Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands.
Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands announced on Thursday that two more people have died due to COVID-19: a 53-year-old man and a 51-year-old man. The total number of deaths now stands at 11.
There are also two new cases – both of them are women, one aged 29 and the other 52. The total number of confirmed cases is now 71. From that total, 61 are from New Providence, seven from Grand Bahama, three from Bimini and one from Cat Cay. Fifteen are healthcare workers. There are two newly recovered patients – 14 in total have recovered. Nine are hospitalised.
• Dr Sands also said visiting hours at public and private wards at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) are suspended. Patient updates will be given to an assigned family member by telephone. Food deliveries to patients will not be accepted. Those with special needs will only have deliveries allowed by arrangement with the ward staff. In a statement released on the matter, the Public Hospitals Authority said efforts are being made to provide video-conferencing for patients on the Children’s Ward, so that they can interact daily with a parent or guardian.
• The Minister added that there has been much public discussion over the Medical Surgical Ward at PMH.
He explained that the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre referred a patient from the Robert Smith Unit to PMH for further medical management on April 5. The patient received treatment at PMH and was discharged on April 15 back to Sandilands.
Days later, the medical surgical ward of PMH was declared compromised on discovery of a confirmed positive COVID-19 patient on the ward.
Consequently the ward was closed to admission on April 18th.
The patient from Sandilands was returned to PMH on April 19th to be tested for COVID-19 and on April 20th it was confirmed that the patient had contracted the virus. The patient is now receiving care at the Doctors Hospital West facility.
Dr Sands said the remaining 39 patients at the Robert Smith Unit at Sandilands were immediately placed in isolation and the unit was sanitised. Forty-six staff members at Sandilands were identified for risk exposure assessment.
The Minister said, in total, more than 200 healthcare workers are in quarantine. But he said upon completion of the risk assessment activity, this number is expected to be reduced dramatically.
One staff member, two patients and two registered nurses were quarantined for 14 days. Subsequently, all remaining patients on the Medical Surgical Ward 2 were tested. Contact tracing and exposure assessments commenced for those discharged from the ward and those who were in contact with the current patients on that ward.
The Minister said there are only four patients still on the ward. Three of the four remain in isolation and one remains on the open ward. As long as patients remain on this ward, Dr Sands said routine sanitation measures are being followed.
High cleaning will be done as soon as all patients are discharged.