(SEARCHLIGHT) – THE EQUIPPING AND refurbishing of an isolation facility for severe/moderate cases of COVID-19 will now cost the state $1.55 million.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves had previously noted on March 14 that the cost would be at least $1.3 million, but at a press conference at Cabinet Room on Tuesday, March 17, he indicated this number was now $1.55 million.
After consultations with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Simone Keizer-Beache, and the biomedical engineers, consideration needed to be given to the equipment that needs to go into the isolation facility in the Mt Pleasant/Argyle area.
“The existing corridors which are inside of there, the equipment can’t pass them, so we had to knock down those corridors and find the extra space and that would involve extra cost in the works,” he explained.
The centre is being retrofitted to accommodate 24 patients, 14 upstairs, 10 downstairs, with support facilities for 12 medical staff and the preparation of food. The three contractors who are carrying out the work are expected to complete their work by mid-April, the Prime Minister said last week.
Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves added on Tuesday that the centre “will be used in the event that we have severe cases of COVID and that the facility will have a floor upstairs for men, moderate cases and severe cases, and then similarly downstairs for women, a division between severe cases and moderate cases.”
The severe cases will “need respirators and intensive care, and the others will receive different types of care,” the finance minister further stated, noting that the medical aspects are being dealt with by the Minister of Health, Luke Browne, the CMO and the Prime Minister.