COVID-19 hospital ready to house positive cases- Phase one complete

—Positive cases, obstetric patients with mild cases can be housed

−Asymptomatic cases can also be accommodated

Phase one of the repurposing of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention is completed; this will now allow for the housing of COVID-19-positive patients in the facility’s isolation section.

In recent weeks, key works were implemented to ensure the roll-out of phase one.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, of Saturday told DPI that hospital beds, bedside cupboards and other necessary items have been acquired to ensure isolated patients are housed comfortably.

Importantly, key utilities, which were not previously installed are expected to be fitted(by the close of today) to power the rooms in the isolation section. With this in place, the Minister said that this particular section for isolation can be used as soon as Saturday evening (August 29).

“Our challenge has been electricity to the building, there was no connection to the main power supply and I have asked the ministers responsible for both electricity and water and they have been very responsive by speaking to their technical staff so I am optimistic that we will get electricity into the building today (Saturday).”

The Minister noted that with the isolation section up and running at the facility – with at least 47 beds – the burden will be removed from the Georgetown Public Hospital, allowing them to cater to more severe cases.

It was disclosed that another section of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has been dedicated to housing pre- and post-natal maternity cases.

Director of Medical and Professional Services of the GPHC, Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey, who took the Health Minister and a team on a guided tour of the facility, explained that official capacity for the maternity section is 42 beds; however, that number can be increased since as much as two beds can be placed to a room.

Remaining works will continue and persons being housed there will not be in contact with staff working on site. He also said that GPHC has in place a skeleton staff that will attend to patients there.

Providing details on phase two, Dr. Jeffrey said “we will start activating the intensive care unit and the high dependency unit which is called the HDU. But to do that we need to have piped oxygen, [therefore] we need to get equipment like ventilators, patient monitors and electrocardiograph machines and we would also like to have the operating suite ready and activated.”

According to Dr. Jeffrey, the current budget set aside only allows for phase one to be rolled out and indicated that phase two will progress over a three to four-month period. This will eventually see the complete facility being fully utilised.