THA Minority Leader Kelvon Morris is calling on the Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection Dr Faith BYisrael to conduct a thorough investigation to determine how patients and staff in the psychiatric ward of the Scarborough General Hospital contracted covid19.
He also wants to know what are the infection control measures in place at the hospital to protect patients and workers against covid19 infections.
“These are the questions we are very concerned about at this time,” Morris said in a Whatsapp voice note on Saturday.
A statement from the division on Friday said the psychiatric ward was temporarily closed for sanitation after five patients and a staff member tested positive for covid19. The division said the established protocols were implemented, including contact tracing.
It said the five patients were transferred to the Covid19 Treatment Facility at Fort King George, where they will continue to receive treatment for their mental health. The member of staff was allowed to isolate at home.
The division said the sixth patient on the ward has been placed in quarantine pending the results of a PCR test. It said despite the temporary closure, psychiatric patients requiring admission can be temporarily housed and treated at the Accident and Emergency Department.
Sunday Newsday understands services at the ward resumed on Saturday.
But in the voice note, Morris said the covid19 infections among patients and staff raises serious concerns.
“The latest development at the Scarborough Psychiatric Unit really leaves more questions than answers,” he said. “Of course, we are not here to play the blame game but we must ask the questions at the end of the day.”
Morris said many of the points the PNM would have put forward in its 11-point plan for managing covid19 treats with alleviating infections within the hospital and other treatment facilities.
“Over five patients are positive and health care professionals are also positive. We are very concerned about the welfare of the patients and the workers at the Scarborough Hospital within the Tobago Regional Health Authority.
“And this is why we are asking the secretary to carry out a comprehensive investigation to find out how did the covid19 virus make its way into the health institution to the point that both professionals and patients were infected.”
Meanwhile, the division also said in a statement that all out-patient clinics will resume at the Scarborough General Hospital from Monday.
The clinics were suspended last month due to the high number of covid19 cases in Tobago and the increased number of patients requiring hospitalisation.
The division said although the island still has a high number of cases, the number of covid19 positive patients requiring hospitalisation has decreased. As such, services can now resume.
It said the out-patient clinic space is being deep cleaned and sanitised to ensure that patients enter a clean and safe environment on Monday.