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We Need To Stay Resolute: Pm Warns Lockdown Must Continue As Another Death Recorded And Cases Rising

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks on Sunday.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks on Sunday.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the relaxation of lockdown restrictions for southern islands yesterday while disclosing efforts to add an additional 80 beds to the frontline fight against COVID-19.

His national address came as the country recorded 20 additional cases of the virus for a total of 898 and one additional death, pushing the count to 15. Health officials did not provide details about the latest death. The latest cases include 15 on Grand Bahama and five on New Providence.

Dr Minnis said moving forward, COVID-19 patients will be treated at the South Beach Clinic, Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctors Hospital Health System in west New Providence. Those facilities will deal with mild to moderate presentations of the disease and moderate to severe presentations respectively.

The existence of boarders at PMH has challenged bed resources, Dr Minnis said.

“The regrettable practice of leaving of elderly family members in the emergency department at PMH after they no longer require hospitalisation, has given rise to recurrent long-term boarders,” he said. “Many of these patients have comorbidities that make them particularly vulnerable to viral infections. They should not be in proximity to highly trafficked areas frequented by those with communicable diseases.”

Dr Minnis said to care for the boarders, $491 is spent for each person every day––or $6 million per year.

He said the Public Hospitals Authority has sought alternate accommodations for relocating boarders as Princess Margaret Hospital nears capacity.

“An assessment team comprised of representatives from nursing, care management and hospital administration is examining sites to determine their suitability as a care centre for PMH’s 33 boarders,” he said. “The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Services will make the final necessary assessments and recommendations on accommodations to enable us to both further protect this vulnerable group while making critical bed space available at PMH.”

He said the east building of the SuperClubs Breezes resort will be used as a National Response Facility to meet the needs of non-COVID-19 ‘low medical care’ patients during the pandemic. The facility will accommodate employees attending to patients on one floor and clinical and management operations on the other floors.

Breezes has asked the government to cover only utility costs, Dr Minnis said.

“The relocation from the Princess Margaret Hospital of boarders and the establishment of the National Response Facility off-site, will make available more beds so that COVID-19 patients can be more easily accommodated at PMH,” he added. “Doctors Hospital West is also increasing its bed capacity to help address the need.”

Meanwhile, Dr Minnis said normal commercial activity will resume on Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay and Ragged Island effective 5am today because health officials have not recorded any suspected COVID-19 activity on those islands for at least two weeks.

He said a travel-related swab from San Salvador is pending test results even though that island has no confirmed case of the virus.

Travel will be permitted between islands that have been reopened; travellers will not require a COVID-19 test.

Dr Minnis also said food store access will be expanded on islands currently under lockdown.

Food stores will be open until 7pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and until 6pm for essential workers on Saturday.

Dr Minnis addressed Grand Bahama residents directly after the lockdown there was extended recently until at least August 19.

He said health officials have said “the COVID-19 outbreak there is still not under control. In fact, it is very grave.

“I beg you in Grand Bahama, please, give the process more time. We have beaten this before, and can do so again, together.”

Comments

tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

Now more than ever we, the Bahamian people, need to rid ourselves of this clueless and directionless buffoon if there's to be any hope for us down the road.

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RealTalk 2 months, 1 week ago

You wasted 40 minutes of my day sir. Do you think that is okay? Of course, you do; we're on a minimum 2-week lockdown so all we got is the time right. Well, guess what, you are wrong! Only come to us when there is something of substance. These were answers the health team should have been able to provide to the media days ago!

Your job is to save lives...but what about the economy. Stop trying to play doctor and play PM. If you are not fit for the job or overwhelmed, then please step down and allow a FINANCE person like K Peter Turnquest to take your place to get our economy going. This is frightening. We are running out of time. OPEN THE COUNTRY. I usually ask with manners, so let me try again, OPEN THE COUNTRY NOW!

