Scarborough General Hospital. (Image courtesy Ministry of Health)
CAMILLE McEACHNIE

With over 11,000 COVID-19 positive cases in this country and the government’s stringent measures to reduce the numbers, one woman’s account of many alleged COVID breaches at the Scarborough General Hospital on April 26th is sending shock waves throughout the nation. Her claims have prompted concerns from various quarters and an explanation from Tobago’s health authorities.

In a widely circulated voice note on May 1st, the woman claims that she had an operation at the hospital on April 26th and was sent home to quarantine with her three children and elderly parents, after coming into contact with a COVID positive patient.

This, after hospital officials allegedly performed a routine surgery on a COVID positive patient before receiving the patient’s pending test results.

She also claims that women without legs, a broken hip, and a grandmother were locked in a ward on April 26th with other patients, caution tape put across the door, and patients retested.

She also claims officials initially refused to treat patients that night and the following morning. However, when they did, the nurse assigned to the room allegedly attempted to use one glove for all patients and distribute food.

She also claims that when she was discharged, Canaan Health Centre officials who were responsible for dressing her fresh, oozing wounds daily, refused to do so.

Guardian Media independently verified that the woman is home on quarantine after her operation, and that her wounds were dressed after three days by other health officials.

Commenting on the issue, the Progressive Democratic Patriots’ alternative Health Secretary, Dr Faith B. Yisrael, sympathized with the patient and called on Tobago health officials for answers.

Health Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine has gone on record at several media briefings stating that “Tobago’s PCR machine to perform COVID tests is working”.

“However, it is used only for testing in emergency cases as test kits are limited. The rest of the COVID samples are sent to Trinidad,” she indicated.

Tobago health officials promised on Saturday to respond to the patient’s claims. However, by 6:30 pm on Sunday, no response was forthcoming.