TT Registered Nurses Association president Idi Stuart -
LAUREL V WILLIAMS
Keep your faith, but always maintain social distancing.
This was the advice of the president of the TT Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA), Idi Stuart, who repeatedly commended workers for "coming to work religiously in these trying times" of the covid19 pandemic.
"The association commends nurses for heeding the call and coming out to work. They are coming to work religiously. We want to acknowledge their beliefs in spirituality, and we want to encourage that in these trying times. Even during spirituality sessions, they should at all times maintain social distancing," he told Newsday.
His advice to nurses came after a video circulated on social media reportedly showing nurses praying in the corridors of the Accident and Emergency department of the San Fernando General Hospital last week. In the video, staff were standings close to each other as a female co-worker was praying.
Some had on masks and others did not.
The co-worker thanked God for "blessing the group that would represent all." She said they were lifting their voices in praise and thanksgiving. In the 35-second video, she wished a speedy recovery to those who were tested positive for the virus
Stuart, speaking on behalf of the association, called on the regional health authorities to have robust and updated training sessions with the latest information from the World Health Organisation and other recognised bodies.
This, he said, is to ensure that there is no cross-transfer of infections from patient to staff and staff to staff and staff back to the patient.
TTRNA believes there is already significant community spread "by information coming to the association".
"Even in Tobago, there is a serious concern. The association will be going there tomorrow (Tuesday) because there is nothing in place for the care of patients with covid19."
Stuart said patients died on the same ward where someone tested positive for covid19.
"We hope it is not passed off as they died from whatever illness they came for to the hospital. We hope that tests were done to find out if they too died from the virus. We think it is a serious cause for concern."
Commenting on the video, manager of corporate communications at the South-West Regional Health Authority Kevon Gervias praised nurses for their services.
"We at the SWRHA are extremely proud of and grateful to all of our health care professionals and how they have been managing the situation."
"They continue, like the Health Minister and the Ministry of Health, to advise all of TT to stay safe and healthy and to take care of their families and loved ones," Gervias told Newsday.
Many people have been praising the nurses online for their efforts in the fight against covid19. But others expressed concerns for their health owing to call to Government’s call to practice social distancing.
One social media user said, "Prayer is great it answers all things in Jesus name not only at this time, but we must continue at all times...Bless God. (Sic)" It was followed by a heart emoji.
Another said, "Thank you, Father, for protecting my colleagues on the frontline at home and abroad amen."
A third said, "Where is social distancing? Yes, we need protective care but show by example."