BROOKLYN,NY – Grenada, expressing concerns that the next 10 days could be a defining moment in its battle with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has announced plans for the possible conversion of the island’s second-biggest hospital into a “COVID Hospital.”
The island on Monday recorded seven deaths, the most in any day since the first case of the pandemic was recorded here in March last year, and Minister of Hospital Services, Delma Thomas, said that there are plans to convert Princess Alice into a fully-fledged COVID Hospital.
Thomas, speaking on the WPG 10 television program “The Pandemic Response” here, said that the explosion in cases in recent days had put a strain on the health services with the government already announcing a curfew and other stringent measures aimed at curbing the spread f the virus that has now has killed 12 nationals and infected 1, 238 others.
“The nurses and doctors in the system are overwhelmed as all other areas where we saw high numbers of infection and hospitalization. They are overworked, so …our entire team must commend them for their hard work and dedication in dealing with this crisis.
“Based on the expert advice, we believe that within the next 14 days, we can see the (downward) curve. However, we also believe that the next days will be our darkest days, and so we are putting all measures in place to deal with the issue as it confronts us,” Thomas said.
The minister said that like all countries around the world, no health care system could adequately deal with the level of infections “that we see as it relates to the pandemic.”
She said that the General Hospital, the island, main health institution, can accommodate 47 COVID-related patients. That part of the Princess Alice Hospital had been converted into a COVID unit to increase hospitalization.
“However, we have a contingency plan in place. So if we realize that there are increasing hospitalization, then the entire hospital at Princess Alice will be converted to be used as a COVID hospital, and patients with other ailments will be moved to another facility,” Thomas told television viewers.
The Princess Alice Hospital provides secondary health care with an emphasis on low-risk obstetrical, general medical, and minor surgical services and stabilization of emergencies. The hospital serves as one of the main outpatient services for this part of the island and sees approximately 1,000 patients each month.
In 2018, it became the first hospital to have been refitted to smart standards in the Eastern Caribbean and the latest in the Caribbean region.
The smart standard refit implemented at the Princess Alice Hospital includes protective shutters and a specialized roof and energy-saving light fittings and solar panels.
The Smart Hospital Project is an initiative financed by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented through the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), working with Ministries of Health in countries across the Eastern Caribbean to construct and/or retrofit health facilities to improve disaster resilience while saving energy and water.