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There are only three more Intensive Care Unit (ICU) spaces available in the parallel healthcare system in Trinidad for COVID-19 patients, as of Monday morning.

The revelation comes just two days after the Minister of Health warned that the country was on the verge of running out of space to provide this level of critical treatment to patients.

Speaking at the ministry’s virtual press conference on Monday, Principal Medical Officer of Institutions Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards said 54 of the 57 ICU beds in T&T were occupied and 96 per cent of the patients are not fully vaccinated. She added that 94.1 per cent of all hospitalised COVID-19 patients were also unvaccinated.

She also indicated that there are nine COVID-19 patients receiving ICU care at the Accident and Emergency Departments of hospitals in the traditional healthcare system.

She said the ministry is working to increase capacity but admitted the contingency does not allow for many beds to be added due to resource constraints such as medical staff to tend to the patients.

Guardian Media understands the contingency can facilitate the addition of seven beds.

Dr Abdool-Richards said two ICU spaces were added to the Arima General Hospital over the weekend but were filled by Monday morning. She continued to urge people to get vaccinated to protect against hospitalisation.

In Tobago, there are only two ICU spaces left, while there is only one space left at the Arima General Hospital in Trinidad.