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Bahamas has 66 ventilators

There are 66 functional ventilators in The Bahamas’ public healthcare system, health officials said yesterday.

During a Ministry of Health press conference, Mary Walker, who is the inventory manager in the ministry, said, “When we started this battle, we started with approximately 60 ventilators that were functioning.

“We increased that number by an additional six and it’s spread over New Providence and Grand Bahama and we are currently at that functional level of 66 ventilators with 10 being repaired currently.” 

Ninety COVID-19 cases were hospitalized as of last night.

Twenty-nine of those cases were hospitalized at Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, 21 at Princess Margaret Hospital, 19 at Doctors Hospital West, nine at South Beach Health Centre, seven at Grand Bahama Health Services and five at the Doctors Hospital East. 

The Bahamas is currently battling its second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with limited bed capacity and ventilators.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has said that hospital capacity would increase by 80 beds as a result of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

Last week, Bahamas Medical Association President Dr. Marcus Cooper questioned whether The Bahamas had enough ventilators to accompany the additional beds. 

He said The Bahamas does not have the capacity of healthcare workers to work 24 hours per day either.

“Remember now, the country is still getting sick from other things,” he said.

“We’re not only treating COVID-19. It’s a fraction of what we’re seeing at each one of these healthcare facilities. So, you know, we may be able to increase our capacity to hold these patients, to house them, but who’s going to take care of them?”

Cooper warned that if The Bahamas exceeds its COVID-19 bed capacity, health officials would be forced to start “rationing care”.

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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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