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Cabinet: Sick Covid patients using bush remedies and potions

HURST REPORTS ON CABINET of Wednesday March 3, 2021

Below is the Cabinet report on the visit of the Medical Director of the MSJMC

2. The Medical Director of the MSJMC pointed out that the global demand for the COVAX supply of the AstraZenica vaccine is extremely high. The PAHO/WHO has not yet been able to provide a precise date of delivery; however, every payment has been made in order to ensure that there is no reason to deny Antigua and Barbuda her share. COVAX is to provide 40,000 doses of that AstraZenica vaccine. 

i. The Director pointed out that Antigua and Barbuda’s rate of death is 1.9%; the USA’s is 2.1%–higher than our island-state’s. Antigua and Barbuda’s rate of death is also lower than many other Caribbean countries; Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis have lower rates. 

ii. There have been 17 deaths thus far. Many of the elderly who arrive on the doorstep of the MSJMC were dehydrated; several were also malnourished; and most suffered from other co-morbidities. Several sick people who have been presenting late, had been utilizing and applying local bush remedies and potions in an attempt to have the effects of the virus disappear magically. The Emergency Room (ER) saw 50 to 60 patients each night in the earlier period of the pandemic; that average has abated to 6 or 7 patients per night, which is a positive indication. 

iii. On the MSJMC Covid Ward, 49 patients are currently hospitalized, several suffering from renal failure which must also be addressed. There are 9 patients in the Infectious disease Center (IDC); seven can now be sent home. Five doctors who worked the ER are sick from COVID; 4 additional doctors are ill, but stable; two doctors are not at work. MSJMC is short on its team of doctors. Even those who are tired are compelled by necessity to continue to work. 

iv. There are 17 patients at the former Air Force Base at Coolidge; they are waiting on Covid-19 results, but must remain isolated. 

v. Those who are 65 years and older will remain the priority but will be seen exclusively at the centers next week. The Centers are closed on weekends though vaccinating will continue at several workplaces

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