Dr Avery Hinds
DOCTORS do not wait for Covid-19 test results to treat patients but rather they treat what is in front of them.
This was stated by Principal Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr Naresh Nandram, during the Health Ministry’s virtual media conference on Monday.
He was responding to claims that a couple of people may have died before receiving their Covid-19 tests.
Nandram said, “I’ll just like to say reemphasizing the message that was put out by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr (Roshan) Parasram, doctors, clinicians and health professionals everywhere are very much aware we treat the patient in front of us we don’t treat a piece of paper that the test comes on we treat the patient.”
He added, “I’d also like to bring it to the public’s attention that there is no specific treatment for Covid-19 at this time. The treatment recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is supportive care which does not require a test for us to do, so that supportive care is given to every patient whether they receive a test result or not.”
Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds explained further, “When a patient is clinically assessed at any of the public health institutions, the only role that a positive or negative Covid-19 test result will play is in determining where or in which facility the patient will be admitted.”
“All of the clinical needs, their need for support with regard to oxygenation, with regard to hydration, with regard to any medication that is required, all of those decisions are based on the clinical assessment of the patient,” he said.
He assured, “Decisions for admission I’m not made on the basis of whether you are Covid-19 positive or not decisions for treatment are not made on that basis but the test will then allow us to redirect confirmed persons to the parallel healthcare system.”
Dr Hinds noted, “As you may be aware there is an existing system what we refer to as suspect cases meaning persons who may be ill, we don’t have the results but they require care, the care is currently being provided.”
And Dr Nandram said the large numbers of Covid-19 patients that are taken to hospital after receiving Covid-19 positive results had nothing to do with a backlog or that people had to wait a long time before they were taken to hospital
In the Health Ministry’s Monday morning clinical update, it stated that 285 persons were being admitted to hospital while 76 others were being processed for admission.
Dr Nandram said, “Because our testing in several facilities run across the night prior to our updates just before 8 o’clock in the morning, we usually get the reports of all the positives coming in immediately before so we usually get updated with those figures just before we come on. That also contributes to why there are these large figures coming in.”
He said, “The facilities have room and the process of bringing a positive patient in, it’s a little bit involved. The first thing we need to do is advise the patient and then coordinate with the clinical team to bring them in, so when we are notified of 20, 30, 40 cases immediately before, those would be brought in during the course of the day.”
Nandram said, “It’s something that we’re consistently working on. Patients aren’t brought in at any one point in time, they are brought in consistently day or night and the figures just represent a snapshot.”