Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh today discussed four main areas in a meeting aimed at reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission at the Port of Spain General Hospital, in the wake of at least five infections at the facility over the past two weeks.
Among the measures on the table were: utilisation of Covid-19 rapid antigen tests to test patients before admission; increased staff testing, especially in instances where they were potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus; reduction of the patient population to allow for increased social distancing; and increased nursing staff-to-patient ratio.
The meeting was attended by: Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) president Idi Stuart, and vice-president Letitia Cox, as well as chief medical officer Dr Roshan Parasram, permanent secretary Asif Ali, NWRHA acting CEO Salisha Baksh, NWRHA director of health Dr Anthony Parkinson, NWRHA head of IPC Dr Darrel Jones, Nursing Services national administrator Betty-Ann Pilgrim, medical chief of staff Dr Shaheeba Barrow, POSGH Pathology head of department Dr Madhum Manjunath, POSGH nursing administrator II Jacqueline Dasent, and Deyalsingh.
A release from the Ministry of Health described the meeting as ‘cordial and productive’ with ‘general agreement to solutions provided for all four areas of concern’.
Deyalsingh did not give a timeframe to implement the stated measures but vowed to ‘continue collaboration with the TTRNA and the NWRHA to address the concerns in the shortest timeframe possible’.
Baksh noted that the NWRHA have already implemented some recommendations arising from recent meetings with the TTRNA, such as the increased frequency of the sanitisation of wards. And Dr Parasram reiterated that while healthcare workers have a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 than the general population, they are ‘at the top of the list’ for vaccines once they become available.
The Ministry of Health recorded 15 new positive Covid-19 cases and one death today. There are 294 active cases at present, with 230 persons in home self-isolation.
There have been 7,320 infections and 130 deaths since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.