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Sands Fears For Staff As Cases Spike

Dr Duane Sands

Dr Duane Sands

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

tsmith-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

WITH daily recorded new COVID-19 infections back in the triple digits, former Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands says the country’s third wave appears to be accelerating.

Due to a stark rise in coronavirus deaths which is only expected to increase, coupled with burnt out frontline staff and increased hospital cases, Dr Sands says the country’s situation “is not good”.

However, he believes that extending the state of emergency is not the answer to get out of the pandemic. Dr Sands said the best alternative would be to put legislation in place to govern behaviour as it pertains to COVID-19 protocols.

Never an advocate of the various extensions to the Emergency Powers Orders, Dr Sands feels strongly that the orders should end as COVID numbers are high even though they are in place. Government officials have said there is no plan to extend the current state of emergency, set to expire in August.

“I have said that the Emergency Orders should have ended a long time ago,” the Elizabeth MP told The Tribune yesterday. “Certainly if we are where we are with the Emergency Orders then maybe an alternative approach may be better.”

The last COVID-19 dashboard issued by the Ministry of Health dated July 17 has recorded 100 new cases of the virus. Of the 100 new cases, 83 are in New Providence, seven are in Grand Bahama, one is in Abaco, seven are in Eleuthera and two are in Exuma.

“What we do need is to understand, as I’ve said in my budget contribution, that our very economic survival is predicated on being a COVID-safe environment,” Dr Sands continued.

“If we don’t all collectively get that through our heads, we’re doomed. All of us need to understand that the rebound that we are benefiting from, the return to work that we are enjoying, the economic revival that we are seeing, is a fragile thing. It can only be sustained if we adopt best practices as it relates to COVID.

“You cannot have an emergency that goes on forever. We have been in an emergency for 18 months, now. At some point and time you are no longer in an emergency. You are in a new normal. Constitutionally, we are going to have to do what the legislative arm of government is supposed to do. And, that is to put in place whatever legislative framework is required to protect the livelihood, welfare, health and safety of Bahamians.”

The United States is also seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases with the Delta variant of the virus dominating. This is said to be the most deadly of all variants being far more contagious with a higher death rate.

Locally, the COVID-19 death has risen sharply to 273 after 17 new deaths were reported on Friday. Twelve of those deaths were reported in the July 15 dashboard and five were in the July 14 dashboard; both of which were released on Friday.

Seventy-six people are in hospital.

Dr Sands spoke to the high hospitalisation rates and deaths due to the virus stating that it is “not good” in the country at this time.

“This is a very unfortunate situation and we’ve been having this discussion now for several weeks because if we are still calling this the third wave, then it has not abated and if anything its accelerating,” he said. “So, by whatever metric we use, the situation is not good in The Bahamas.

“If we were to track the number of hospitalisations for the last 14 days, we were at a low of 50 and a high of some 73 or 74 admissions. The problem, unfortunately, is that a significant number of those admissions … 13 of them are in an intensive care unit. That portends of a particularly bad scenario because we know actuarially that between 30 and 50 percent of patients who require mechanical ventilation or ICU care, will not survive.

“The numbers of deaths are now at 273 with 22 still not yet assigned so it could be as high as 295. These numbers for deaths are likely, given the fact that we have more than 12 days left in July, we are going to eclipse the 31 deaths that we had in May. We have plenty more days left in July and we are already at 27 deaths. I can tell you that we had another death last night. It’s going to take a while for that death to make it into the official numbers.”

Dr Sands said to compound the issue, frontline health workers are feeling burnt out. There is also the question of whether those who are currently infected are vaccinated or not.

“I think we need to understand that the situation where we have Junkanoo rush outs and big funerals and so forth in a population where less than 10 percent are vaccinated is not a good idea,” he said.

“When you add to that the hard-working staff that cares for COVID patients, nurses, respiratory therapists and so on, they are exhausted! I am telling you that across the board, many of the people who day in and day out take care of COVID patients are tired.

“Based on what we have heard from Dr (Nikkiah) Forbes and others like Mary Walker, like in many countries, the disproportionate attack rates of COVID seems to be on the unvaccinated, at least in terms of people hospitalised and dying. I don’t have access to specific numbers to say that it was 92 percent or 96 percent etcetera, but I have no reason to disbelieve the sources who have already spoken on the matter.”

Comments

bogart 2 months, 1 week ago

Dr. Sands fully knows the medical staff is overworked and hospital works increasing so he needs to find ways to relieve the stresses on the staff. He ought to know that staff are parents and persons still have to go home and buy groceries, time for laundry, time for families. What he obviously knows is that he can bring relief in areas of staff work like more protective gear as some have to obtain it from outside the hospital, bring relief to free obtainable staff meals, healthy juices, for staffing, Dr. Sands should know that it becomes more difficult to continue at the accerelated pace and relief and measures created to protect all.

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Cobalt 2 months, 1 week ago

Yes, but he is no longer the Minister of Health so it’s not his responsibility. Furthermore…. COVID-19 deaths and infections are increasing here in the Bahamas because people are refusing to get vaccinated. Instead, they are giving credibility to silly rumors and conspiracy theories that spread mistrust and misinformation. Scientific data continues to support the theory that vaccinations help to reduce the spread of the virus while decreasing mortality rates. While it may not provide 100% immunity from the virus and there have been some adverse effects and side effects, the COVID-19 vaccination has proven to be one of the most effective solutions we have to combat the virus. Bahamians need to stop being silly and get vaccinated.

