More and more Covid-19- positive people are requiring hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) treatment, and nearly all are unvaccinated.
As of yesterday, only three ICU beds were available in Trinidad, but there were seven new patients in need of ICU care.
There are only three ICU beds available in Tobago.
This according to Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, Principal Medical Officer for Institutions.
Speaking during the Ministry of Health’s virtual news conference yesterday, Abdool-Richards said people are coming into the Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments severely ill.
“We have been observing that over the last two weeks, persons are presenting in a status that requires immediate ICU care.
“So, as they call, the ambulance arrives at the A&E departments, we have to start giving them oxygen, we have to put them on ventilatory support and ICU-level treatment.
“As of this morning, there are 19 patients across our traditional A&E centres who require immediate transfer to the hospitals in the parallel healthcare system. Seven of those 19 patients require intensive care unit-level support and care,” she said.
Abdool-Richards said none of the 19 patients is fully vaccinated.
She noted that ICU units were running out of space.
“In Trinidad, 51 out of 54 beds are occupied, that is a percentage of basically 94 per cent occupancy, three beds left as of (yesterday) morning. Of those 51 patients, 48 are not fully vaccinated. Ninety-four per cent of our patients in our ICUs are not fully vaccinated.”
Of the five ICU beds in Tobago, two were occupied as of yesterday.
“Overall, the ICU occupancy is 53 out of 59,” Abdool-Richards said. “We are seeing the impact of not being fully vaccinated.”
Unvaccinated a ‘clear
and present danger’
Abdool-Richards warned that if this trend continues, T&T resources in the parallel healthcare system would soon be expended.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh continued to urge unvaccinated people to accept the vaccine.
He said vaccination numbers have fallen significantly, with just about 1,000 people coming in for a first dose daily.
“What is happening is that the unvaccinated are posing a clear and present danger now to the vaccinated,” he stated.
He said soon, doctors would have to begin choosing between patients to give resources to.
“I am again pleading with the unvaccinated to consider being vaccinated as part of your civic duty to make our doctors and nurses not have to make those life-and-death decisions to allocate scarce resources to you. We do not want to shut down our outpatient clinics again.”