‘Most seeking COVID treatment still unvaccinated’


Tribune Chief Reporter


DOCTORS Hospital CEO Dr Charles Diggiss says that two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of patients seeking treatment for the contagious disease are still not vaccinated.

He said a great deal of people who have come in are asymptomatic and only reported to the facility for help because of other issues that need medical intervention.

Dr Diggiss said this is “different” for the hospital and is probably a reflection of the prevalence of COVID positivity in the community, which for the most part may be without symptoms.

He made the comments while disclosing to The Tribune that the level of positivity in both rapid antigen tests and RT-PCR tests at the hospital remained relatively high.

The Ministry of Health said yesterday in its January 25 dashboard that 44 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded that day. This is the lowest number of cases the country has seen in several weeks.

However, there are 145 people in hospital receiving treatment for the disease. Of these cases 136 are moderately ill and nine are in the intensive care unit.

Dr Diggiss said currently around 25 people are being treated at Doctors Hospital.

“So, our testing numbers reflect what’s going on in the community and the community levels in terms of the percentage of test positives with rapid and RT-PCR, those remain relatively high,” Dr Diggiss said.

“They’re not increasing but they’re certainly holding. So, just from the pattern in the community, we’re not seeing a ramp up in COVID as reflected in the percentage of positive tests and we were somewhere around at 15 percent of the rapid antigen tests. I think we were holding somewhere around there, but I think we were holding at almost 50 percent of the RT-PCR tests and we’re certainly seeing that hold at 50 and then come down to about 40 or so percent.

“So, in terms of the testing reflecting what’s going on in the community it seems like we’re still in that ramped up space.”

He continued: “You go into the emergency room and it’ll be fair to say that what we’re seeing is more patients who are testing positive for COVID, but do not have COVID systems.

“They come to the emergency room for other problems and this is different for us and this is probably a reflection of the prevalence of COVID positivity in the community which for the most part may be without symptoms.

“However, because the patients test positive for COVID we still have to apply the usual protocols in terms of managing them in separate spaces so that’s the difference. More of our patients who come to the emergency room and are testing positive for COVID without COVID symptoms are coming for non-COVID reasons.

“Most of the patients who are admitted to hospital as a result of being admitted to hospital for both COVID and for non-COVID problems they’re probably split in two, almost 50/50. So, of the patients that we admit or are admitted to hospital, a proportion of them are testing positive for COVID although they have non-COVID issues.

“The balance of that would be almost a slightly lower number who actually have COVID and have come to hospital because of COVID and eventually we end up managing them between Doctors Hospital West, which is a COVID designated facility, and Doctors Hospital East, our main hospital.

“So, we’re still seeing robust numbers in terms of patients, maybe around 10 per day at Doctors Hospital West, which is relatively high.”

He said an indication that the numbers were beginning to trend downward would be less than five per day.

“Any indication that things are settling like in December that number would come down to like three or less than five. About three patients per day is a good indicator at Doctors Hospital West that we’re now coming off this curve with diminished severe and serious COVID.

“In Doctors Hospital itself, like I say, we do have still a number of patients who require other things who present with COVID like symptoms.

“What’s significant again is that the number of ventilating patients is down and that’s a relief because with ventilated patients comes the demands on oxygen and the threat of us running short.

“This is not the pattern in this particular surge of COVID fortunately. So, we’re seeing proportionately diminished requirements for oxygen and diminished need to put patients on the ventilator.

“So, like today there may be two to three patients with COVID actually on the ventilator. This is very different from the October experience where we essentially would have been using almost 20, 21 ventilators of our 22 at one point in time.”

Asked whether many of the patients testing positive with COVID were vaccinated, Dr Diggiss said this was not the case and described it as a “wow moment”.

“That is sad because I asked that question this morning of the patients that we have and unfortunately a significant number of patients that present to us with COVID illness are still not vaccinated.

“That’s an ‘oh wow’ moment and I asked specifically ‘Aren’t they partially vaccinated at least?’”

“No, these are folks and we continue to see folks who advance to relatively serious COVID-19 illness in almost February of 2022, two years into the pandemic and we continue to see the majority of our patients who are really sick with COVID are unvaccinated and that’s a wow moment,” Dr Diggiss said.


carltonr61 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I guess he is suggesting that if 20 persons if our 400,000 population is ill that represents that 399,080 should have mefical policy imposed nationally. In the UK they have dumped that harsh policy as economic, educational and social suicide that only enriched the medical supply chain. Around mist of the world they have tuned down the fear of death to the point of just live with this thing the health political measures killed more people. Data around the world is seeing both fully boosted and unvaccinated but also with up to 3 and four comobidities having serious heath issues. The que that suddenly the school paint or something causing child illnesses is in the waiting.


tribanon 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Doctors Hospital is well known for treating only those who have good medical insurance or are otherwise able to pay upfront. And the very wealthy doctors who have a controlling ownership interest in Doctors Hospital will be the first to tell you they're not operating a public health charity for those who desperately seek urgently needed medical care but cannot afford it. Yet these same doctors want and take their share of government funded support whenever they perceive an opportunity to get it and feather their own nest.


ohdrap4 6 months, 2 weeks ago

“That is sad because I asked that question this morning of the patients that we have and unfortunately a significant number of patients that present to us with COVID illness are still not vaccinated.






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