JIS News

Medical Chief of Staff at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Dr. Carl Bruce, says the facility will be expanding its coronavirus (COVID-19) ward, and will also be activating an additional ward that was retrofitted for COVID patients.

This, he said, is in an effort to deal with the recent surge in cases coming into the hospital.

Dr. Bruce was speaking at the weekly virtual COVID Conversations press conference on Thursday (August 27), in Kingston.

According to Dr. Bruce, the hospital’s COVID ward can only hold a maximum of 17 patients but there are, presently, 23 active cases at the facility, four of which are critical and another being incubated.

“The situation as it is now will require us to expand. It may require expansion of our Intensive Care Unit capacity and it may require expansion for our COVID ward capacity,” he said.

In addition, he said the hospital plans to reactivate another ward in its Tropical Metabolism Research Unit to house non-COVID patients.

That ward, he explained, was previously used to treat patients with malnutrition, but has since been closed following the hospital’s success at treating the condition.

“So, I think those are the strategies that we are using and we will continue to use, but as we test, we expect that there are going to be more healthcare staff that we really have to take care of and more patients who will present to the hospital, and so we will make a plan for them as we go forward,” he add.

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