds into 11 additional ICU beds. We have also improved the clinical efficiency so we are looking at the accurate admission and discharge of persons.”
She added that the seven-day rolling average of new cases was 508 but there was a slight decline in daily hospital admissions in the past week.
Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds too noted that there had been a slight decline in the trend of new cases so that the expected number, using data from the last two weeks of April, was not reached.
He believed that may be because of the first set of restrictions announced on April 29.
“We didn’t have as many (new cases) as projected, which is a good thing but we still have a great number with respect to all of our internal capacities and this is why we still need to ensure that we reduce the number of new cases by adhering to the measures.”