As medical personnel at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (POSGH) prepared to resume elective surgeries on Friday, they were delayed for a few hours more after a wild monkey was found in the operating theatre.

Forced to wait for some additional time as zoological officers were called in to capture the animal, hospital officials have denied social media claims that a snake was also found on the hospital compound around the same time.

Following an almost three-month interruption of the elective surgeries programme implemented by the Ministry of Health, Friday’s resumption was said to be the first scheduled to take place in the area of obgynaecology.

Elective surgeries were among the first set of non-essential procedures to be postponed by the authorities back in March as they battled to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In a release on Saturday, the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) said: “The Authority categorically denies that a snake was also found on the hospital’s compound and any information suggesting same is false, misleading and malicious. The incident is currently being reviewed in an effort to implement appropriate measures to prevent a recurrence.”

The NWRHA said it noted two posts that had been circulating on social media.

One was captioned “Monkey and a Big Snake was found at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital yesterday,’” while the other was a video clip of a monkey atop a shelf within a sealed office.

The NWRHA admitted staff members discovered the monkey in one of the departments at approximately 7 am on Friday

The NWRHA said it remained committed to the continued provision of a safe and secure environment for all their internal and external clients.