Minister of Public Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, on Monday night revealed that it costs the State more than US$5,000 to treat each COVID-19 patient who is hospitalised. The Health Minister made that disclosure during an interview with Globespan
According to the Health Minister, on average, the bill would be US$5,000 to treat one COVID-19 patient. He explained that one reason the cost to treat a patient would go up is due to getting oxygen to the patients. “Some of the persons would require 15 litres of oxygen per minute, in other cases they require 30 litres of oxygen per minute and we have to buy the oxygen,” Dr. Anthony added.
He further stated that the government had installed a huge tank at the Ocean View Hospital, which is being filled with oxygen every 24 hours. However, he stated that the refilling of the tanks with oxygen could change depending on the patient load for that day. The Minister noted that the aforementioned also occurs at the regional hospitals.
At the time of the interview, the Minister stated that apart from a large number of patients at the Ocean View COVID-19 Hospital; 12 patients are at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, 12 in Mahaicony, five in New Amsterdam, three in Wismar and two each in Skeldon, Bartica, and Mahdia.
The Minister explained that there are trained doctors at each COVID-19 facility to care for patients and that all the required equipment is in place at the facilities.
Dr. Anthony stated that, unfortunately, there are still a large number of persons who are not heeding the Ministry’s advice and stated that that can lead to more cases being recorded. The Health Minister further related, “And this is avoidable because if people take the vaccine we will see less hospitalization.”
The Minister was keen to note that the Government is not forcing anyone to take the vaccine and highlighted that individuals have the choice to take the vaccine. He said however that those unvaccinated are subject to restrictions if they fail to provide a negative PCR test.
Earlier this month, the Government’s updated COVID-19 Emergency measures revealed that vaccination is mandatory for any person who wishes to enter a public building. The regulation, which took effect from Saturday, September 4, 2021, is expected to last up to September 30, 2021.
Moreover, the Health Minister was asked about persons who are afraid to be vaccinated due to myths that have been circulating. Minister Anthony debunked four of those myths and added, “A lot of things are being peddled and the scientific community has answered them, and if you don’t wanna listen to me that is fine; go to the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention website or go to the United States National Institute of Health website and you will find this information.”
Dr. Anthony believes that once persons start vetting information that they receive on the vaccine there will be a better reception in persons being vaccinated.
Kaieteur News had reported that within the first 10 days of September 2021 over 2,000 COVID cases were recorded. Dr. Anthony in a COVID-19 update had mentioned that the rise in cases and hospitalization countrywide was due to the surge in the Delta variant. This variant which was first detected in India came about from a mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Coronavirus) which is already spreading in more than 100 countries to date.