PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, October 26, 2021 - Principal Medical Officer of Health Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards says due to a spike in COVID-19 patients, the country basically has no more beds for any new patients in its intensive care units (ICUs).
Addressing the Ministry of Health's on-line media briefing on Monday, Dr. Abdool-Richards said "This morning I come to you with great concern, as I can confirm that the intensive care unit demand within our country has now outstripped or is equal to the supply of beds."
She said last Saturday Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh had warned the country's ICU beds were 90 per cent full, "Today the Ministry of Health can record that almost all our beds in Trinidad are filled.
Dr. Abdool-Richards noted that some 94.2 per cent of patients in the parallel health care system were unvaccinated, amounting to 4,178 out of 4,437 patients.
"Now, in preparedness for the arrival of the delta variant, the Ministry of Health has been doing our best to upscale or increase the number of ICU beds across the hospitals in our parallel health system, and we did increase, on a phased basis, by reallocating resources and adding resources, the number of ICU beds by 25 per cent."
She said since this was revealed on Saturday, the ministry had added a few more ICU beds, but by Monday morning demand exceeded supply.
She pointed out that: "At the Couva Medical and Multi Training Facility we have all 22 beds occupied, so 100 per cent occupancy in the ICU units, with 21 of 22 patients unvaccinated. "That's 95 per cent of persons at the Couva ICU who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated."
At the Arima hospital, all 12 ICU beds were filled, with none of the dozen patients being vaccinated. Some nine out of ten beds at the Augustus Long Hospital were filled, and of these patients, eight were not fully vaccinated. All four ICU beds each at Point Fortin and St James were filled, with none of the patients being vaccinated.
"This trend,” she observed, “is a serious cause for concern."
Ministry epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds, when asked about 102 reported cases of the delta variant, said these were spread across TT's nine counties, including Tobago, and that there were more cases of this strain within the population. He urged people to get vaccinated and to avoid congregating.