Sat | Jun 6, 2020

National Arena to become field hospital for COVID-19

Published:Tuesday | April 7, 2020 | 1:30 PM
File photo

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Dunstan Bryan says the National Arena in St Andrew will be used as a field hospital with 72 beds to respond to any surge in COVID-19 cases.

He says the Government will be spending approximately $182 million to prepare the facility to accommodate persons should there be a spike in the disease.

The arena will be used as an isolation facility for persons who test positive for COVID-19 as well as those who have mild symptoms of the disease.

This was disclosed this morning during a meeting of Parliament’s Special Select Committee discussing matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bryan reported that the health ministry has now received $2.8 billion from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to bolster its response to the pandemic.

Scope of Work

* Establish 72 cubicles for patients
* Electrical connection for medical equipment and general support
* Increase water storage capacity from 8,000 to 14,000
* Temporary backup power supply
* Temporary outdoor bathroom and shower facilities for patients
* Chain-link fence at the back of the facility for security purposes
* Acquisition of medical equipment and furniture

Meanwhile, Giving an update on the stock of gears being acquired to protect healthcare workers as they battle the disease, Bryan said that 80,000 face shields are expected to arrive in the island by the latest next week; 500,000 N95 masks have now landed and were being cleared for distribution to health care workers including 100,000 for private health care workers.

Nine million gloves have also been acquired for the health sector.  

Providing an update on COVID-19 cases, Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie said that there are two critically ill persons who tested positive for COVID-19 in hospital.

One of the two, according to the CMO “is not doing so well and so we continue to apply all that is necessary but we are monitoring very closely”.

A total of 43 persons are in isolation in hospital, of which 10 are asymptomatic and are awaiting further tests to determine if they should be discharged.

At the same time, Bisasor McKenzie said that the ministry would now carry out two kinds of testing for healthcare workers – those who are symptomatic as well as personnel who are exposed.

COVID-19 stats as at April 6, 2020

Number of cases -59

Deaths - 3

Discharged – 8

Isolation: 43

Asymptomatic: 10

Critically ill: 2

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