High Dependency Unit occupancy jumps from 40-70% overnight


File photo: An ambulance arrives at the Couva Hospital.

PRINCIPAL medical officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards has said that High Dependency Unit (HDU) occupancy for covid19 patients jumped from 40 per cent to 70 per cent between Tuesday and Wednesday.

If the public does not get its act together, she warned the public healthcare system could reach its full capacity in a week.

She was speaking at the Health Ministry’s virtual press conference on Wednesday morning.

To date, 185 people have died from the covid19 virus in Trinidad and Tobago – 11 of those being recorded in just two days.

Richards said the trend of the increasing deaths is “very disturbing and very concerning.

“We are not just seeing deaths amongst the elderly population and persons with pre-existing conditions, but we are seeing deaths even among the…30s.

“This emphasises the need for the members of the population to really start adhering to the public health precautions.”

She said on Monday, hospital occupancy was at 48 per cent, which jumped to 50 per cent on Tuesday and is now at 58 per cent.

Overnight, ward occupancy increased from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy has decreased, moving from 50 per cent to 40 per cent – not because patients have been discharged, but because they have died.

“Persons with mild illness are being hospitalised for up to five days…and we are seeing that also persons presenting mild illness are becoming even more ill and are requiring ICU and HDU care.”

She said there are currently 542 covid19 hospital beds available.

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