40-bed Covid ICU currently has 33 patients; officials preparing to expand


Beds within the Infectious Disease Hospital [File Photo]
The Covid-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Infectious Disease Hospital (Ocean View facility) has a capacity to house 40 patients and currently, there are 33 persons receiving treatment in that specialist ward.

With over 1900 active cases and a current trend of rapid increase in infections, Health Minister Dr Anthony says officials are preparing to expand the capacity of the ICU.

According to him, officials are working to include ten additional beds in the ICU and there is a contingency plan to add 50 more beds at the regular ward at the Ocean View facility.

There are currently 111 persons hospitalised with the novel coronavirus countrywide, with 80 currently at the Ocean View facility which has a capacity to house 200 patients.

Dr Anthony noted that the situation will be “challenging going forward” as infections rise and become more severe.

Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health

He said authorities have already noticed this trend occurring in Guyana, as there are higher levels of infections, hospitalisations, and deaths. In fact, he said within the last 24 hours, the country recorded five Covid-19 fatalities.

“The numbers are climbing, we are seeing more people getting infected…it is very worrying,” the Health Minister said.

In the event of any sudden surge in hospitalisations, Dr Anthony said officials will close some services at other hospitals and convert those facilities for Covid-19 patients. He said if the situation becomes more troubling, officials will activate field hospitals.

“We are in a Delta surge, we are going to see more cases, unfortunately, more hospitalisations and more deaths,” he said, as he encouraged people to get vaccinated to stand a better chance at fighting off the most severe form of the virus.

“If you’re vaccinated, while you might get infected, more than likely you will not be hospitalised,” he noted.

The Infectious Disease Hospital

Currently, 313,469 or 61.1% of adult the country’s population have received a first dose vaccine while 161,022 persons are fully immunised.

Dr Anthony lamented that there is a huge gap between those who received a first dose and those who are fully vaccinated.

“While we do have a shortage of the Sputnik V second dose, there are lots of people who have taken the AstraZeneca vaccine that can come back and get their second dose…I wanna urge people…to come and get your second dose,” he expressed.

Meanwhile, over 2,100 children have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Guyana received 146,250 doses of the US-manufactured drug as a donation from the US Government on Tuesday last.

The Guyana Government intends to use these doses to vaccinate its population between the ages of 12 and 18.