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HomeLatest NewsSt Lucia records first COVID-19 death amid rising cases, worsening conditions at...

St Lucia records first COVID-19 death amid rising cases, worsening conditions at the respiratory hospital

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The ministry of health (MOH) on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, announced its first COVID-19 death in the country. The individual is a 47-year-old male from Micoud. The MOH also confirmed six new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to date to 148, with the number of active cases currently in the country to 101.

‘A crack den’ – quarantine facility

Meanwhile, Saint Lucia with much fewer resources and capabilities with a Cabinet of numbskulls pontificate its population to debt and death. Recently, another viral video from a COVID-19 patient outlined inhumane conditions at a quarantine facility on the island, in particular, Victoria Hospital.

I feel as though I am in a crack den,” the COVID-19 patient said to described his accommodation including ‘health hazards’ in the area he was assigned – water on the floor and ceiling – a pool of water on the floor at the entrance – ‘my beautiful counter’ to purify worthless conditions assigned to humans in the care of the State.

Following worsening conditions at the respiratory hospital [ Victoria Hospital ] the MOH on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, said “It is unfortunate that some patients had an initial negative experience at the hospital,” issues the following:

“The department of health and wellness notes the concerns of the general public as it relates to recent video footage highlighting the conditions of a temporary lodging area for a patient at the Respiratory Hospital (Victoria Hospital).

“We appreciate the heightened awareness by the public of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the department of health and wellness is responding to this constantly evolving health concern. It is very unfortunate that some patients had an initial negative experience at the hospital.

“On behalf of the management and staff of the hospital, I take this opportunity to apologize and to assure the public that we aim to provide all patients with the highest level of care in a safe, clean and comfortable environment. As discussed in previous press statements, we are working assiduously to address the infrastructural upgrades at the respiratory hospital which include complete renovation of approximately 50 beds and in some instances, the installation of individual bathroom facilities to meet WHO standard’s for COVID-19 patients. Other works include painting, installation of ventilation system and an upgrade of the sewer and wastewater systems.

“Unfortunately, while we were busy ensuring that the infrastructural works were complete, there was an increase of COVID-19 patients in country which severely disrupted the project, resulting in incomplete works in some areas. We had to quickly admit patients at the hospital while simultaneously continuing with the said infrastructural works in a safe and conducive manner for all concerned. This was further exacerbated by the heavy rainfall over the last two weeks.

“The heavy rains resulted in leaks, water seepage and other wet conditions at the Respiratory Hospital. Our maintenance and technical teams have done their best to manage the leaks and water seepage. However, dry weather is needed for this to be adequately addressed.

“Some of the challenges we encountered during the early stages of preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic were:

  • Dietary Services: Our meals were transferred from our main kitchen at OKEU-H to the respiratory hospital. As a result, we received complaints from patients indicating that meals were late and cold. I am happy to inform that we have reopened the kitchen at the respiratory hospital. We have a talented culinary and dietary services team who ensures that all meals meet the therapeutic nutritional standards for each patient.
  • Linen Services: Linen was also a major challenge. This was as a result of servicing two hospitals and supply chain logistics due to closure of borders. We have since received a shipment of linen and have adjusted our linen management services to eliminate the shortage of linen.
  • Telecommunication: The construction and renovation works compromised our network and telecommunication infrastructure. This severely affected our fixed-line service. We are working with the telecommunication service provider to rectify the problem. To date, we have restored the telecommunication service in some areas and have an information desk manned with trained personnel to provide information to the general public. This service is available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will soon be extended to 9 pm. WIFI service has also been upgraded and is available free of charge.
  • Drop Off Service: This is a new service offered by the hospital to facilitate the submission of supplies to patients by their loved ones. We encourage the public to adhere to the recommended drop off times to ensure the timely distribution of supplies to patients. The drops off times are 7 a.m, 12 noon and 5 p.m daily. Our hard-working staff are dedicated and, on many occasions, go beyond the call of duty to ensure that all our patients receive the best quality care.

“I take this opportunity to thank the team and to encourage them to continue to give their best while keeping themselves and their families safe.

“Finally, we welcome the concerns and feedback from the general public. However, I urge everyone to channel the much-appreciated concerns and recommendations to us by calling the respiratory hospital information desk at 458-6526 or email respiratoryh@govt.lc. We are in this together. We need the nation to work with us as we lead out in managing this pandemic.”

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