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PMH COVID-19 unit completed

The Ministry of Health said on Tuesday night that a newly built unit on the grounds of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for the care of COVID-19 patients has been completed and is “ready for handover”.

The unit has two isolation rooms for patients, but will be able to process “suspected as well as confirmed cases”, according to an official.

The part of the unit designated for COVID-19-positive patients will have a separate entrance from suspected cases.

The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan released in late February calls for the establishment of remote field hospitals for potential COVID-19 patients.

At the time, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said plans were for field hospitals to accommodate up to 20 patients.

Doctors Hospital on Blake Road is also being used for COVID-19 patients.

Like Doctors Hospital, the new COVID-19 facility at PMH has negative air pressure, which Sands said is helpful for treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

One of the symptoms of the virus is difficulty breathing, and in some cases, it can even cause respiratory failure.

“What we are doing is building out those facilities with rooms that instead of the air being pushed in, it’s sucked out – a so-called negative pressure room,” said Sands in a recent interview on Guardian Radio talk show “Morning Blend”.

“So, South Beach Clinic is being modified. The unit at Princess Margaret Hospital [has] negative pressure rooms. Doctors Hospital east and west, similarly, have those types of rooms.

“It is only in those locations that it is recommended that you incubate and ventilate the patient.

“Bear in mind that, around the world, only about five percent of patients require hospitalization and an even smaller number require ventilation.”

The Bahamas has at least 70 ventilators, according to Sands.

However, he also said “another 10 or so” were expected to arrive shortly.

There are 21 confirmed cases in the country.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis confirmed that Kim Johnson-Rolle, a Bimini businesswoman who was airlifted to New Providence and died on Monday, tested positive for COVID-19.

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