Increase in Covid-19 Hospital Occupancy in T&T 

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By Chantalé Flecther

COVID-19 hospitalisations in the parallel healthcare system increased between 20% to 24% in the past eight days.

From April 26 to present, the hospital occupancy has been slowly increasing upwards.

Principal Medical Officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said, “We went from approximately 83 % to 84% hospital occupancy on December 23, 2021 (which was the peak) and up until last week, we were just in the vicinity of about 20%.”

Speaking at the Ministry of Health virtual presser on Wednesday,  she said it was also in alignment with the increase in the rolling average over the same period.

“There was usually a 14-day to a 21-day gap between the start of the increase in cases and when we start seeing the increase in cases and when we start seeing it at the hospitals,” Dr Abdool-Richards added.

There were currently 194 patients in hospitals within the parallel healthcare system, she said.

However, she added there were no patients in step-down facilities which has been a trend since the first week in March which implied the patients being admitted to the hospitals were very ill.

Dr Abdool-Richards said the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been on average 20 % to 25% for the past two months.

She said, “As of this morning, there are nine ICU level patients in hospitals in the parallel healthcare facilities, out of a total of eight available beds and none in the Accident and Emergency Departments.”

All hospitals within the parallel healthcare system were under the 75% threshold in terms of patient occupancy.

Dr Abdool-Richards said, “The A&E department continues to register low numbers of confirmed Covid-19 positive cases and this morning there are seven patients across 10 A&E departments.”

In addition, the ambulance system was currently at 12% being used for Covid -19 patients.

She said, “We have noticed trends for approximately 75 days in which our hospitals have been under 40% occupancy.

“We have noticed low numbers of persons seeking care at A&E department and the ambulance usage as another factor looked at.”

Dr Abdool-Richards said that 82% of those patients hospitalised were not fully vaccinated.

She encouraged persons to get vaccinated as vaccination was proven and an effective method to reduce the risk of transmission and infections.


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