OPPOSITION MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh says there is insufficient testing for people who have been in contact with those who have contracted the Covid-19 virus.
In a media release on Sunday, the Caroni East MP, who is also a gynaecologist, said, “We have repeatedly informed the Ministry of Health that there is insufficient testing of immediate contact of citizens who would have socially interacted with those already infected and others.
“There has been lack of information to the population and could be identified as deliberately ‘secret’ in terms of their contact tracing management. Of note is that discovery of the widespread incidence of the disease in the United States and several other countries is a direct result of an expanded testing capability.”
He added, “There has been no statement on the management of the 22,000 plus citizens who returned recently, in relation to whether there is necessity for quarantine or isolation.
“Has anyone identified these individuals and have they been traced?”
Gopeesingh said, the selfless healthcare workers, who needed to be thanked and congratulated were not being provided with an adequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment “as had been promised one month ago and still continues as a promise.
“This is in keeping with the widespread incompetence being manifested in several areas of mismanagement with respect to this pandemic.”
The MP also questioned the work roster of the healthcare workers.
He said, “The work rosters of healthcare workers are also not being prudently managed, with some professionals having to perform their duties for unduly long hours and are nearing the verge of medical burnout.”
Gopeesingh said, “The government is continuing its gross medical negligence to all these frontline health professionals in addition to the citizens who are gripped with constant fear and apprehension.
“The Minister’s promise of receiving additional ventilators to the only 16 now at the Couva Children’s Hospital remains a hope, since there is no empirical evidence to substantiate that any more than these 16 have been put in place at any other institution whether Caura, Arima or the Augustus Long Hospital.
“He must ensure that these very much needed Ventilators which are crucial to saving the lives of patients, who may continue to worsen and need ventilatory support and intensive care management for their lung infection, pneumonia and possible fibrosis.
“These ventilators must be assured, put in place and not remain as promises. It is our fervent hope that we do not arrive at a similar situation as Italy experienced recently, with patients by virtue of their age being unable to receive their acute care with ventilatory support and who died subsequently.”
Gopeesingh said there was a lack of information regarding the Tobago healthcare worker who tested positive for Covid-19.
He said, “There have also been no details on how this healthcare employee could have contracted the deadly disease, its contact tracing and specific measures to prevent community spread, as has been enunciated by a senior Tobago healthcare professional.
“The Tobago Regional Health Authority together with the Ministry of Health remain silent on the clinical and psychologic support for the worker’s colleagues and the protection of the health of the other professionals who are at the forefront in this sector.”
He called on the Government and the Ministry of Health to urgently address the serious issues and concerns which the Opposition raised during a meeting with the Prime Minister and his team almost two weeks ago.
Gopeesingh said, “It remains unacceptable that despite the Prime Minister making unfounded and scurrilous statements in relation to our meeting, he presently stands accused with his team of negligence, mismanagement and serious dereliction of duty to all its citizens who are now gripped with serious concerns, fear and apprehension with respect to the sanctity and care of their lives.”
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