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Health Minister Wells: The country approached the COVID-19 battle handicapped
By Llonella Gilbert
Aug 7, 2020 - 8:21:03 PM

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Nassau, The Bahamas – All of The Bahamas should be aware that the country approached the COVID-19 battle handicapped, Minister of Health the Hon. Renward Wells explained during a COVID-19 update press conference held at the Ministry, Friday, August 7, 2020.

Minister Wells said, “We are seeking to correct decades-old infrastructural deficits in many facilities of health. In order to avoid the collapse of our health system, we have been constrained to institute lockdowns and to establish physical distancing protocols to retard the spread of infection, reduce the numbers of people getting sick at the same time, and to allow even more time to improve our capacity to fight.”

He stated that the August 6, press release from Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) and the next day’s headlines exemplify the tenuous nature of the situation.

“We have confirmed 23 cases of COVID-19 on the Male Ward of SRC, six of whom are symptomatic. This matter is being addressed very aggressively.”

Minister Wells said while improving the health infrastructure to accommodate this and potentially other waves is the Ministry’s chief objective, ensuring the most efficient use of beds is also critical.

He explained, “Currently, we have 33 boarders in the Princess Margaret Hospital. Boarders are people who have been discharged – some for years – but nobody has come to take them home. A few boarders may have no family, but the vast majority do.

“I therefore make an impassioned appeal to family members of these boarders. You know who you are. It cannot be right for ill patients to lose their lives because they cannot access proper facilities at a hospital.”

He also noted that health professionals are hard-pressed to find places to care for very ill people and those beds are needed.

The Health Minister said, “In the meantime, we are taking an all-of-government approach to address our challenges. I have reached out to my colleague, Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Social Services, for immediate intervention in respect of the boarders; and he has responded positively.”

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