Field Hospital donated by Qatar remains unused

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The portable field hospital donated by Qatar, which was expected to bolster Guyana’s COVID-19 treatment capacity, remains unused and Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, related that the local health authorities are still deliberating whether the extra quarantine space it provides is required.

This mobile unit arrived on a Boeing C-17 Globemaster jet from Qatar on January 19, 2021, at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). It comprises 60 beds, 60 mattresses, 12 air-conditioners, 60 pillows, 60 blankets, eight carpets, one generator, 20 respirators, 20,000 types of small and large medical equipment and one diesel tank.

Since arriving, however, the hospital has not been set up.

Equipment for the field hospital donated by the Government of Qatar to the Government of Guyana.

“It’s at West Demerara (but) we haven’t put it to use, as yet,” Dr Ramsammy told the News Room on Thursday evening.

He explained that there are certain prerequisites needed before the hospital can be set up. These include the construction of a concrete base and adequate medical personnel and support staff to man the hospital.

“It wouldn’t be for ICU purposes, it would be another isolation unit and we didn’t think we need that,” Dr Ramsammy explained.

Initially, it was reported that this hospital would be used to manage critically ill COVID-19 patients. However, the equipment that came is better suited to provide quarantine services to patients, Dr Ramsammy explained.

Importantly, he related that there is existing, unused quarantine space at the National Infectious Diseases hospital, often called the Ocean View hospital, at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

As such, the hospital remains unused until the health authorities decide.

Previously, the Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, highlighted that the hospital would be set up in the West Demerara Regional Hospital compound at Best village (Region Three) to treat critical COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, as it relates to concerns about the number of patients being treated at the Ocean View Hospital, Dr Ramsammy said that the hospital is “near capacity” but assured members of the public that there are enough beds at the hospital to cater for patients.

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