Members of the T&T Defence Force set up a field hospital at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

The second of two field hospitals donated to T&T by the US Government has been erected at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain.

Members of the T&T Defence Force began constructing the tent hospital early yesterday morning. It will be able to accommodate 40 beds. The first was established outside the Couva Hospital on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said Wednesday night that the two field hospitals were the result of an agreement the government made with the US Government dating back to September 2020.

They arrived in T&T last month.

He, however, criticised the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) for seeking to attribute its donation to their outreach.

“The real problem with the UNC saying the field hospitals are a result of their intervention is that they actually expect to get people to believe that it could be done in two days. This is the reason why they resort to the naked lie in the hope of getting political credit. They are not only barren of ideas but they will ‘tief’ some credit if they think the opportunity arises,” Rowley posted on his Facebook page late Wednesday night.

He added: “The Opposition Leader was passing outside Couva Hospital and saw the field hospital going up. This after we spoke about expanding bed space for patients who require a lower level of patient care as Dr Parasram mentioned last week. She discovered what it was and that it came from the US.”

He claimed that Persad-Bissessar “then went on her platform and, as she did with her infamous letter to Prime Minister Modi, made a call to Government to ask the US for a field hospital (after she saw it in Couva) then framed a press release to give herself credit for bringing it about.

“How shameless and disrespectful of the intelligence of citizens in this country. It is being asked, is there anything they wouldn’t steal?”

The hospitals come at a time when COVID-19 cases have spiked, with 87 deaths in the last 13 days.

The increase in cases has put added pressure on the normal health system, resulting in a need to expand the parallel healthcare system.