Sat | Jun 12, 2021

Bed occupancy for COVID-19 patients down

Published:Friday | April 16, 2021 | 12:12 AM
WEBSTER KERR
WEBSTER KERR

NATIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGIST Dr Karen Webster Kerr has said the occupancy rate at hospitals for COVID-19 patients is decreasing as the country records a fall in its positivity rate and the number of infections.

“The number of admissions in relation to the COVID-19-designated beds, in the last three days, has gone below our capacity for the first time in a few weeks and we hope that this continues,” she said, during the weekly virtual ‘COVID Conversations’ on April 14.

Dr Webster Kerr pointed out that on the April 11, 40 beds were added at Spanish Town with the construction of the field hospital.

Citing the weekly distribution of cases, she noted that in the last two to three weeks, the number of cases and deaths and the country’s positivity rate have decreased.

“We note that the number of tests have decreased somewhat from about 15,000 on average to just under 14,000, but the positivity rate continues to go down, which suggests that there is a decrease in cases,” she added.

Dr Webster Kerr pointed out that the current reproduction rate is 0.9 per cent, which suggests that the cases are decreasing over time, so one person, on average, will infect less than one person.

HOPING TO REDUCE INFECTION RATE

“We hope to bring it down a little bit more. We are having these improvements, but to really get to a very low number we need to maintain this rate over weeks and months to ensure that we come out of community transmission,” she argued.

Dr Webster Kerr said that while the 20 to 29 age group has the greatest number of cases, the deaths are greater in the over-50 age group.

“In the over-50 [cohort], you get significantly more deaths and as you get older, the case fatality rate increases,” she disclosed.

A total of 692 persons have died from the virus, representing a case fatality rate of 1.6.

The National epidemiologist informed that while more females have been confirmed with COVID-19, more males have died from COVID-related issues.

She noted, too, that over the last two weeks, the parishes with the highest number of cases were Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, St Ann, and St James.