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Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards

More beds have been added to boost the parallel healthcare facilities but once again, they have been filled, Principal Medical Officer of Institutions, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richardssaid yesterday.

Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s virtual COVID-19 update she said that as of 7.30 am yesterday another 93 beds were added to the parallel healthcare system.

“We continue to try to increase the number and level of beds in line with the demand for beds,” she said.

“It is important to know that the clinical course of patients with COVID-19 continues to be one in which patients are very I’ll and requires any time between four and 12 days at our hospitals,” she said.

The Ministry is also adding beds to step-down facilities.

Dr Abdool-Richards said that the Tacarigua step-down facility is now being utilised for COVID-19 patients, which added another 38 beds to the system.

Abdool-Richards said that some 40 beds were added to the Debe Facility while another 15 beds were passed to the Point Fortin Facility.

This means a total of 891 beds across the country to deal with COVID-positive patients.

But while the additional beds mean that more people could be facilitated, the steadily rising numbers means that even these additions may not be enough.

Abdool-Richards said that 12 of the 13 facilities designated for the care of COVID-19 patients in Trinidad are currently in the ‘red zone’.

This means that they are already above 75 per cent capacity. She said that the total occupancy in the parallel healthcare system is now at 66 per cent.

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy at 80 per cent, with ward level occupancy at 67 per cent.

The High Dependency Unit (HDU) occupancy currently stands at 48 per cent.