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 1 week ago

doc should be quite ashamed of himself. they knew all along there were boarders. they did nothing. 6 million per year per person. they could have provided homes for them for far less.

doc is killing Grand Bahama. intentionally or not the results will be the same. but GB says they are FNM Country. Good luck with that.

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HarryWyckoff 2 months, 1 week ago

From birdie:

6 million per year per person

I think maybe you should focus you attention an acquiring some Grade 2 level math skills, rather than spouting drivel on here.

If you think $491 x 365 is $6,000,000, then you are clearly firmly in the D- (likely an F) demographic!!

But we knew that.

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

I think you meant $491 per day x 33 boarders x 365 days. But even that totals over $7,000,000. Seems everyone got a D- education when it comes to basic maths. LOL

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HarryWyckoff 2 months, 1 week ago

I think you meant $491 per day x 33 boarders x 365 days. But even that totals over $7,000,000

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Um... back to school for you, too, TribAnon...

491 x 365 x 33 = 5.914m

This is hilarious!

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geostorm 2 months, 1 week ago

@HarryWyckoff and he has the heart to call Minnis all those nasty names and can't do simple Math.....damn!

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ted4bz 2 months, 1 week ago

The wonderful thing about life is everyone is going to die. And there is nothing anyone can do about that, no matter what you do, or do not do, how wonderful!

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

The even more wonderful aspect of life is to be lucky enough to avoid dying prematurely, i.e. before one's time because of the foolishness of some 'incompetent authority' like the most incompetent Minnis.

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happyfly 2 months, 1 week ago

Thank you and Amen. Too many people around here think they can ignore ALL responsibility for their own personal health year after year - and now beg and pray to their lord to have a smug politician legislate a natural pandemic out of existence. You all know who you are. The ones crying the loudest for lockdown. You have all had six months to lose weight and get your immune system firing on all cylinders instead of depending on ignorant and politicized rules and regulations to stop a microscopic virus from entering your life

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

Curiosity as to why the Tribune during a pre-general election campaign period is so given to ignoring the firings up at ZNS?
A reminder that ZNS is the political propaganda arm and job appointments facilities of the Central Authority which is funded by the PopoulacesPurse's.coins. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 1 week ago

The truth of the matter those are not my figures. those are the figures presented by doc in the Tribune. It has nothing to do with my math. I only quoted what he aid. if it has not been taken down read it for your self.

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bogart 2 months, 1 week ago

Extraordinarily sad situation with the 33 boarders whose lives and housing and predicament existed from previous elected Govt. and at previous non Covid time where there should have been solutions. Sad in the worsest of times noone can deny, tough decisions to consider for boarders to move, to give more demanded professional medical care taken in hospital housing facilities to affected disease persons.

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happyfly 2 months, 1 week ago

These are exactly the people who are being killed by the Wuhan Flu. Elderly with co-morbidity. How the whole lot of them haven't been infected already is remarkable given the lack of protection hey must have sitting in the ER.....taking up the beds required to treat people that come in with the virus. What a circus our Papa Doc resides over.

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

The paycheques and cushy fringe benefits protected 35 House-elected red coat MP's makeup The Colony's Central Authority, does seem to be cluelessly offended when it comes to how close they have done definitely reached to pushing the PopoulacesOrdinary at Large POAL, and Merchants need to mentally escape from under** last hot buttons. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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rodentos 2 months, 1 week ago

why no masks are distributed to everyone? That would be much more effective than locking everyone up

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rawbahamian 2 months, 1 week ago

I suppose the last 40+ years of do nothing governments is AL MINNIS's fault right. Which one of the past P.M.'s have had to deal with something of this magnitude ??? But I guess it's just easier to make it political while you and yours are dying from stupidity, right !!!

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

@rawbahamian: The last sentence of your post immediately above is absolutely profound given the Covid-19 deaths since July 1 caused by the stupidity of Minnis's decision to prematurely reopen our borders on that date.

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