Health, News, Regional News

COVID-19 at Geriatric Hospital prompts flurry of tests, quarantine

Published 29 January, 2021


Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source

Barbados Today

A single case of the coronavirus has been confirmed at the Geriatric Hospital, Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic announced Thursday but sought to assure that health authorities are “on top of this one” as they seek to prevent a full-on outbreak among some of the most vulnerable to a lethal bout of COVID-19.

Upon hearing of the positive result, Lt Col Bostic revealed, the Chief Medical Officer and two senior medical officers of health were immediately dispatched to the hospital, with so far, no additional positive cases arising from rapid antigen tests done.

He told journalists: “We are on top of this one in the sense that it is one ward, of about 16 persons, and then the staff, meaning doctors, nurses, and auxiliary staff. So far, as of all the residents, patients, as well as the staff, have done an antigen rapid test, and all results are negative. As we speak, the staff are going through the swabbing process now for the PCR test, and then the same will happen with the residents.”

Upon completion of the tests at the hospital, staff are to be taken to a designated quarantine hotel, while patients who test negative will be relocated to the St Lucy District Hospital, he said.

Lt. Col. Bostic also announced that the case of a COVID-19 patient, who visited a nursing home in the south of the island earlier in the month and died hours later at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, has been thoroughly investigated, with all staff members and clients of the home returning negative test results so far.

He said: “This one was a challenge or worry, but fortunately, we were able to get on top of this, and I can report that all of the residents of the nursing home and all of the staff have done antigen tests, and PCR tests that have come back negative, and they are now awaiting results of the second PCR tests so that we can determine where they can go from there. We are very much on top of this one.”

The latest report card on COVID-19 cases shows that out of 363 tests conducted by the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory, 34 people tested positive for COVID-19 – 18 women and 16 men. Two of them were previously sent to the Harrison Point isolation hospital for assessment while the number of cases at Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds remains at 361.

Infectious disease expert Dr Corey Forde said eight of the ten people at Harrison’s Point in critical care are on oxygen support.

“They are all Barbadian nationals [while] the one on the ventilator continues to be the Trinidadian national,” he said. “She has shown some improvement in her situation over the last few days and we really continue to pray that this continues.”

Dr Forde noted that patients coming into the isolation facilities were appearing with more severe symptoms than in previous months and he pleaded with Barbadians to take the COVID-19 protocols seriously,

He said: “People are presenting [sicker], and we are getting more sick people. I am really asking Barbadians, to heed the warnings… I am really asking you seriously tonight to heed the warnings of the Ministry of Health. As we go under lockdown, I am asking you to take time with your family as well, but I am asking you to heed the warnings and really follow the protocols. This is strategically important – if our healthcare system crashes, it is not going to be very easy. I think that a lot of the physicians are under a lot of pressure right now.” (SB)

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