COVID-19 ICUs at regional hospitals to be upgraded

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The COVID-19 Intensive Care Units (ICUs) at regional hospitals across the country will soon be upgraded with the addition of new equipment.

This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, during today’s COVID-19 Update.

Government will be utilising the $350 million Covid grant from the Global Fund, for these upgrades.

“At a minimum each region will get an additional three ventilators, three ICU type of bed and three monitors. So, this will complement the existing capacity they have and therefore, from this particular grant, we are hoping to add another 30 beds in ICU capacity.”

Currently, the ICU at each regional hospital is outfitted with two beds and the accompanying equipment to manage COVID-19 patients.

The hospitals in the hinterland regions are also equipped with oxygen concentrators. The monies to be expended from the Global Fund grant will add to the existing infrastructure at the hospitals.

While Government is building the infrastructure, it is also executing a robust COVID-19 vaccination campaign, with 48.9 per cent of the adult population already vaccinated with the first dose of a Covid vaccine.

“For persons receiving their second dose, we’re at 118,126 persons. This amounts to about 24.3 per cent of our adult population. So, now with 24.3 per cent of our adult population being fully immunised. I think we’re making the step in the right direction. However, we still have a far way to go.”

Meanwhile, Minister Anthony confirmed that the three children diagnosed with COVID-19 are still at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Liliendaal. One remains in the ICU while the others are in the regular ward.