HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has said if the number of covid19 cases remains steady, the Arima Hospital will no longer be used to house these patients.
He was speaking at the Health Ministry’s virtual press conference on Wednesday morning.
The hospital was opened on June 9, 2020 and was built at a cost of $1,601,276,961.40
In October, a wellness centre was opened there to treat people who are experiencing the effects of "long covid."
Deyalsingh said there are no plans to expand hospital space for covid19 patients, “If we continue to adhere to the public health measures and we continue to maintain these steady numbers from October, we have already planned – if these numbers hold – we are now thinking – and we have a plan in place to take the Arima Hospital out of the covid grid.”
He said the hospital is currently “grossly underutilised” and it would be nice for it to be used for its intended purpose.
“You have five or ten persons there on any one day, in a 100-bed facility.”
If low case numbers continue, he hopes this can be done by February, adding, however, that the ministry expects a spike in the number of cases owing to Christmas and New Year’s Day festivities.
“This is one of the prizes we have in the healthcare system.
“Suspected cases will find a home at the Augustus Long Hospital. We are visiting next Tuesday to see if, physically and logistically, that can happen.”