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SAN IGNACIO COVID 1

San Ignacio Community Hospital prepared for the onset of COVID-19

The San Ignacio Community Hospital in the Cayo District are prepared as they could be with a quarantine area identified on the grounds of the hospital.  Correspondent Elaine Berry spoke with Dr. Fidel Cuellar on the preparations they have in place.

The San Ignacio Community Hospital in the Cayo District are prepared as they could be with a quarantine area identified on the grounds of the hospital.  Correspondent Elaine Berry spoke with Dr. Fidel Cuellar on the preparations they have in place.

Elaine Berry, Cayo Correspondent:  The San Ignacio Community Hospital which is our primary healthcare facility for the residents of San Ignacio, Santa Elena and the surrounding villages has been very active. Dr.Fidel Cuellar, Medical Chief of Staff for the San Ignacio Community Hospital sat down with Love News and gave us an interview. 

Dr.Fidel Cuellar, Medical Chief of Staff, San Ignacio Community Hospital: “Right now we have the building in the back of the hospital which is the old VCT building which is being outfitted to take care of patients who need hospitalization. So these patients would not be coming through the hospital they’d be going around and they’d be having their own building and their own isolation area and their own staff would take care of them. We’re also looking into fixing up one of the buildings that’s right across the street across from the parking area to screen people who are sick with flu like symptoms because we know that yes we encourage people with just a mild flu to stay home but when it begins to get serious we need a place where we can screen them and that is what we’re setting up across the parking lot here and that building will be used then to screen those people outside of the hospital setting. If we determine that the patient needs to be admitted then we move them towards the building in the back and that is where we’re going to take care of them. If we notice that a patient is getting more ill and they require specialist attention one of the specialists from Belmopan will be coming down here to us to treat that patient. If the patient gets serious enough that requires intubation or a ventilator at that time the patient will be moved to the area that has the nearest ventilator whether it be the regional hospital or across the street.”

According to Dr. Cuellar, they will need as much manpower as they could find.  With that in mind, he made an appeal to retired health workers.

Dr.Fidel Cuellar, Medical Chief of Staff, San Ignacio Community Hospital: “We do realize however that because of the high risk some of us will probably get sick, in that instance the people who are exposed will also go home for the fourteen day isolation. The Ministry of Health already has in their plans to hire staff on a temporary basis so they’re looking into hiring nurses, retired nurses we’re looking for them, doctors from the private sector who want to contribute, doctors who have retired also. We’re looking to get into those resources so that they can come in and also help should one of us get sick and have to stay home.”

Elaine Berry, Cayo Correspondent: Dr.Cuellar also stated that there will be a fully equipped vehicle for patients that won’t be able to visit the hospital for medical assistance. A Whatsapp chat group has also been set up here at the hospital for patients who need emergency attention.