St. Vincent and the Grenadines will increase the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators at its health care facilities to treat the 5-6% of COVID-19 patients that may require ICU beds or ventilators.
“This is mission critical,” Minister of Health Senator Luke Browne said in an address Friday night.
He said that there were13 ICU beds and six ventilators in the health system.
“We are raising these numbers to 43 ICU Beds and at least 26 ventilators,” the minister said.
He reminded the public that there is neither vaccine nor specific anti-viral treatment for COVID-19.
“The research in these areas is on-going. We expect breakthroughs,” he said, adding that in the meantime, SVG has purchased the Cuban drug Interferon which has been used to good effect in the treatment of COVID-19 cases in China and elsewhere.
Speaking about the impact of COVID-19 on human health, the minister said that 95% of people infected with the illness would make a full recovery within 14-21 days
Of those who are infected, 80% would only get a mild version of it and many of them would be asymptomatic, he said.
The minister further stated that 14-15% of cases are moderate and 5-6% of cases would be severe with acute respiratory distress syndrome and require ICU hospitalisation and ventilators.
“The mortality rate is low — there is no consensus on the actual number but is seems to be somewhere between 1-2%. Nonetheless, the government has taken the position that even one unnecessary death from this virus is one death too much and constitutes a tragedy,” Browne said.
The minister announced that SVG’s sole COVID-19 patient has recovered, meaning that the country current has no confirmed case of the illness.