By Sue-Ann Wayow
THE Ministry of Health is equipped to deal with severe cases of Covid-19 if the need arises.
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh gave this assurance while speaking in Parliament on Friday.
He was asked what measures were in place to treat Covid-19 infections with the influx of Carnival visitors by Member of Parliament for Caroni East Dr Rishad Seecheran.
In his response, Deyalsingh said contingency plans included a fully commissioned staff and operational inpatient hospital with a capacity of 272 beds.
He said 13 or less than five per cent of the beds was currently occupied at three hospitals across Trinidad.
Infection Control Protocols (IPC) were also active and practiced and there was more than an adequate supply of protective personal equipment for healthcare workers the minister added.
Additionally, Covid-19 testing continues to take place, PCR and antigen testing and genotype services were available at both the University of the West Indies and through the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
Deyalsingh emphasised, “While the JN.1 variant which is a fourth generation Omicron variant is possibly more transmissible, it does not produce anymore significant disease symptoms so that is very crucial to note.”
In terms of contingency plans he continued, “We have in supply tocilizumab 2,133 vials, each patient requires four vials so therefore we can treat 500 patients if needed.”
Deyalsingh also said government remained in talks to procure additional Covid-19 vaccines since July, 2023, details of which he did not reveal to the Parliament as yet.
“Those talks are progressing well but I am under confidentiality agreements not to disclose the nature of those talks but they are going well,” he said.