COVID-19 patients are seeking care too late, says medical director

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) — Grenada’s Acting Director of Medical Services Dr Tyhiesia Donald says most of the COVID-19-related deaths at the general hospital in his country are as a result of infected persons seeking hospital care at the advance stage after having contracted the virus.

“A lot of persons are coming and dying within a short space of time, meaning that there are people ill out there and coming to seek care at the general hospital in a very tardy time. So, by the time they get to the hospital they are at the advance stage of the disease,” said Dr Donald.

“So, I just want to appeal to persons in the public, if you are feeling ill, please call for help, if you are unable to get through with the hotline, and you have your own transportation, please come to the hospital, we will take care of you.

“We really don’t want you to be at home sick, not able to access care, and then… come into hospital when it’s very late,” she told the weekly post-Cabinet news conference, adding that during in the early stages of the illness, even though an individual may feel fine, hospital care is required when red flags symptoms are obvious.

She said these symptoms include dizziness, chest pain, dehydration, difficulty breathing, inability to wake or stay awake, lack of arousal, and confusion.

“Please come to the hospital,” said Dr Donald, noting that most of the deaths at the hospital have occurred within 24 to 48 hours of COVID-19-infected people seeking care.

In the past three weeks, Grenada has recorded 34 COVID-19 related deaths, according to the daily Ministry of Health dashboard.Dr Donald said that most of the people seeking care are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Approximately 21 per cent of the population eligible for COVID-19 vaccines are inoculated. Vaccines are offered free of charge to every citizen 12 years and older.

Using the occasion to reinforce the need for citizens to become vaccinated, she said that the evidence is showing that individuals who are vaccinated are healing faster and displaying mild symptoms.

“Persons who are unvaccinated are more likely to develop severe illness. In the general hospital is the same pattern we are seeing, the majority of persons with severe illness are the persons who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. So the pattern is the same as with all other countries,” she said.

“If I had any doubt about it before, what I am seeing now, I could tell you, persons who are vaccinated, as we will say at home, they tend to fare better. So, I would like to appeal to the public: Please let’s try and get vaccinated. Let us take care of ourselves,” said Dr Donald, stressing the need to drink water and live healthy lifestyles.