THE country recorded its highest daily covid19 death toll since the pandemic began on Thursday, with the Ministry of Health saying there were 21 new deaths that day. What this means is that in the first 13 days of this month, 87 people have died of covid19.
The ministry’s daily update on Thursday said that of the 21 victims, five were elderly women and four elderly men with comorbidities; one elderly woman and one elderly man without comorbidities; three middle-aged women and one middle-aged man with comorbidities; three middle-aged women and two middle-aged men without comorbidities; and one young adult man who had no comorbidities.
The ministry also reported an additional 397 cases on Thursday from samples taken between May 9 and 12. This is the fourth highest number of daily covid19 cases recorded since March 2020. The number of active cases stands at 4,814.
Since March 2020, there have been 14,814 cases, of which 9,744 have recovered. For the month of May, as of Thursday, 3,990 cases were reported by the ministry.
There are 342 patients in hospital, one less than Wednesday. Of these, there are 137 people at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility, with nine in the intensive care unit and 58 in the high dependency unit. There are 75 people at the Caura Hospital, 46 at the Augustus Long Hospital, 56 at the Arima General Hospital, 27 at the Scarborough Regional Hospital, Fort King George and one at the Scarborough Regional Hospital, Signal Hill.
There are 103 patients in step-down facilities, with seven at the Claxton Bay Correctional Facility, 34 at UWI Debe, 22 in Tobago and 40 at UTT Valsayn.
There are 3,972 people in home self-isolation, 424 more than Wednesday. There are 392 in State quarantine facilities. There have been 113 recovered community cases, and 37 people have been discharged from public health facilities.
The number of people vaccinated with the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is 60,645, and the number of people given their second dose is 1,179. The number of people tested in public and private facilities is 149,880, of which 69,456 were done at private facilities.
The North Central Regional Health Authority held an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss improvements in the system after a record-breaking wave of patients requiring covid19 testing and care, engulfed the system in that RHA.
In a release, the NCRHA said the team huddled and regrouped to identify and embrace the standards that each manager and staff member now has to defend on the frontline.
“Having examined its process flow, from the initial phases of testing to the acquiring of results and the transfer of those patients who are positive to quarantine facilities, the NCRHA is adapting and building muscle, rolling out interventions to mitigate challenges.”
Among the interventions stated, some of which the Authority said were already on their way, were the adaptation of inherent capacity to test at a quicker rate; the use of inherent ambulance systems to support quicker inter-hospital transfer of patients to covid19 facilities, and more stringent barrier systems to segregate covid19 patients from other patients.
The authority said additional toilet facilities had been installed at the Chaguanas District Health Facility and the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex to accommodate the increased influx. It said male and female only toilet facilities will be segregated to ensure there is no mixing of covid19 patients.
It said additional signage has been installed at covid19 testing sites to prevent suspected patients from intermingling with regular patients and the general public. It said, in addition to current directional and instructional signage, this is aimed at ensuring patient safety and adherence to public guidelines and protocols.
NCRHA CEO Davlin Thomas said the authority remains committed to the task of delivering quality healthcare in the face of increasing challenges arising from the recent surge in covid19 cases.
“The authority will ensure that patients and staff operate in an environment that supports dignity, respect for our brothers and sisters, and defending the vulnerable. The NCRHA has increasingly engaged, without fear, systematic and structured innovations to combat the effects of covid19 on the healthcare system, while simultaneously boosting its capacity to treat with the recent 300 per cent increase in positive cases, with a simultaneous and exponential increase in the demand for covid19 testing.
“We identified that bottlenecks emerged during the wave, which resulted in some congestion in the general intake. Our multi-disciplinary team met until late last night to rethink our systems and to make the necessary alterations and consequent improvements to the patient and staff experience.”