Although the country is one the verge of reopening fully from covid19, Health, Wellness and Family Development Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine said Tobago is still preparing for a second wave of the virus.
She made the statement on Saturday during a news conference at the Scarborough Library, Tobago.
Saying Tobago was determined to make its covid19 experience “not our darkest hour but our defining moment,” Davidson-Celestine said within the past two weeks, the division has ramped up its risk communication and community engagement initiatives.
“We have been encouraging people to come out and be tested,” she said.
“We have used quite a number of methods and modes of communication in order to get that message across to you, the members of the public.”
Davidson-Celestine said the division has also been refurbishing its health facilities, including the TREC (Tobago Rehabilitation and Empowerment Centre) facility at the old Scarborough hospital as well as the geriatric facility.
“We have been getting those ready to receive any patients, whether they are well or not well, in the event that we are to have an increase in numbers when the borders reopen. Because, we are preparing for the second wave of the virus.”
She added: “When you look the world over you will see that the cases have been increasing.”
Davidson-Celestine said apart from focusing on surveillance and keeping a close eye on any potential or suspected cases on the island, the division is also concerned with containment measures, which deals with isolation, quarantine protocols and contact tracing.
In the next fiscal year, Davidson-Celestine said the division will be constructing a field hospital.
“That will help us in the event that we have to treat with any future pandemics and infectious diseases going forward.”
Dr Roxanne Mitchell, general manager, primary care services, Tobago Regional Health Authority, said since the establishment of the covid19 hotline on March 27, it has received 118 calls to date, 116 of which were directly related to possible suspect cases, while the remaining two were simply seeking information.
She said the last call received on the hotline was on May 23.