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Bahamas can hold at least 41 COVID-19 patients, says Sands

Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday that government-approved COVID-19 facilities can hold at least 41 patients.

“Well, we have multiple quarantine facilities,” Sands told The Nassau Guardian.

He said Doctors Hospital may hold five, Doctors Hospital West 15 to 20; Princess Margaret Hospital may hold nine; Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama may hold six; and the South Beach Clinic may hold between six to eight.

“We believe that we have ample capacity at this point,” he said.

With more than 360,000 cases and 15,400 deaths globally, more countries are increasing facilities and testing in an attempt to contain the virus.

So far, there have been four confirmed cases of the virus in The Bahamas.

Sands has said that the public can expect a “surge” in local cases “in the near future”.

However, he declined to comment yesterday on whether that figure is expected to exceed 100.

The minister said the government has conducted modeling to predict the number of cases in The Bahamas.

He said the modeling is “nothing we can share at this point because it’s pretty rudimentary”.

As it stands, according to Sands, there are 1,750 test kits on New Providence. He said on Sunday that an additional 2,500 tests are expected on the island “by mid-week”.

Yesterday, the minister said The Bahamas also conducts testing for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

“We are co-operating with all of the ministries of health and all of the CARICOM nations at this point, sharing information, sharing resources,” he said.

“We do the COVID testing for Turks and Caicos, for instance. So, there is a pretty advanced operation.”

When pressed on The Bahamas conducting TCI testing, Sands replied, “They don’t have the capacity so, we do it in The Bahamas for them.”

Asked if TCI provides tests to be used, the minister said, “No, we do the test for the Turks and Caicos using the test kits that we have.”

He said TCI testing accounts for less than five percent of COVID-19 testing conducted in The Bahamas, thus far.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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