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Dr Victor Wheeler

The Tobago Regional Health Authority(TRHA) has managed its parallel health care system for the treatment of COVID positive cases “successfully.”

Speaking at the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tobago health update media briefing on Friday, TRHA’s Medical Chief of Staff(MCOS) Dr Victor Wheeler said the authority is doing the work required to keep the system running.

Asked if he could predict whether the TRHA would be able to accommodate more patients, given the upward trend in the cases, he said yes.

“ I can say for certain in the immediate future, we should not have any problems with a capacity based on the recent trends of the type of patients that we have. We have been able to manage quite successfully so far, what has happened.

“And we have been able to keep the normal functioning of the hospital, elective surgery, clinics, emergency surgery, all of those things have continued as normal.”

Dr Wheeler said the COVID -19 Isolation Facility, Fort King George, Scarborough, can accommodate 67 people and COVID ICU- Scarborough Hospital at Signal Hill – five.

He reminded that all COVID-positive patients in Tobago are housed at a state facility.

Reporting on the authority’s vaccination roll-out programme that began on April 6, acting General Manager Primary Health Care Services Dr Roxanne Mitchell said health care workers have been handling the vaccination programme well.

“ For the month of April, we have delivered a total of 2,916 vaccines…and up to May 6, we would have delivered 557 vaccines had 5,131 people registered for the vaccines. We have 600 doses to be delivered and those will be delivered between today (May 7) and the end of next week.”

She said the vaccines were administered, mostly to those over 60 and with comorbidities.

Dr Mitchell said people in the 35-39, 45-49, and 50-59 age groups have also been accessing the vaccines in large numbers.

She said the authority would also target people in the rural area of Roxborough as the vaccination figures there are low.

Dr Mitchell said the TRHA will ramp up the vaccination programme by going to homes for the elderly and those not usually attending clinics.

And Health, Wellness, and Family Development Secretary Tracy Davidson -Celestine, who was also at the briefing, encouraged Tobagonians to follow COVID protocols.

“Our focus over the next few weeks will be severalfold…We are focused on the TTPS to assist in enforcing the regulations as much as is possible, especially those as it relates to wearing of masks…and quarantine.”

She said in many instances, people have been resisting wearing their masks properly and going to the State’s quarantine facility.