The Ministry of Health confirmed 14 more Covid-19 related deaths over the past 24 hours with 519 new confirmed cases from 945 tests taken ‘during the period of 14 May to 18 May’.
Already, there have been 162 fatalities so far this month, which means that, in 19 days, deaths attributed to the virus stand at 41% of the people lost through homicide (394) for the entire year of 2020.
Trinidad and Tobago has had 331 deaths since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with nearly half of them coming in May 2021. The figures revealed today also suggest that 55% of the persons tested for the novel coronavirus over the relevant four-day period were positive.
At present, the country’s rolling average for new cases stands at 478. There are 6,649 active cases at present with 409 persons hospitalised.
Principal medical officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards gave the hospital occupancy breakdown as: Caura Hospital 89%, August Long Hospital 94%, Arima General Hospital 93%, Couva Medical 75%, and St Ann’s Hospital 100%.
“In simple terms our hospitals are filled—this means that soon patients who require care at our traditional hospitals will be compromised,” said Dr Abdool-Richards. “Think of a case of your child having a severe asthmatic attack and you’re calling the ambulance service and the ambulance service is basically transporting patients who are Covid positive. This results in you being unable to access the ambulance for your child who is having difficulty breathing and of course may suffer or will suffer a negative consequence.
“Think of a pregnant mother who is having a complication. This is the sort of impact you are seeing.”
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh did have some good news as the country received 100,000 Sinopharm vaccines from China, which he credited to the diplomatic effort of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
Deyalsingh hopes to start distributing those vaccines from Friday, with priority given to: persons over-60 (with or without comorbidities), persons under-60 with non-communicable diseases (hypertension, diabetes and obesity), and frontline health care workers such as, he said, ‘our wonderful, beautiful nurses, doctors, patient escorts, and receptionists’.
“This can have a huge, huge impact on where we go with our current numbers,” said Deyalsingh.
Persons who wish to be vaccinated are asked to make appointments, as there will be no more walk-ins—so as to avoid congregations outside health centres.
Deyalsingh further urged persons not to make multiple bookings, so as to avoid putting an unnecessary strain on the health care system.
“I would like to remind members of the population that we can stem and slow this process of hospital admissions,” said Dr Abdool-Richards. “We can reduce the number of patients and our relatives and friends and neighbours who are dying on a daily basis. We need to be hopeful, we need to continue to practice the Covid-19 prevention measures.
“Please, let us all continue being a resilient, civic-minded and responsible population. Let us continue being our brothers’ keepers; and we hope to stem this increasing trend in hospitalisation and deaths in the near future.”
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