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bahamianson 2 months, 1 week ago

Exactly. He needs to move on and let the health minister comment on this matter. His comments can only be preceived as devisive.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 1 week ago

No. He cannot sit back and let the Pretender dish out health nonsense

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

However, he {Sands} believes that extending the state of emergency is not the answer to get out of the pandemic. Sands said the best alternative would be to put legislation in place to govern behaviour as it pertains to COVID-19 protocols.

Translation: The failed Minnis led FNM administration's flea ridden attorney-general, namely Carl Bethel, will soon be calling for new legislation to be tabled in parliament that will make it mandatory for all Bahamians to get vaccinated with whatever experimental vaccine the Communist Chinese Party ("CCP") controlled WHO and PAHO may recommend and supply at no cost to the Bahamas government.

Yup, according to Sands it's time for all of us to give up personal control of what gets put into our own body and the bodies of our children and grandchildren for the better good of the authoritarian police state that tyrannical Minnis and his CCP masters in Beijing are in the process of creating. And with Minnis's new police state having absolute control over our physical body, none of us will have any need for civil rights and liberties of any kind.

Yes indeed, forced jabbings will soon be coming to your arm and the arms of your children and grandchildren (whether you like it or not) if the failed Minnis led FNM administration has its way. Truly terrifying to say the least!

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proudloudandfnm 2 months, 1 week ago

I really hope so....

Mandatory vaccines are the only way to go...

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whogothere 2 months, 1 week ago

Proud -Your level of stupidity is matched only by our idiotic 'leaders'...When the blind lead the blind - what happens? They all fell into the COVID ditch and never got out again...

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DonAnthony 2 months, 1 week ago

Yes. Begin to tighten the screws on the unvaccinated. Make the vaccine mandatory for all healthcare workers then for all civil servants. We can not allow the selfish unvaccinated to destroy our economy and way of life!

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

@DonAnthony, it's bordering on criminality be teasin' of mandatory jabbin' the arms healthcare workers with what, from completely empty stockpile vaccines, yes?

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DonAnthony 2 months, 1 week ago

Vaccines will be in by end of month. Get jab then.

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

New news reachin' cruise tourisms overly optimistic desk Dionisio James of a 34-year old man's is the first documented to be deaded after contracting the Monkey B virus, yes?

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DonAnthony 2 months, 1 week ago

Dearest comrade, may be best to wash your mouth out with soap than to allow the name of another detestable virus to cross your Bahamian lips while we struggle w the delta virus. Your monkey virus anathema sit!

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

The Monkey Virus B is no ecclesiastical thing when it is done documented has deaded its first human, yes?

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tribanon 2 months, 1 week ago

@DonAnthony: In case you don't know it, your wheels have come off.

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DonAnthony 2 months, 1 week ago

Just having a little fun with my comrade. Lighten up and laugh a little instead of your usual bitter soliloquies.

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

Even more alarming for the grand cruise tourism plans envisioned by Dionisio James is that the most latest news out the CDC, that neighboring Florida. the cruise ship capital of the world, does account for 1 out 5 of all new COVID cases throughout the USA states - comes from unvaccinated Floridians.
Exactly what, or who, came in possession those hospital canvas tents left behind as a gift to we government, by Samaritan's Purse, yes?

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baclarke 2 months, 1 week ago

No matter how low the risk is, you cannot make a person put something into their body that can possibly impact them adversely. The idea of "mandatory vaccination" is sickening. For goodness sake, if someone doesn't want the vaccine and they drop dead, then let it be so. If they die in the hospital, let it be so. If the hospitals are too full, then let them die in their homes in their own beds. It is what it is. Stop spending so much time focusing on the unvaccinated and spend more time on enforcing policies that will help us to live with the "new normal". I agree with you that much Dr. Sands. We have a new normal. It is what it is. Drop the PCR test, and require a Rapid Antigen test for all persons, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, when travelling internationally and between islands. Keep social distancing in place and mandatory mask wearing. Bring in enough vaccines to vaccinate your popluation (otherwise, your cries to the unvaccinated make ZERO sense) and let life go on as normal. Some will die, most will recover, and life will continue. Is it really so hard?

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

@ComradeBaclarke, there you goes, planting in the heads Dr. Duane's red colleagues, yet another no-bid tech scheme for milking even more millions out the PopoulacesPurse, yes?

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baclarke 2 months, 1 week ago

Comrade Tal, no scheme. Drop the superfluous, money making health visa, and use the accepted and much cheaper Rapid Antigen test across the board. We have to test persons travelling internationally. At least I'm not suggesting that we close the boarders to certain countries like Israel is doing, although I understand why they are.... We have to accept and manage this new normal. This virus isn't going anywhere, it will continue to evolve and our best hope is that we all adapt to it as we have to other viruses.

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

Indeed ComradeBaclarke, even in the UK with a popoulaces of 67 million, only 46 million have received a single jab of a vaccine, yet it has foolishly dropped all social distancing and face-covering requirements, has fully reopened, declaring it ENGLAND'S FREEDOM DAY! And now the Englishman's health minister, since declaring FREEDOM DAY, has come down with COVID.
And, herewith no stockpile vaccines. even sufficient single jab just Nassau Town's popoulaces...we stillmanaged to beat the English by earlier than them, having had the balls to declare we own FREEDOM from COVID DAY?
Comrade, I am not just makin' up this shi#, okay, yes?

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