Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 5th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
POST YOUR VIEWS ON ANY OF TODAY'S STORIES @ WWW.GUARDIAN.CO.TT
Saturday, October 5, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A patient exhibiting signs of the swine
flu virus is presently warded at the Intensive
Care Unit (ICU) of the San Fernando Gen-
eral Hospital (SFGH) in a serious condi-
Confirmation has come from SFGH acting
Director of Health Dr Shevanand Gopeesingh,
who yesterday said they are awaiting tests
to confirm this diagnosis.
Gopeesingh said in the past two weeks
they have had at least three patients suspected
of contracting the Influenza A/H1N1 virus,
commonly known as swine flu.
He said the other two patients who were
suspected of having swine flu have since
died. Autopsies confirmed their deaths as
being due to pneumonia complicated by the
virus, Gopeesingh said.
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan said yes-
terday that the patients who died were given
the maximum possible care at the hospital.
This is the second time in about four years
that there has been reports of this disease.
On the last occasion, former MP Subhas
Panday, at a news conference, claimed there
had been 18 swine-flu related deaths at the
SFGH. This was denied by then Medical
Director Dr Anand Chatoorgoon, who is now
back in the chair.
Yesterday, citizens ignored the call by Khan
not to panic, following his confirmation of
six local cases of the swine flu virus.
Khan s confirmation of six local cases of
the A/H1N1 and two suspected deaths trig-
gered panic among citizens, who flooded the
public health facilities in search of the vaccine
and to test for the disease yesterday.
Chatoorgoon confirmed yesterday that
"the Accident and Emergency (A&E) was in
He said, "Since the minister s announce-
ment, people have been flooding the casualty
department for every cold and flu because
they are frightened."
Additional doctors were called in yesterday
to the A&E to assist with the rush of patients.
Gopeesingh confirmed that about 40
patients with the flu-like symptoms sought
attention at the hospital yesterday. He said
they were able to separate those who had
fever and those with the viral-like symptoms,
give them masks and put them in an isolated
area where swabs were taken for testing. He
said the results of those tests would vary.
In the interim, Gopeesingh, who is also
acting CEO in the absence of Anil Gosine,
who is on vacation, said they have erected
a containment centre on the compound near
the A&E department to treat with suspected
cases. The centre is not yet fully equipped,
as construction only started yesterday.
"We have identified an area where we have
isolated them (patients with flu symptoms),"
"We are expecting resources from the min-
istry, more swabs, more masks, medication.
We have tents (containment centres) outside
and we are in the process of furnishing it.
We are now doing the electrical connections."
Chatoorgoon also said there have been
crowds at the various district facilities under
the control of the South West Regional Health
Authority enquiring about the vaccine, which
are not yet available.
Gwendolyn Snaggs, manager, Expanded
Immunisation Programme, said distribution
of the vaccines had started and should be
available at all of the district facilities by next
However, she underscored that not every
citizen will be able to access the vaccines.
Only those the ministry has identified as
high-risk, including children, senior citizens,
pregnant women and those with weaker
immune systems, will be vaccinated.
Khan said yesterday his ministry was trying
to avoid the over-reaction and over-treatment
method used when local cases were discov-
ered in 2009.
Executive director of the Caribbean Public
Health Agency Dr C James Hospedales said
yesterday that most people recover from
fever and other symptoms from the virus
within a week, without requiring medical
However, in some cases, he said the illness
can be severe, resulting in hospitalisation
and death, mainly among people at greater
risk for serious complications, if infected.
See Page A15
Swine flu panic spreads across T&T...
case in Sando
From page A1
He said, however, that people seeking to
turn away from crime would be given such
Yesterday, Rodriguez said those who raised
the issue may have been given false infor-
mation, and noted that Griffith made no
mention of that matter during yesterday s
Rodriguez also said once there was employ-
ment in the community there would be peace.
"A payday is a very important thing to
every human," he added.
Apart from talk there must be food for
citizens, he added, saying, "If you can t do
that you will still have problems on your
Employment must be created for all youths
in crime hot spots across the country, he
According to Rodriguez: "Plenty employ-
ment will change the streets of T&T."
The setting up of the police post is seen
as one of the initiatives to help curb the
rising spate of murders in the community.
It was announced by PM Kamla Persad-
Bissessar after a visit to the community last
month in the wake of a series of murders.
'I can't reveal intelligence'
Asked specifically yesterday if any gang
member was benefiting from the contract,
Griffith told reporters he was not about to
"What I am telling you is that you can t
have the State support you, then utilise the
funds to ply your trade and to commit crim-
He said the Government will act if any
gang leader remained committed to using
his earning to buy more guns.
"If you want to utilise this and still pur-
chase more guns, that is when we will put
our foot down," Griffith said.
He denied saying that any gang leader was
employed on the project.
"I made no mention of it. I am not going
to make specific mention of any areas. We
have intelligence (and) it could be anywhere,"
He said the authorities were fully aware
if any gang leader had changed his life or
was using others as fronts to acquire a con-
Griffith said the new police post will have
a positive effect on reducing crime.
Ambulances block the full view of the containment centre set up for the treatment of
people suspected of contracting Influenza A/H1N1 near the A&E Department at the San
Fernando General Hospital yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Links Archive October 4th 2013 October 6th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page