by Devonne Cornelius
St.Kitts and Nevis (WINN): In an exclusive interview with WINN, Medical Chief of Staff at Joseph N. France General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, responded to explosive claims made by the opposition on the effectiveness of safety measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Wilkinson responded to questions raised by the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party on the qualifications of nurses, the processes used to manage the pandemic and the steps used for effective contact tracing of patients once they leave the facility.
In response to a question on the availability of adequate fully trained nurses on the COVID-19 Ward, Dr. Wilkinson, in a telephone interview with WINN’s Devonne Cornelius, explained that the hospital has allocated resources based on need.
“Nurses are assigned accordingly. When we have more patients there [on the COVID-19 Ward], we pull staff from other areas. If we have a low occupancy, then the number [of nurses] decreases,” Dr. Wilkinson said. Dr. Wilkinson also confirmed there are presently “one or two patients on the COVID-19 Ward.”
The Facebook post also questioned the processes of temperature checks and information gathering used at the facility, suggesting these actions were inadequate.
Dr. Wilkinson took the opportunity to explain that all persons seeking entry to the general hospital are expected to adhere to the non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 control and prevention measures such as wearing a face mask and sanitizing hands.
Another claim made in the post, questioned whether medical professionals were aware of their COVID-19 status in every instance, before treating patients.
Dr. Wilkinson said “as a healthcare provider, you have to assume that everyone is positive [for COVID-19]however, you cannot social distance from patients.” “The health care provider is always wearing a mask and hand sanitizing,” he added.
St. Kitts and Nevis has recorded 557 COVID-19 cases, including three deaths. There have been 514 recoveries from the virus with 40 still active.