Arima General Hospital could soon be removed from the parallel healthcare system set up to manage the Covid-19 pandemic. But according to Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, who spoke at the Ministry of health’s virtual media conference, the move to stop housing Covid-19 patients at Arima would only happen if infection numbers remained low.
The Arima hospital, Deyalsingh said, was used to house patients from all the regional health authorities who were suspected of having the disease. But, he said, it was ‘grossly underutilised’. He added that the Augustus Long Hospital was now being considered to replace Arima in housing suspected Covid-19 patients.
Since hospitals are not used as quarantine facilities, Deyalsingh said removing Arima from the parallel health system would have no impact on the ministry’s Covid-19 isolation programme.
The Arima General Hospital could return to normal operations as soon as February, depending on the numbers, Deyalsingh said.
The ministry reported one new Covid-19 fatality today as an elderly man with co-morbidities has died. The death toll is now 129.
There were 19 new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total to 7305 since March 2020.
Thirty-two patients are hospitalised, with three in intensive care. There are 14 patients in step-down facilities and 267 in state quarantine facilities.
Three repatriation exercises are planned for the next 10 days with returning nationals from the US, Canada and Barbados.