“[…] The meals are well balanced and well prepared. According to each patient’s health needs [and] the general ages of the patients—particularly our cruise ship guests (over 60 years of age) [with] implied co-morbidities (heart disease, diabetes, etc)…”
The following press statement on menus at the Couva and Caura quarantine facilities were issued by Davlin Thomas, chief executive officer of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA):
Proper nutrition is critical to restoring good health and our normal short-stay hospital menus were modified within the first week of care for our Covid-19 patients at the Couva quarantine facility.
We acknowledged very early that our basic short stay hospital menus would not cut it for the long stay patients at Couva and Caura Facilities. That was more than two weeks ago. I have taken the liberty of publishing the past two weeks of menus, with the meals that have been served to the patients at the Couva facility. These are the dates and the corresponding meals.
A breakfast of eggplant choka, scrambled eggs, hops bread and juice, followed by a lunch of vegetable rice, gub gub beans, bbq chicken and tossed salad finishing with a dinner of cheese-paste sandwiches with fresh salad, represents a day of meals for the quarantined patients.
The meals are well balanced and well prepared. According to each patient’s health needs [and] the general ages of the patients—particularly our cruise ship guests (over 60 years of age) [with] implied co-morbidities (heart disease, diabetes, etc).
The NCRHA is supported in its provision of meals to the patients by other agencies. We have what I now call a League of Heroes, persons who have come forward in this Covid 19 season, to say ‘we want to help, we will provide meals.’
Agencies like the Supermarket Association and Persad D’ Food King who have been assisting us with supplying meals, free of charge, to the patients and staff. And then, we also have outlets like Mario’s and Little Caesar’s pizzerias, who also deliver, again free of charge, to the facility. So there is no question of improper or insufficient food at the Couva facility.
We are concerned, however, about the psychological health and wellbeing of our staff and patients. Hotlines are being set up, one for the patients and one for staff, to assist them with managing the stress of quarantine. The programme is headed by NCRHA professor of psychiatry, Gerard Hutchinson.
The hotlines are being set up one for frontline staff and one for patients, both at the Couva and the Caura facilities and can be in place possibly as early as tomorrow.
Based on the response to the hotlines further consideration will be given to group or individual sessions. But there are also plans to set up a room in both Couva and Caura, where persons (patient or staff ) can be seen individually, depending on the severity of their situations.
The NCRHA has hired a traumatologist to provide intervention, when necessary, and ongoing assessments. This programme is also headed by Hutchinson.
(Statement from professor of psychiatry, Gerard Hutchinson)
“Some people don’t realise they are claustrophobic until they are placed in that quarantine situation. Even something as simple as having to wear a mask, or the thought of being locked away can lead to irrational behaviour. It is a reaction to the frustration, to the fear of having the disease and the uncertainty of going forward.
“Also, we must understand that some of the persons being brought into quarantine, would have had underlying mental issues to begin with.”