Health Minister: Contingency plans in place for morgues with high covid death toll

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Terrence Deyalsingh –

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said contingency measures are being put in place to deal with morgues filling up owing to an increase in covid19 deaths. He said however that morgues are not currently overfull.

Speaking at the ministry’s media conference on Wednesday, Deyalsingh said “Since May 2021, we have been meeting with the president of the Funeral Homes Association, Mr Belgrove to put measures in place, Mr Belgrove is liaising with our chief public health inspector under the office of the CMO and my direction to come up with contingency plans. Our morgues at this point in time are not over full or overflowing.

“I got some reports that I’m crunching now, but the issue is that more people are dying. We have been advising the country since August that the delta variant is coming and will lead to more deaths, if we don’t practice the 3Ws and get vaccinated. We have been imploring people to get vaccinated. But contingency plans are in place with Mr Belgrove.”

He addressed concerns that doctors in the parallel health-care system might be crossing into the traditional health-care system and infecting people there.

“The majority of people in the parallel health care system work there exclusively, however, there will be some interaction between specialists and some nurses going from system to system, especially if you have a case in the parallel health-care system that needs specialist care. However, the chance for that cross-contamination is almost virtually eliminated as all our health-care workers, especially 98 per cent of our doctors are vaccinated and have the highest level of PPE.

“What we do with health-care workers, because we have no control of them in their communities, once you are working with us, we make sure you have the highest world class level of PPE, and you are encouraged to get vaccinated. We have never run out of PPE in TT. We have continued to provide them with the best level of PPE and encourage them to get vaccinated. If they contract the virus outside in the community setting, that is regrettable but that is it.”

Deyalsingh said principal pharmacist Anesa Doodnath-Siboo informed him there was no shortage of consumables like scrubs and other PPE.