Wednesday 30 September, 2020

COVID-19: Cuban nurses coming to T&T to assist in ICU

[iStock.com/MartinPrescott]

[iStock.com/MartinPrescott]

A group of Cuban nurses will be arriving in Trinidad and Tobago to assist in the response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Responding to a question from the media at Monday’s Ministry of Health press conference, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said interviews with these nurses have already been conducted.

“It has always been this government’s policy, to seek Cuban professionals where there is a lack of that particular speciality in Trinidad and Tobago. As per COVID, we do have a cohort of intensive care nurses coming in. We signed off on that about three weeks ago.”

The Minister said interviews were done online with the nurses to determine their suitability for the roles, as well as to assess their language skills.

He said the nurses would be assigned to intensive care units under the direction of Dr Antony Parkinson of the North West Regional Health Authority. Dr Parkinson will be managing the intensive care unit response across Trinidad and Tobago.

The Minister did not indicate how many nurses would be coming into the country, nor did he confirm exactly when they would arrive. 

So far, Cuba has deployed healthcare workers to Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica, among other countries.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram revealed that there are currently three patients in the Intensive Care Unit at the Couva Hospital. Two of these patients are stable and one is critical.

In the High Dependency Unit, there are 14 patients, all stable.

And the 48 remaining patients at Couva Hospital are described as ‘ambulatory cases’, meaning they are exhibiting only a mild illness and can walk around normally.

In Caura Hospital there are five ambulatory cases, along with other patients who are awaiting swab test results. Every patient at Caura Hospital is said to be in a stable condition.  

As of Monday morning, Trinidad and Tobago had 82 confirmed cases of COVID-19, three deaths related to the virus, and one patient who has since recovered from the disease. 

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