Health Ministry happy at trends in covid19 healthcare system

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File photo: Principal Medical Officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards.

Over the past five weeks, the Ministry of Health has been noticing positive trends in the parallel healthcare system, as covid19 cases, hospitalisation and death remain relatively low.

The hospitalisation rate stood at 22 per cent up to Wednesday morning.

Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, acting principal medical officer, said during the ministry’s virtual media briefing on Wednesday, “That represents 140 patients in hospital across the parallel heal care system in TT. We have noted a significant decline in the occupancy from February 18 onwards. And this is a promising sign because it’s in a consistent trend.”

She said ICU and occupancy levels among patients in the high dependency unit have also seen a significant decrease.

“This area has always been one of the concerns, because it represents the patients at the highest risk of having an adverse event. The ICU occupancy is at 14 per cent, representing nine patients, seven in Trinidad and two in Tobago.”

She said the high dependency unit is at 23 per cent.

Accident and Emergency departments across regional health authorities are seeing a decrease in suspected covid19 cases.

“There are currently ten accident and emergency patients awaiting transfer into the parallel health care system or being stabilised and managed.”

Richards added eight per cent of 37 ambulance vehicles are being used by the parallel health care system at present.

“This is in stark contrast to the situation we would have seen from April-June of 2021 and October-January 2022, where we would have seen 80 per cent of ambulance service on certain days.

“We are a far cry from the situation we were faced with on December 23 and 26 and on November 26. On those days the parallel system was on 83 per cent occupancy and our A&E had a significant (number) of patients and were being stretched.”

During that period, the ICU occupancy rate climbed to 95 per cent.

She said these new trends are because of covid19 vaccines and existing safety guidelines.

Once the trends remain consistent, Abdool-Richards said the country can return to normal soon.

She urged the public to continue to follow covid19 guidelines and encouraged those who are not vaccinated to go and get the vaccine.

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