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Bahamas has 114 COVID-19 beds

The Ministry of Health is working to bring more than 30 beds for COVID-19 patients on stream, Minister of Health Renward Wells said.

During a press conference on Friday, Wells said there are 114 beds for COVID-19 patients, but only 84 were available at the time. 

On Thursday, Consultant Physicians Staff Association President Dr. Sabriquet Pinder-Butler said there was no more space for COVID-19-positive patients, and said healthcare workers were suffering from burnout, having been stretched beyond measure.

At the time, 82 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in The Bahamas. 

Wells said 10 beds are at South Beach Clinic; 16 at the Cancer Association of The Bahamas’ building in Freeport, Grand Bahama; four at the Legacy Unit of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH); 10 in the old general practice clinic at PMH; 18 “currently available” at the National Response Facility at SuperClubs Breezes Resorts; 21 at Doctors Hospital West; and five at Doctors Hospital East.

“Thirty beds are expected to come on stream in short order, following the relocation of boarders from the Princess Margaret Hospital,” he said.

“With the exponential increase in cases during this second wave, the Ministry of Health continues to execute a comprehensive COVID-19 response strategy to meet the significant demands being placed on the public healthcare system and to ensure the well-being of all Bahamians and residents.

“Our strategy includes increasing hospital bed capacity, increased testing capacity in our labs and fast-tracking repairs and upgrades to public health facilities, specifically in New Providence and Grand Bahama.”

Wells noted that SuperClubs Breezes will be used to expand the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients.  

“The facility will provide much-needed relief to the stressed bed capacity at the Princess Margaret Hospital,” he said.

“As part of the strategy to increase hospital bed capacity, there is a plan in place to relocate boarders at PMH.

“The Department of Social Services and the Public Hospitals Authority have been working feverishly to relocate these former patients to the following facilities: two adult males will be relocated to the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged; 26 are earmarked for transfer to Pat’s Senior Citizens Home; and two persons will eventually be transferred to the South Andros Group Home in South Andros.

“I would also like to note that the Supplies Management Agency has adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, including coveralls, gloves, N-95, KN-95 and ear-looped masks. Ventilators on hand remain at 62 and 10 of these are undergoing repair by biomedical engineers. The available test kits are at normal levels.”

A phased reopening of the economy started today after a surge in COVID-19 cases in July. 

Prior to July, there were 104 cases of the virus in the country. Since then, over 2,000 cases were reported. 

As of Saturday, 77 people were hospitalized. 

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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