Secretary of the Division of Health, Wellness and Social Protection Dr. Faith B. Yisrael has announced that she has reached out to international partners seeking assistance in Tobago’s covid-19 efforts.
During Wednesday’s Post Executive media briefing, Dr. Yisrael said that this assistance may be in the form of increased testing, treatment, and contact tracing, and even having persons go to Tobago to man systems….all in an effort to give healthcare workers some relief.
“What would that assistance look like? It may mean identifying individuals who can come in such as doctors and nurses who can come in and help us man the systems. It may mean increasing our testing capacity. It may mean increasing or improving our treatment capacity. It may mean looking at how we do contact tracing,” she explained.
Dr. Yisrael added that those conversations will continue and announcements will be made accordingly.
“I want the health professionals to know that we are working to ensure that you get some kind of relief. That you get some kind of help.”
According to Dr. Yisrael, there is no way Tobago can return to any sort of normalcy if systems continue running as they currently are.
“I actually had several conversations with professionals and we agreed that if we continue trying to run the two systems the way we tried, we would prolong the delayed coming back to normal so we need to get a grasp of the situation right now, hold on to that, bring it back to some level of control and then we can say let’s go back to the other services that are necessary.”
Dr. Yisrael also announced an additional covid-19 facility in Lowlands as they seek to build Tobago’s parallel healthcare systems due to insufficient bed space. This facility she said will be for patients who no longer need critical care and will be up and running by the end of the day.
“This decision was made quite some time ago but it is being auctioned today. To include an additional facility to house some of our patients who are with covid-19 at a facility in the Lowlands area,” she said as she thanked the owners of the facility as well as the members of the Tobago Regional Health Authority who have been ensuring the facility is up and ready for use.
And facing a slew of vaccine hesitancy, the new health secretary also made a plea for persons to get vaccinated and gave assurances that the covid-19 vaccines are safe as she announced a new vaccine rollout program.