ICU capacity at Infectious Diseases Hospital to be expanded – Health Minister

…33 of 40 beds occupied

The intensive care capacity at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Liliendaal, will be bolstered to accommodate more patients, amid the current surge of new infections daily.
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony informed during the COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday that the specialised COVID-19 facility currently has a capacity of 40 for the Intensive Care Unit but 33 of these spots are occupied already.
As such, the aim is to increase both the general and intensive care resources, in preparation for any greater surge. He added that the Ministry is also contemplating adding more beds to support the 200-patient capacity.

The Infectious Diseases Facility at Liliendaal, ECD

“We have 80 persons in the Ocean View facility. We can accommodate about 200 persons. We have about 33 persons in the ICU. We have capacity for about 40 in the ICU. We are working to expand that so that we can add another 10 beds so if becomes necessary, we’ll be able to accommodate at least 50 persons in the ICU. That’s a continency that we’re putting in place and if we start getting more patients, we’re also looking at a contingency of adding maybe 50 more beds to the Ocean View facility,” said Dr Anthony.
Every day, the Ministry is unearthing new positives through testing. This means active cases are still on the rise and as of Monday, the figure had reached 1933.
Commenting on the situation, the Minister shared, “That’s a high number. Over the last 24 hours, we would have seen 145 active cases. The numbers are climbing. We’re seeing more people getting infected and it is also very worrying because if we don’t manage this carefully, our hospital can easily become overwhelmed. Right now, we have 111 persons in hospital and that number is going up on a daily basis.”
As the active cases grow, it will put an additional strain on healthcare workers to effectively monitor patients. The Ministry is also mulling the possibility of converting other health institutions to specifically treat and monitor coronavirus patients.
“It is going to be challenging going forward as we get more and more hospitalisation. We have already spoken about more contingencies where we might have, if it becomes necessary, close some of the services at hospitals and convert those hospitals solely for COVD-19 patients.”
According to the WHO, most people infected with the coronavirus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
Most common symptoms include fever, dry cough and tiredness but can include aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell; and rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes. The severe form can include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure and loss of speech or movement. When patients develop the severe form, they require intensive care treatment or hospitalisation.
Recently, the Delta surge has led to many persons developing more severe complications after contracting the virus. (G12)