The facility that the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has constructed for the isolation of COVID-19 patients will be ready to receive patients within days.
“…I’m expecting that literally in the next couple days, we would have our isolation centre ready for the management of patients,” Minister of Health Senator Luke Browne said on Wednesday.
He was responding to a question from the media regarding the maximum number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients that his ministry can attend to in a reasonably comfortable accommodation.
“What I just like to point out in answering that question is the fact that we have seen that the ability of our healthcare system to respond and to deal with COVID-19 cases has not — well, we’ve not reached the capacity of our health system.
“We have more capacity than is currently being used because, principally, these patients have been able to be managed in at-home in isolation,” he said.
He said that the isolation centre, located at Argyle, has “a capacity of up to 25 beds, essentially.
“So that would give you an indication of how able we are to manage critically ill patients.”
It was noted to the minister that there has been a call for the ramping up of testing for COVID-19.
He was asked what is available if the number of cases were to escalate in the next week or two.
“… We have a healthcare system that extends beyond the isolation centre in Argyle. I do not think that we will see a situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines, where the capacity, especially in the short term, of the isolation centre is exceeded.”
He, however, said that if that were to ever be the case, there are other facilities that will be used.
“And remember we’re talking about a situation where we’d have to treat severe cases, you know, not just mild or moderate cases; it would be a situation where severe cases have to be considered for treatment at the isolation centre.
“Because just as we have been doing with respect to mild cases — and this is something that is a practice which has been approved and contemplated by the World Health Organization — we could still continue to treat mild cases in home isolation so long as their circumstances permit.” Browne was speaking at an event in Kingstown, where Taiwan donated six thermal imaging devices and 40,000 surgical masks to his ministry.