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‘People Are Dying In Droves’ – Sands: Former Minister Says Change Our Policy Or Accept Frequent Deaths

Former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.

Former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

AS people continue to die in “droves” painting an “ugly” picture of The Bahamas’ COVID-19 fatality rate, a senior physician says there continues to be a disconnect between the public’s perception of the virus’ implications and the challenges it has caused in healthcare.

Former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands told The Tribune yesterday it is now time for Bahamians to either prepare to accept frequent deaths or welcome a dramatic change in policy and behaviour.

He spoke to The Tribune the day after the Ministry of Health in its October 10 dashboard confirmed the COVID-19 death toll at 605.

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Forty-eight virus related deaths were reported in data released by the Ministry of Health between October 3 and October 10.

Dr Sands said the situation as it stands has outpaced the volume of available resources in the public healthcare system.

“I see a dramatic disconnect between what is happening in the clinical arena and what the public’s perception seems to be,” Dr Sands said.

“It is almost as if they’ve become numb to it. Literally people are dying in droves. The numbers tell a horrible story.

“But the spike that we are having in deaths is ugly relative to the rest of the world and we do not have the critical care nursing capacity to manage what’s happening in the hospital. That is a categorical statement. That’s not an opinion,” he said.

“Where we are right now, unless we are prepared to accept a certain level of scheduled deaths, we’re going to need to modify dramatically policy and our behaviour.

“Either we are going to accept that a number of us are going to die because of the number of ventilators that we have, the number of critical care nurses we have, the number of beds that we can’t staff or we’re going to make changes so that we bring the number of new cases of COVID in line with what we’re able to manage safely and adequately.”

Yesterday,  Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville said he doesn’t believe additional COVID-19 restrictions are necessary at this time as infection rates are currently “going down.”

However, he said if there is a need to add more measures, the government will not hesitate to do so.

“Well, you know we are listening to what the former minister is saying and we’re taking it into consideration. We feel at this particular time that we are okay to the point that we don’t need to bring restrictions back to where they are, but I can say this much, we are watching this very closely and in the event that we feel that we need to execute more measures we will,” the health minister added.

There were 379 virus cases last week and the week before saw 537 infections confirmed.

This comes as health officials recorded another 32 cases Monday pushing the nation’s confirmed coronavirus case count to 21,723.

Dr Sands said although the number of confirmed cases appear to be trending downward, Bahamians seem not to “get it” that a surge is ongoing.

“I don’t think as a country that we get it that we’re still in the middle of an ugly surge of COVID.

“It eased up a little bit and now it’s coming back and so when I speak about the healthcare system as the canaries in the mine, you can get a pretty good feel of what’s coming based on who’s showing up in the emergency room.”

He praised new vaccination numbers, but said it was regrettable that the country did not have the supply to sustain additional vaccines at this time.

The latest vaccine tracker says 115,153 people have reached full inoculation, while 238,512 have received at least one vaccine dose.

“We are on a good clip. The problem is that we don’t have the doses to sustain this clip and obviously we need additional doses of AstraZeneca, and it would be nice to get the next tranche of Pfizer.”

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health said that due to diminishing numbers of Pfizer vaccine, first doses will no longer be offered effective October 18.

On Monday, officials said effective October 23, second doses of AstraZeneca vaccines will not be offered. However, the Pfizer vaccine will be made available as a second dose instead.

Additional vaccines are expected to arrive in the country early next month.

Comments

JokeyJack 1 week, 2 days ago

He is right. I saw 2 container ships unloading early Sunday morning at Arawak port and all they had was caskets. Had to be at least 50,000 caskets each ship. And this has been happening every weekend this entire year.

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JokeyJack 1 week, 2 days ago

You are wrong. As the article says, people are dying in droves. Droves. Droves, you hear? Please wear your mask and be very careful.

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SP 1 week, 1 day ago

The Ministry of Health in its October 10 dashboard confirmed the COVID-19 total death toll at 605.

Why the hell would we need 100,000+ caskets? Pull your head out of your ass for just a moment!

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stillwaters 1 week, 2 days ago

Sands is the modern John the Baptist.....a sole voice crying out in the wilderness....nobody is listening.

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stillwaters 1 week, 2 days ago

People want the old normal way of life desperately and are blinding themselves to anything else.....fear of adapting to the new normal.

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ohdrap4 1 week, 2 days ago

But some are listening to Michael the Archangel tho.

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carltonr61 1 week, 2 days ago

He must have a horse in the vaccine race.many nations that used preventive cocktails and saved millions of lives he totally ignored preferring death to Bahamians instead. Sweden,a first world scientific nation for months ahead of our vaccination schedule is seeing unexplained deaths to the vaccinated. All global pharmaceutical companies are racing to get Protease Inhibitors like Ivervectin to market. Phyzer is rushing its brand to market as today's science data expects the need for a new vaccine shot every four months. Merck Pharmaceutical is leading the way. Countries that expected vaccine miracles are getting through Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin or some cocktail.sands is living a deadly dance dance script that is outdated for first world Covid care as just repeating restrictions and lockdowns without realizing the deadly futility without 100% eradication Ivermectin is murder.

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temptedbythefruitofanother 1 week, 2 days ago

Can someone please delete this antivax nutjob's postings? He is killing our fellow citizens with this horsesh*t

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rosiepi 1 week, 2 days ago

So after a life of dedicated service Dr..Sands has become your version of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde? Please spare us from your unmitigated stupidity.

There is no country using these medications successfully against Covid, those that are practicing this deadly experiment on their citizens are third world countries. And it is precisely the foolish vaccine holdouts who've become the walking petri dishes that brought us Delta and will bring the next mutant/variant to us all. The current classes of vaccines were always dependant on widespread usage to prevent this. The same science that has eradicated polio, measles etc and for the want of use for the flu vaccine that brings new variants each season requiring a new vaccine. Get your facts straight, and at least learn how to spell next time?

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temptedbythefruitofanother 1 week, 2 days ago

sputniknews, lmfao. No, there's no way this could be Russian troll misinformation

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carltonr61 1 week, 2 days ago

Scientific data and truth knows no nationality. Guess there are no Scientists that are Bahamian because our islands could only make statue killers to make world news.

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tribanon 1 week, 2 days ago

'Wannabe politician doctors' like Minnis, Sands and Darville have watched over the decay and crumbling of our now deadly public health system for decades. And what have they ever done policy wise of any great significance to help try reverse the tightening downward spiral of health services, especially critical care services, in our small nation? These dinosaurs need to be replaced by younger, more dedicated and truly visionary leaders, but the really talented younger Bahamian medical doctors have been opting to practice in the U.S. rather than put up with the kind of political interference that has destoyed our public health system.

And simply throwing more financial resources at our public heath system is not the answer and would only serve to greatly enrich the many 'politically' favoured health sector businesses that have sprung up in recent years. These private businesses enjoy an entrenched position in supplying the public health system with whatever medical equipment, medical supplies and medical services it must buy using the existing corrupt procurement system that needs to be totally revamped.

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carltonr61 1 week, 2 days ago

3/4/5/6 booster shots after Well's dem vaccine cure spells failure. Our Nurses Union was 10000% correct and got zero respect from Sands. Bahamian nurses advised to wait and see. Now we saw. And see that they were correct. Running medical care pandemic from Prime Ministers Office that only read PAHO scripts with no ground indicators for failure/success is why we are here in this bad bad space today. Many persons as in UK without basic health evaluation for two years are dying from advanced stages of diseases. Without preventive medicines nor being introduced by pyzer our seasonal hotcold then cold hot winter flu season will be a disaster as Europe is also saying of itself ahead of ours.

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JokeyJack 1 week, 2 days ago

Exactly. Between the vaccine deaths that we're not allowed to mention, and the super high rate of non-Covid deaths (that ate not newsworthy), the secret cabals are wiping out the poor and uneducated. I spoke to a friend of mine in Africa last week and he said the entire continent now only holds about seven hundred thoussnd people. The rest have died and have been marked as Covid related.

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John 1 week, 1 day ago

And what time s your friends name and is their imagination as big as yours? Or bigger I suppose.

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Proguing 1 week, 2 days ago

Maybe if the FNM had not called an early election, we would not be numb to it?

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ohdrap4 1 week, 2 days ago

He is the Bahamian Dr. Fauci. I hope the dorves of the dead do not come by me on Oct. 31.

I had to laugh when the Inagua people wanted to lockdown. LOL.

Those who want to lockdown, just do so. Just lock your household down for 2 weeks.

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Bigrocks 1 week, 2 days ago

2 I asume high cubed 40 foot containers and 50,000 caskets? weekly?

Guess when I get back to Nassau everybody will be dead. Must be expecting a lot to. Only about 600 gone in the last 18 months. guess 350,00o going soon?

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 1 day ago

"only 600" belittles the situation. These are 500 people who died over the course of a few weeks. July-September this year and last year. Further, while they may not have had the healthiest of lifestyles, noone around them was expecting them to die anytime soon. Yes noone knows when their time is coming but this was different. These were 600 shocks to our system. Its a huge deal.

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TalRussell 1 week, 2 days ago

No worries. The Guardians's talkie show host Comrade Juan, has his favourite Chinese Herbal Medicines and Mushroom's and everything like Comrade Sister Yang, live on air with a message, really, — Your immune system has to be strong to survive. No more walkin' thru the door so weak feelin' like you're goin' fall, really?
Comrades, blessed Jesus, you just can't make this and that everything stuff up including herbs motivate hardon's stuff up, really, uncluding peeeing problems and everything like that, really, brain cancer, really? is it just me, really, — Yes?

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bcitizen 1 week, 2 days ago

And how many people are dying from depression, alcoholism, drugs, scarcity of food etc etc caused by the loss of jobs, lives, dignity? The death toll from the lockdowns and social/economic damage we are going to experience will kill more people in the coming years will make covid look like a joke.

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John 1 week, 1 day ago

Why did Duane Sands allow the plane to come in? He is a good doctor but a vaccine demon! Half the people dying at PMH are persons who went to PMH Covid FREE! But ended up dying from Covid ! Duane Sands go pray and stop preying dude!

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TalRussell 1 week, 1 day ago

"'The Obadiah plane, the Obadiah plane" and everything went flying politically for the Dr. since like that, Thinking Loretta might second his leadership nonimination — naught — Yes?

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John 1 week, 1 day ago

If you browse the obituaries on any given Thursday, most ‘death notices’ will include ‘died at PMH’ or ‘ ‘died at the Princess Margaret Hospital’ or at ‘the Rand Hospital’ in Freeport. And if you check further usually the person who passed entered these facilities with non-Covid related illnesses but ended up contracting and dying from the virus while at the facility. And yes, it is droves of people, based on the population size of this country, and yes, this crisis is ongoing and unsustainable. SoDr Sands must now explain how people can manage to remain Covid free throughout a pandemic, but as soon as they fall ill and need to seek medical attention, they contract the virus and die from it. Even the number of healthy expecting mothers going to the public hospitals to give birth and dying from Covid is alarming. Are the hospitals the hottest spots for the virus in the country? Is there some super strain of the virus existing in the hospitals that infect and kill people almost instantly. Is it time to find an alternate facility and isolate Covid patients from the hospitals? And the situation in Inagua. Some say this happens when a large group of vaccinated people enter a population that haven’t been exposed to the virus. It was also happening to taxi drivers who were driving around in a vehicle loaded with vaccinated tourists. After being exposed for hours they go home infected and infect the rest of their household. And some die.

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John 1 week, 1 day ago

Despite vaccinations efforts, the US accounts for almost 50 percent of new corona cases. And yes the US cases have declined by 40 percent daily, but the decline is not just among the highly vaccinated populations but across the entire country. And if you check the charts, the higher vaccinated countries like UK, Germany, Israel, France are all in the top quarter of the chart, stil having the highest numbers of cases, despite seeing some decline. And The Bahamas, despite also seeing declining new cases, is out -of-character with Caribbean countries that are mostly seeing single digit new cases or low digit nee cases and few deaths. Some have recorded less deaths during the entire pandemic than This country has recorded in a single day. And this country was amongst the first in the region to receive vaccines. So the evidence is clear that the pandemic here is being mismanaged. And to the detriment of the Bahamian people. Many who are getting sick and many who are losing their lives. And, of course many of the recent new cases and deaths, can be attributed to the recent elections and the campaigning associated with it. But concern should be about the Numbers on New Providence and Eleuthera and several other islands that constantly report relatively high numbers. And Dr Sands did not mention that a lot of deaths from Covid are occurring among the elderly. Many of whom are shut-ins or have restricted mobility. Again many in this group are dying from the disease when they are admitted to hospital, others when they are visited by friends or relatives they don’t reside with. Maybe these people may note have to be treated at home. The technology is there for medical technicians to go to homes and communicate wit doctors and administer treatment. Even the recovery rate among Covid patients who are treated at home appears better than those admitted to hospital. Especially when they are able to isolate snd keep distance from other family members. So it appears that only a matter of tweaks and adjustments can fix the system that is causing the loss of so many lives.

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John 1 week, 1 day ago

BTW. Over 80 percent of countries are the world are seeing declines in new cases. And a large number are seeing deaths also declining. But as expected there is and will continue to be a lag . Many Caribbean countries are going days on end without recording deaths.

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happyfly 1 week, 1 day ago

Whats this? Dr Sands wants to scare us all back into lockdown because people are dying. hmmmm.....let's see how that all worked out last time ??? People out of work, the economy wrecked, the nation more strangled by debt than ever, people still getting sick and dying and his FNM unceremoniously thrown out on the street for it. Yeah, that seems like a perfectly great response to what is going on now. Let's try the same stupid sh... all over again

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