‘COVID-19’ Hospital to be ‘centre of excellence’ for treatment of Infectious Diseases

−Public Health team walks through, inspects final work

−Facility to cater to other infectious disease during and post COVID-19

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 29, 2020

The Infectious Disease Hospital housed in the former Ocean View International Hotel will soon be operational.

This is according to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud who was part of a team that inspected the ongoing works of the facility on Monday.

Ongoing construction at the Infectious Diseases Hospital which is to be made operational shortly

The Ministry of Public Health’s Infectious Diseases Hospital

Ongoing construction at the Infectious Diseases Hospital which is to be made operational shortly

The establishment of the facility stemmed from recommendations by international healthcare partners PAHO/WHO which had suggested that countries must ensure that there is capacity at all levels to isolate, treat and manage a high rise of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

The primary function of the facility is to control the spread of the coronavirus by aptly tending to patients in a more specialised manner. The hospital will cater to three categories of patients.

Those who are infected and are suffering from the signs and symptoms of the disease; those who are infected but remain asymptomatic and those who are in quarantine who might have been in contact with a positive case and are awaiting results.

After the walk-through, Dr. Persaud noted that the hospital is much closer to becoming a “centre of excellence” as it will serve its purpose during COVID-19 pandemic and after.

“The progress is commendable. They have transformed the facility from what it was to what it is now. As with every medical facility we have to cater for special services, spaces for an operating room, space for a kitchen, laundry, waste management, provision of the necessary gases including oxygen, the pharmacy, laboratory and so on,” he explained.

Another core purpose of establishing the facility is to centralise COVID-19 management with the possibility of patients from other regions being housed there while specialist doctors and nurses will be based at this facility to effectively monitor and treat in-patients.

Dr. Persaud also noted that there will always be a role for such a facility post-COVID as the hospital could be used to house complex Tuberculosis and other Severe Acute Respiratory Infection cases as the need arises since the facility is designed to caters to such.

He reminded that Guyana once had a similar facility established to deal with a high rise in Tuberculosis cases. However, management and oversight have since been given to the National Tuberculosis Programme which has decentralised care and treatment services.

Meanwhile, the Architectural consultant, Orin Boyce, of Aqua Sun Designs Incorporated said the design of the facility entailed the reconfiguration of the former hotel into a COVID-19 facility in keeping with international standards.

The design firm worked closely with the Ministry’s Standards and Technical services department to have a facility fit to manage infectious diseases.

“The facility is divided into eight lots and we have Mr. Ivor Allen, Mr. Jagmohan, Mr. Nicholson and some other small contractors. I must say, a facility like this would normally take six months but for us to deliver in a little over three months is monumental and that comes about because of the collective work with doctors of the Ministry of Public Health.” Boyce said.

According to the Ministry of Public Health engineers, infrastructural costs for the new Infectious Disease Hospital is $1.1 Billion.

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