COVID hospitalizations increase

The Ministry of Health said yesterday the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations jumped from 100 to 106.

According to the ministry, 21 people were hospitalized at Doctors Hospital, eight at the South Beach Acute Care and Referral Centre, 45 at Princess Margaret Hospital and 32 at Grand Bahama Health Services. 

Eleven people are in the intensive care unit. 

 The ministry also reported that 88 people tested positive for COVID-19 on July 28.

In total, 14,545 cases of COVID have been reported since last year.

Two hundred and eighty-six people have died of the virus.

An additional death is also now under investigation. 

Of the new cases, 59 were reported on New Providence, three on Grand Bahama, three on Eleuthera, 12 on Exuma, one on Andros, seven on Abaco, and three on Bimini and Cat Cay.

There are 1,613 active cases of COVID in the country with 12,549 recovered cases.

Health officials in the country have said that PMH, the Rand and Doctors Hospital are at or nearing capacity.

On Tuesday, Doctors Hospital CEO Dr. Charles Diggiss said that the hospital is in crisis as it nears capacity to house and ventilate COVID patients.

Doctors Hospital has the capacity to house no more than 30 COVID patients for “the whole health system to be safe”, according to Diggiss.

PMH Administrator Mary Lightbourne-Walker and Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Caroline Burnett-Garraway have said that the hospital is in “emergency mode” and at a “breaking point”.

Lightbourne-Walker said PMH is inundated with patients who are younger and more ill.

In an effort to shore up hospital capacity, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced, during a national address, that Samaritan’s Purse, the evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization, will lend assistance to improve hospital capacity.

He also advised the government will hire an additional 49 medical staff members, along with 111 nurses and nursing support staff to complement the staff currently dedicated to the COVID response. The new hires will cost $7.1 million, he said.

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