The Health Ministry has abandoned approximately 900 COVID-19 positive patients who are currently at home. As a result, they are rapidly infecting their family members, causing an increase in infections and deaths among the population. Former health minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh made this claim as he called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to immediately fire Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh over the “latest debacle surrounding this week’s failed, chaotic and potentially deadly COVID-19 vaccine rollout.”

In a statement on Friday, Gopeesingh said at present, homebound COVID-19 patients and their families are left without any “direct medical supervision and assistance,” even as the Health Ministry is “constrained” to provide such care for them. These patients are instead told to go to the hospital when they become very ill, but “ambulance services are not working properly, so these patients are dying before reaching the hospitals for proper, life-saving care,” he said.

He also slammed Deyalsingh for not disclosing “the epidemiology of the loss of lives of over 600 citizens from COVID-19, in terms of where they have died—whether in the ambulances, at home, in the COVID-19 tents, or in the HDUs or ICUs at the hospitals,” as well as withholding “evidence-based information as to the level of management at the ICUs and HDU, to determine whether the lack of properly trained medical, nursing and paramedical staff is also a contributing factor to these record-breaking COVID-19 death rates.”

He further lambasted Deyalsingh for his “ongoing refusal failure to deal with the serious allegations of deadly mismanagement” of embattled Couva Hospital by NCRHA CEO, Davlin Thomas, who controversially transferred 16 senior doctors from the Couva Hospital last month.

“The public record plainly shows that there was an alarming, correlating increase in COVID-19 related deaths from May-June 2021, where over 400 patients have died in this time-frame. Yet Deyalsingh is still refusing to put the lives of citizens before politics, saying his duties during this deadly pandemic stops at the hospitals’ door! How can a Minister of Health refuse to attend to crucial life and death issues in a major public hospital at this critical time?” Gopeesingh said.