HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh is confident that the new Roxborough Hospital will provide additional resources to help Trinidad and Tobago deal with the covid19 pandemic. But he reiterated that increasing the covid19 vaccination rates in TT remains the endgame to overcoming covid19.
Responding to a question in the Senate on Tuesday, Deyalsingh said, "Barring unforseen circumstances, the THA (Tobago House of Assembly) has advised that the hospital will be operationalised in the first half of the calendar year 2022."
While the new hospital can increase bed and intensive care unit (ICU) capacity in Tobago when it is operational, Deyalsingh said, "We must do as a national community is not only look to the addition of hospital beds, hospital space and more ambulances."
He reiterated, "If we are to beat back this virus, we must get our vaccination rates in both islands up." While TT recorded a rolling average of 621 covid19 cases last December and the average is around the same this month, Deyalsingh disclosed the number of people being hospitalised for covid19 declined.
He said from 543 people hospitalised for covid19 on December 27, 2021, that figure was 421 on January 25.
Deyalsingh attributed this to a combination of strategies which included the use of different covid19 spokespersons and vaccinating 685,376 people between this period.
He reminded senators that covid19 vaccines significantly improve people's chances to combat the virus and not require hospitalisation. Deyalsingh appealed to the estimated 50 per cent of the population who are unvaccinated to get vaccinated.
To those people who describe covid19 as a crisis in TT, Deyalsingh said, "We must be careful how we use the word crisis. We are in a global pandemic as are all countries around the world."