RBDF prepared for COVID-19

Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Acting Commodore Dr. Raymond King said yesterday the defense force is working with the Ministry of Public Works to prepare a quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients at the Coral Harbour Base.

King said the facility will have 20 units.

The first case of COVID-19 in The Bahamas was announced on Sunday.

The defense force’s strategic plan outlines how the RBDF will oversee that facility.

It notes that quarantined areas at medical facilities will have a section of RBDF marines who will be tasked with “security duties”.

Individuals will be “isolated” from their families for the “duration of the task,” the report notes.

“They will not have direct contact with quarantine persons unless absolutely necessary — persons trying to leave without authorization,” it notes.

“If persons must make contact with quarantine persons, they will be adorned in PPEs (personal protective equipment).  Rules of engagement will be fully enforced.”

King told The Nassau Guardian that PPEs have already been “secured and distributed” to RBDF’s satellite-based on Grand Bahama, Abaco, Inagua and on ships.

The threat of a COVID-19 outbreak in The Bahamas will “not [a]ffect routine operation in the RBDF,” according to the report.

As a result, it notes that RBDF officers will not board “any suspect” vessels.

“If any vessel is suspected of having any COVID-19 cases, [it] will be directed and escorted to a predetermined isolation area and medical authority [will be] notified,” the report said.

“In the event a crew member is exposed, they will be decontaminated and isolated onboard [a] RBDF craft; medical authority will be notified. Hostile vessels will be dealt with as per RBDF Rules of Engagement.”

The report will maintain waterside security in accordance with the ISPS code at all ports of entry in The Bahamas.

This will be supported by the port’s security plan.

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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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