PEOPLE in Trinidad and Tobago are dying in their 30s due to Covid-19.
This was revealed by Principal Medical Officer, Institutions, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards during the Ministry of Health’s virtual media conference on Wednesday.
Dr Abdool-Richards said, “We are no longer seeing deaths only in the elderly population or persons with co-existing medical conditions, but we are seeing deaths amongst persons even in the age group of the thirties.”
The PMO said this emphasised the need for the public to adhere to the public health prevention methods.
She said from February 2021, there was an increasing trend in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Dr Abdool-Richards said hospital occupancy was also increasing.
She said on May 3, the hospital occupancy was 48% whilst on May 4 there was an increase to 50%, and yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, there was an increase of 58%.
Dr Abdool-Richards said, “Ward occupancy has increased within 24 hours from 50% to 60% which is a ten percent increase. ICU rates have decreased from 50 to 40%.”
She said the decrease in ICU rates was due to deaths.
Dr Abdool-Richards said, “We have seen a trend in which persons with mild illness are becoming hospitalised somewhere between three and five days. Persons presented to the Scarborough and Couva Facilities are more ill requiring ICU and HDU care.”
She said people were staying in hospital anywhere between 12 and 21 days according to statistics from May 1.
“HDU rates have increased overnight from 40% to 70 %,” the PMO said.
Dr Abdool-Richards also added that the demand for hospital beds was increasing, adding that “a bed is not merely a bed.”
She said “At the Ministry of Health over the last few days, and specifically from May 1, we activated an additional 115 beds, and transitioned the Augustus Long Hospital from a suspected cases hospital to a confirmed cases hospital.”
Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said given the 542 beds available with supporting staff, once all things remained equal, only 226 spaces were available which meant seven days to full occupancy.
She said as of 9 am on Wednesday, there were 316 patients in hospital, an increase from 264.
Dr. Abdool-Richards said, “At this current rate and given the hospital occupancy levels, we will run out of hospital beds or use out our hospital beds within seven days; and this really defeats the purpose of the parallel healthcare system.”