Dr Faith B.Yisrael

Tobago’s alternative Health Secretary from the Progressive Democratic Patriots(PDP) Dr.Faith B.Yisrael is taking Health Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine to task over her approach to dealing with the COVID-19 situation in Tobago. Davidson-Celestine is the PNM’s Tobago Council political leader.

At a press conference earlier today, one of PDP’s deputy leaders B.Yisrael alleged the Tobago Regional Health Authority(TRHA) is poorly managed. She also alleged patients seeking treatment at the hospital for various illnesses contract COVID there.

At two successive press conferences in July, the TRHA indicated there was a “cluster of infections” in the Male Medical Ward at the Scarborough Hospital. The authority said 31 staff members and 11 patients became infected from a COVID- positive patient. Four patients died.

However, the PDP alleged that other “clusters” of infections exist on other wards at the hospital, and the PNM- controlled TRHA is “covering up” the situation.

B.Yisrael cited yesterday’s Tobago Health Update press briefing, attended only by Davidson-Celestine and Primary Health Care Nursing Manager Kathy -Ann Greenidge-Ottley as an attempt to “cover-up the situation.”

She questioned the absence of senior medical personnel on the day Tobago recorded its highest number of new COVID cases since March 2020. The TRHA said there were 52 new infections.

“I was hoping to get an idea of the plan to treat with the spike… considering where nationally the numbers seem to be going down… sadly we had a situation where there were none of the regular health professionals who usually come forward to have candid conversations with the people of Tobago.”

The Medical Chief of Staff Dr.Victor Wheeler, Primary Care services (Ag.) Manager Dr.Roxanne Mitchelle and CMHO COVID Response Team member Dr. Anthony Thompson usually attend the briefing.

The PDP’s deputy leader said she tuned into the press conference to get updated information on the COVID situation.

“The absence of the regular health professionals… identifies in my mind a lack of genuine leadership on the part of the Secretary of Health …,” B.Yisrael said.

At the briefing yesterday, the Health Secretary told the media she is there to discuss THA’s policy approach to health issues in Tobago. She said the TRHA is not hiding information.

“When I sit here the information I provide is accurate… as we have it recorded on our systems …No one here is hiding any situation…There is no cover-up at the hospital,’ Davidson- Celestine said.