THERE is now a facility designated specifically for the holding and treating of prison inmates who have tested positive for the covid19 virus.
The facility is in Claxton Bay and was commissioned on Wednesday by Acting Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan. Newsday was told that a batch of 13 inmates are expected to be transferred to the facility soon. The opening of this facility came a day after an inmate at the Tobago Convict Prison tested positive for the virus.
The Prison Service said in a post on its Facebook page that the Claxton Bay Correctional Facility located on Trincity Road in Forres Park is the designated holding facility to accommodate covid19 infected prisoners. Patients who are in a stable conditional will also be treated at that facility. Those with more serious symptoms will be treated at a covid19 parallel health facility.
The facility is designed and outfitted for patients’ enhanced medical treatment while maintaining public safety and security. The facility will cater to prisoners who are asymptomatic (have no physical symptoms) or who are experiencing a mild case of the virus.
Some of the areas in which officials at the facility received training are standard operating procedures for the facility, safety procedures, record management, identification of personal protective equipment (PPE) and its usage and proper donning and doffing of PPE.
They were also trained in bio-hazardous waste disposal, health-related emergencies and emergency plans and procedures. Staff selected to work at the facility began training last week on dealing with and caring for inmates in the new covid19 environment.
The facility can hold 23 patients and treatment will be based on stipulated guidelines set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health, a release from the Prisons Service said.
“Dr Maryam Richards, Principal Medical Officer (Institutions) made a complete tour and inspection of the facility and found it to be suited and in readiness for its purpose. Personnel from the Ministry of Health will offer additional support in the treatment of charges when necessary.
“Commissioner Pulchan expressed his gratitude to Minister of National Security Stuart Young, personnel from the Ministry of Health and most of all his dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to ensure all standards were met,” the release ended.