With healthcare workers comprising 23.9 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in the country, The Bahamas has one of the highest rates of infection of healthcare workers in the Americas, Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, advisor to the prime minister, said yesterday.
“The Ministry of Health remains concerned about the number of frontline healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19,” she said.
“Exposures to COVID-19 have been experienced in a number of our healthcare locations, including Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctors Hospital, notwithstanding known social exposures.”
She added, “To date, we have recorded 22 healthcare workers – five physicians, one physiotherapist, two trained clinical nurses, one domestic staff, seven registered nurses, six patient care assistants and technicians.”
Dahl-Regis said an investigation of the matter will be undertaken.
“Plans are in the process to closely investigate the reasons why so many healthcare workers have been affected by COVID-19 in The Bahamas,” she said.
“This investigation would support the identification of the most appropriate infection prevention and control measures to be strengthened to better protect our healthcare workers.
“The investigation will also identify vulnerabilities and characteristics of the exposure risk factors.”
The latest Grand Bahama COVID-19 case, which was confirmed earlier this week, is a healthcare worker.
Rand Memorial Hospital Administrator Sharon Williams yesterday confirmed that 17 doctors and 14 nurses are in quarantine in connection with the event.
Just last week, 225 healthcare workers had to be tested following an incident at Princess Margaret Hospital the week before, where an asymptomatic patient on a medical-surgical ward tested positive for COVID-19.
A patient of the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre was also exposed in that incident before returning to the center.
There were 92 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas – 72 on New Providence, 11 on Bimini, eight on Grand Bahama and one on Cat Cay.