Log In

Reset Password

Hospital prepared if Omicron surge hits, CMO says

Ready: the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (File photograph).

The island’s healthcare system is braced to manage another wave of Covid-19 cases as the Omicron variant continued its spread, the Chief Medical Officer said yesterday.

Ayo Oyinloye added that the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital had restocked its supplies in the wake of the last surge of cases and was “well prepared”.

Dr Oyinloye said: “They have gone and increased their oxygen capacity, they have increased their personal protective equipment capacity.”

He warned: “Staffing remains a challenge because it is difficult to get skilled staff on island and once we have a huge outbreak on the island and people have to quarantine, it disproportionately affects the hospital.

“But they are doing a brilliant job of preparing for this.”

He added that new antiviral treatments were available, which offered doctors “another tool in the toolbox” to combat the coronavirus.

Dr Oyinloye said Molnupiravir, an antiviral produced by drug company MSD, would be available.

But he added that Paxlovid, produced by Pfizer, would not be used because it was still at the trials stage.

MSD’s antiviral — first developed to treat influenza — was approved for use in the UK last month.

Dr Oyinloye added that the health ministry and the Bermuda Hospitals Board had reviewed the last wave of Covid-19 caused by the Delta variant and would use the lessons learnt if there was another major increase in cases.

He said: “Things are in progress, but there are still quite a bit of unknowns around how this virus is going to develop, so there is always going to be that aspect of watching and waiting to make sure we are able to respond quite nimbly.”

Dr Oyinloye added that efforts had been made to ensure healthcare workers were vaccinated and fit for the front line of healthcare.

He said: “When we have Covid, heart attacks don’t stop. Strokes don’t stop. Road traffic accidents still happen. We have to keep our staff as healthy as possible.

“In addition to that, we are making sure all our staff have appropriate PPE to do the job that we so desperately need.

“We are also providing for our healthcare workers’ psychological support in addition to the fiscal support that we need.”

Dr Oyinloye admitted: “It is hard to watch so many deaths and so much suffering.

“They all need psychological support as well, so those are things that we are doing in addition to the regular screening programme to identify people who are ill.”

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published December 18, 2021 at 8:05 am (Updated December 18, 2021 at 8:05 am)

Hospital prepared if Omicron surge hits, CMO says

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon