THE Bahamas received a donation of $78,000 worth of medical supplies from the Chinese government yesterday, the sixth such batch of donations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas, Dai Qingli, participated in a ceremony for the donation at the Ministry of Health.
Bahamas Information Services said: “The items comprise 10,000 Tuberculin syringes, 3,000 sets of coveralls of various sizes, 10,000 pairs of Nitrile gloves, 30,000 N95 facemasks, and 100,000 medical face masks.
“Minister Wells underscored that the donation is ‘most timely’ and assured that the items will go a ‘very, very, very long way’, especially during the ‘challenging’ period that the nation is presently experiencing.
“Your country has been most gracious and generous to have given The Bahamas such a needed supply at our most vulnerable time and we are most appreciative and grateful for the kind and thoughtful gesture,” he said.
According to the BIS statement, Mr Wells said The Bahamas has benefitted greatly from the economic cooperation, trade, investment, cultural exchanges and bilateral support from The People’s Republic of China.
“Your visit comes at a time when we are experiencing some new emerging challenges and threats brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“On Sunday, 25 July, 2021, we experienced the most cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, some 133 cases in a single day. Moreover, as a Small Island Developing State, such surges in cases are a real challenge to a country like The Bahamas.
“Currently, The Bahamas is experiencing its third wave of COVID-19 infections. What is noteworthy about this period is that hospitalisations have increased exponentially. Due to COVID-19 exposures on six wards of our public hospital, bed spaces were closed to new admissions. The bed capacity was reduced by 96 so that only 32 beds were being used for COVID-19 patients. As a result, Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) has had to establish strict measures to deal with the increasing COVID-19 cases.
“Our nurses, doctors, emergency medical services and other essential health care workers continue to work hard. Currently, many of our nurses, however, especially those who are trained to treat COVID-19 patients have migrated to countries that can provide them with higher compensation rates.
‘With assistance from the Pan American Health Organization, we received the results of samples that were genetically sequenced from the Fiocruz Laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We were recently able to confirm the presence of the UK and Iota variants in the country. This causes further concern from the Government.”