by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Joseph N France General Hospital nearing capacity at their isolation ward for COVID-19 patients, according to the hospital’s Medical Chief of Staff, Dr Cameron Wilkinson.
“Just a few days ago, we were almost at full capacity with 12 persons is admitted to the isolation ward. Currently, as of today (September 28), we have a total of eight persons who are admitted, three critical on the ventilator. And so, there is no plan immediately to reopen the private ward for private patients. We need to get through this wave and get through this pandemic before we can even think about the return to normalcy. But the way we will get there is by persons coming forward and getting vaccinated,” said Dr Wilkinson during the Tuesday, September 28 press conference hosted by the Prime Minister.
The expected arrival of the field hospitals was announced by Dr the Hon Timothy Harris during his opening remarks and explained that these field hospitals would be helpful against ongoing and future disasters.
“In October this year, we will receive and commission a field hospital with a capacity of at least 40 beds. These will provide a further buffer for the health system in our efforts to care for those infected by COVID-19, and indeed in the event of any serious natural or manmade disaster.”
However, the Chair of the COVID-19 Task Force, Abdias Samuel, says there may be some delays in the arrival of the hospitals.
“One of the field hospitals will arrive in St Kitts on September 30, while the other one will arrive on October 8. However, they said, according to the trainer and the manufacturer, there may be some other challenges in the arrival of the field hospitals. Again, due to the impact of COVID on persons, and some of the shippers etc.”
The field hospitals have further applications apart from mitigating over-capacity because of COVID-19.
One such disaster could be a hurricane, as we are around the peak of the 2021 season for hurricanes.
The Disaster Management Coordinator with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Samuel drew on category four Hurricane Sam that just missed the island chain and the possible damage Sam could have brought to the island, shelter capacity, and the healthcare system.
“So again, we want to advise the general public to do their best to continue their hurricane preparedness measures. Pay attention to your properties, ensure you secure your work areas. And also, do your best to look for the vulnerable. We have a complex situation where we have COVID, and we are looking at the sheltering process because you see that Sam was a category four, and if that was coming into St Kitts and Nevis, it would have been a challenging situation during this transmission that we are experiencing.”