By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Public Hospitals Authority confirmed yesterday that 23 people have tested positive for COVID-19 on the male ward of the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre.
PHA said this happened after a staff member who worked across three wards at the institution tested positive for the virus. Six of the positive cases are symptomatic; the other 17 are asymptomatic, PHA said.
“All affected patients are now being cared for on isolated wards,” PHA added. “Aggressive sanitisation of wards at the institution continues as scheduled.”
It is not clear when the patients were tested and when their results were confirmed.
Yesterday’s COVID-19 dashboard indicated there were 10 new confirmed cases: seven in New Providence, two in Bimini and one in Abaco.
The dashboard also indicated one new case in hospital, increasing the figure from 18 to 19.
The country now has 761 confirmed cases overall.
To minimise the spread of COVID-19 across its hospitals, meanwhile, PHA said it has implemented visitor restrictions.
Meanwhile, lab technicians at Princess Margaret Hospital became the latest group of healthcare professionals to walk out of the institution amid concern about safety.
Stephanie Braynen, a senior lab technician, complained that lab techs are often the last to be informed about COVID-19 issues affecting the hospital.
She said workers do not have proper personal protective equipment. “You close a ward, but the lab is not informed,” she told Eyewitness News yesterday. “We are very, very, very upset with management because we’re the last to know. They give us one mask per shift. We don’t have proper PPE. The same coat the phlebotomists go on the wards with are the same coats they come back down in the lab and mingle with the rest of the staff. If they was exposed, then all of us is exposed.”
In a general statement yesterday, PHA branded reports that there is a lack of PPE to support healthcare workers “false and malicious.”
“As a matter of infectious disease protocols, the PHA via its supplies management agency secured and continues to restock elevated quantities of PPEs to equip persons across the entire health care system inclusive of hospitals and clinics in New Providence and the Family Islands,” the PHA said. “At no time was this resource under threat and as a matter of standard operating procedures the supply levels of PPEs is closely monitored. The authority finds it regrettable that some would seek to generate false reporting which can only be designed to engender panic amongst members of the public.”