Port-of-Spain General Hospital

Rishard Khan

[email protected]

A patient died from a COVID-19 infection at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital yesterday and is believed to have contracted it while being warded there during a recent outbreak in the ward.

Guardian Media understands that the elderly patient, who had comorbidities, was admitted and warded in the old COSTAATT building on December 22 where he was when its third outbreak occurred.

Last week, president of the T&T Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) Idi Stuart indicated that some 25 nurses and other staff attached to the ward were placed on immediate quarantine leave over two weeks. Since then, at least five have tested positive along with three patients.

Guardian Media understands the patient was swabbed on January 9 and returned a positive result within the last 48 hours and was moved into isolation. The patient died around 4 pm yesterday while awaiting transfer into the parallel healthcare system.

Hospital staff also indicate that three supervisors stationed in offices away from the source of the previous outbreaks also tested positive within recent days, but this could not be independently confirmed.

Guardian Media reached out to the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) acting Chief Executive Officer Salisha Baksh for comment on the death and the alleged outbreak.

However, she said she did not receive any reports of either incident and would need to “make some enquiries.”

COVID-19 related deaths in the country now stand at 129. Following the news of the outbreak last week, Ministry of Health officials including Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram summoned all Regional Health Authority CEO’s to a meeting to discuss and explore how a similar incident could be prevented and controlled.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 13 new COVID-19 infections from samples taken between January 9 and 11. Within these new infections were one person from Tobago and two recently repatriated nationals. The new cases brought the total number of people to be infected with the virus locally to 7,286.

However, of these, 6,883 have recovered as the ministry released 20 people from its care; 10 people were discharged from public health facilities while 10 people were released from home self-isolation as recovered community cases.

There remained 275 active infections; 25 of which were in hospitals, 11 were in step-down/transitional facilities while 226 were in home self-isolation.

There were 336 people in state quarantine facilities.