TT has 52 ventilators available for covid19 patients, of which only two are now required for use, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh told Monday’s briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, while saying more are being ordered amid the pandemic.
He said TT’s entire public health system at any time has 160-170 in all.
Deyalsingh accounted for the 52. “At Couva we have 12, then as I promised some time ago there was a batch of 25 that came in over two shipments and that took it up to 37. Then as I indicated last week, in Arima we commissioned 15 more last week.”
He related these 52 ventilators to the covid19 patients who will need them, that is, the case burden.
“For every 100 people who get covid, regardless of age about five per cent will need ventilator support. So, if we have 52 ventilators dedicated only to covid, at Couva and Arima, it means we could accommodate based on the current statistics a positive number of covid patients in TT of 1,040. We currently have 105.” Deyalsingh said TT’s current ventilator capacity is more than enough.
“However, we have been in contact with the Government of the People’s Republic of China towards getting more ventilators. Also, one of the local agents, whom we normally buy ventilators from, from Europe, is also sourcing ventilators for us during April and May.”
He said TT is at present oversupplied with ventilators, but seemed to suggest that it is unknown if the outbreak would spread.
Deyalsingh turned to Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram who said at present only two covid19 patients are on ventilators.
This update came amid news of the US Government seizing 20 ventilators purchased for donation to Barbados. Bajan Health Minister Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic at a Sunday briefing claimed there was no shortage of ventilators in Barbados despite the seizure. The Barbados Nation reported assurances that the 48 ventilators now in Barbados are at present more than enough, as only three of the country’s 56 covid10 patients need ventilators. The newspaper said five ventilators out of a batch donated by Bajan pop star Rihanna will soon reach the island, while the Bajan Government has otherwise ordered and paid for 150 more, from various sources. Bajan leader Mia Mottley has reportedly promised an “open cheque” towards such purchases.