As the death toll associated with COVID-19 continues to rise in the British Virgin Islands, Chief Operations Officer at the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) Mrs. Cedorene Malone-Smith, has defended the treatment given to patients in their care at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital.
To date, there have been 17 deaths at the medical facility with persons who contracted the virus.
“I know some questions were raised about the treatment that we have been giving,” she said.
“The treatment that we are giving is international best practice. We are doing everything that they have done everywhere else to get our patients back to some sign of normalcy, but we need your help to help us not get to the place where we are now with all the patients coming in COVID-19 positive. It’s the worse feeling in the world for me to see a 31-year-old and a 36-year-old die from the want of a free vaccination that we were offering,” the CEO added.
She said being inoculated “helps take you through the process. We won’t say you won’t get COVID-19, but you sure won’t get as sick as those folks have gotten, and the chances of dying are less than one per cent. So I will continue to push for the vaccination because I have seen it in action; I have seen it work.”
At the time of her update, which was on Friday night, Mrs. Malone-Smith said there were 25 people in the hospital that are COVID-19 positive, a little bit more than 16 that are in the COVID-19 ward and nine in the Emergency Room waiting for a bed.
“We have four in ICU, two are on ventilators, and two on high volume oxygen as we speak,” she informed.
Mrs. Malone-Smith said, however, there was good news.
She said 11 persons who were admitted to the COVID-19 ward were discharged from the hospital, “so some people are making it out of the hospital and going home in a healthy manner, so that’s a good thing.”
She also took the time to warn persons against waiting till they are very ill to go to the hospital.
“So please, if you feel unwell, make a call, we will do an assessment. Please do not wait.”
She continued: “Right now, the COVID-19 unit remains full, ER is overwhelmed, so we are looking to do some shifting and recreating of spaces to continue to accommodate our patients. We still have the field hospital in play, and we are actively working on putting more things in place for that because while the positive numbers are going down, there is a lag between the positive numbers and the sick persons.”
The last count of COVID-19 active, positive cases stood at 1,596.