Government to continue paying for empty step-down facility

Story by CHESTER SAMBRANO

The Brooklyn Step-Down Facility for convalescing COVID-19 patients, in Sangre Grande.

The state will continue to pay for the step-down facility in Brooklyn Sangre Grande for three months, although all patients have been discharged.

An investigation into how the facility was chosen was launched after patients complained about poor conditions.

On Sunday, Attorney General Faris Al Rawi said based on what he has seen so far in the report, everything seems to be in order.

Speaking at the COVID-19 news conference this morning, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said he spoke to the CEO of the Eastern Regional Health Authority, Ronald Tsoi-a-Fatt, who informed him that the rental agreement was signed with the owner of the facility for the three months.

Patient sleeping quarters at the Brooklyn Step-Down Facility for convalescing COVID-19 patients, in Sangre Grande.

The minister maintained that health authorities have to prepare for the worst and this country will be placed in a tough position if they give up rental facilities and a second wave hits.

He said: “This is what is called being put between a rock and a hard place.”

Minister Deyalsingh said he understands why the focus is on the Sangre Grande facility but said the issue is a thorny one.

The facility was rented by the ERHA from Glenroy Davis for $105,000 per month, which amounts to $315,000 for the entire rental period.

Bathroom facilities at the Brooklyn Step-Down Facility for convalescing COVID-19 patients, in Sangre Grande.