Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said the Sangre Grande step-down facility known as ‘Brooklyn’ will be used to house elderly patients who may be exposed to the Covid-19 virus.
At a press conference on Saturday morning, Deylasingh said that the decision was taken after a meeting with key stakeholders about how to treat with those citizens in elderly homes.
He said once the elderly patient fits certain clinical criteria, they will be removed from the homes and placed in the facilities in which they would receive specialised care.
Deyalsingh reiterated that the facilities are not overwhelmed as previously reported adding that the step-down facilities are at 50-60% capacity.
He also revealed that one of the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s (UTT) campus will now be added to the list of step-down facilities. The facility has at least 100-150 beds available.
He confirmed that there are 420 beds at the Hospitals of which only 143 are currently being used, while the UWI’s Penal/Debe campus has 110 beds available.
However, he urged the public to do what they can to keep the numbers at bay.
“Physical capacity is one thing but the human capacity to man these systems is finite…we need doctors, nurses, drivers, admin assistants.”
He said healthcare workers are complaining of burnout adding that careful management of the virus can help to prevent an overburdening of the system.