Dr Lackram Bodoe, Member of Parliament for Fyzabad. (Image courtesy MP for Fyzabad Facebook)

The Member of Parliament for Fyzabad, is urging Government to improve the quality of its response in the fight against COVID-19.

Dr Lackram Bodoe, who is a former chairman of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), is encouraging citizens to adhere to the measures being advocated by the authorities for preventing the spread of COVID 19. He says they especially should continue to practise social distancing, frequent hand washing and mask wearing.

However, Dr Bodoe has expressed concern that there is a delay in getting COVID-19 test results, and that there may not be enough testing taking place, especially in light of the reality of the country recording 45 deaths from COVID-19.

“An issue surrounding one of these recent deaths is the fact that the COVID 19 test result took 17 days to reach the attending physicians,” Dr Bodoe points out in a release issued today. “The current protocols apparently mandated that this young patient who was suspected of having COVID-19 could not be moved out of the isolation room in the facility for more definitive treatment (renal dialysis in this case) until the test result was available.”

The Fyzabad MP asks: “Is the delay in getting COVID 19 results and/ or insufficient testing having an adverse impact on the outcomes of hospitalized patients and increasing the risks to healthcare workers?”

Dr Bodoe says Government told the country they were ready and prepared to deal with the expected “second wave” of COVID 19. He says the increasing number of deaths to COVID-19 is worrisome, as is the increased risk to frontline warriors in the COVID-19 fight—health care workers.

“A recent newspaper report spoke of a patient spending several days in the ICU of the San Fernando General Hospital, potentially exposing other patients and staff whilst awaiting a COVID 19 result,” he observes. “The question needs to be asked as to whether everything possible is being done to care for hospitalized, symptomatic COVID-19 patients, and to protect the wellbeing of healthcare workers.”

The Fyzabad MP argues that the Minister of Health and the Government must ensure that healthcare workers are provided with all that is required to take the country through the current COVID-19 crisis.

He also maintains that while the frequent media conferences and media releases are useful, Government should be disclosing more relevant information that would help citizens better protect themselves.

“After 45 deaths, surely the population is entitled to know certain demographics that can guide and empower their behaviour. These can include the “co-morbidities “, and the duration and nature of symptoms of patients seeking medical care,” Dr Bodoe says. “This will allow citizens who have these “conditions “to take greater precautions. Surely this and certain other pertinent data can be shared without compromising patient confidentiality.”

Dr Bodoe says as many hands as possible, as much information as can be made available, and as many resources as are necessary, all are required to win the battle against COVID-19.