THE Home of Football in Balmain, Couva – the newest step-down facility for recovering covid19 patients – was put to use on Monday.
The Prime Minister initially announced this decision at a press briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s on Thursday.
In a release by the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) on Monday, the facility was referred to as the Home of Football Wellness Centre. It said patients with no symptoms will be transferred there.
The facility was opened in November 2019 by former TT Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams.
SWRHA said, “The spacious step-down facility has an 80 bed capacity, providing accommodation to aide in full recuperation, with warm and friendly healthcare professionals. “The management and coordination of the facility will be done by the SWRHA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders, such as the TT Defence Force.” It also thanked stakeholders, donors, government agencies and frontline workers for their assistance.
Chairman of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee of the TT Football Association (TTFA) Robert Hadad said he applauds the decision.
“We are extremely pleased to assist in the efforts to combat covid19 in any way possible.
“This is for the benefit of our country at this time and we remain committed to the cause.”
It is the second sporting facility officially announced to be used as a step-down facility.
The National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua will also be used.
In a release on Monday, the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) said residents of the area were sensitised by health inspectors. It added that announcements were also made via loudspeaker.
It said, “This alternative facility is suitable to house large groups and is partitioned to offer privacy for 48 persons. It will also ensure residents can be comfortable out of a hospital setting.” It said there are two common areas in the facility with Wi-Fi, cable TVs and a socially distant seating arrangement.
It also has two kitchens, with microwaves, electric kettles, refrigerators, water coolers and tea stations.
“Temporary bathroom facilities were installed with additional water closets to increase the amount already on site. There is a designated laundry area equipped with washing machines and dryers. Persons will also have access to outdoor space for recreation.”
The facility will be monitored by members of the TT Defence Force.