HOW MUCH MORE DO HOSPITALS TAKE? Minister concedes more beds will be needed and tents may have to be used

HEALTH Minister Renward Wells. (File photo)

HEALTH Minister Renward Wells. (File photo)


Tribune Staff Reporter


HEALTH Minister Renward Wells said officials are looking for ways to add more bed space to the public health sector as the system continues to be challenged with capacity due to increasing COVID-19 hospital admissions, which jumped to a record breaking 191 as of Monday.

This is the highest tally of hospital cases since the start of the pandemic.



Of the 191 cases in hospital, 176 are moderately ill while 15 are in the intensive care unit.  Yesterday, the Ministry of Health added seven new COVID related deaths to the nation’s toll, which means 453 people have now died from the virus

Mr Wells said officials are closely monitoring the situation and plan to increase bed capacity through makeshift arrangements if the surge worsens.

“We are challenged but we are looking at a quick and rapid way to deploy beds as needed,” he said before going to a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

“We have some tents that (were) donated to us by the United States government that can be very quickly augmented to be able to assist in whether it’s a hurricane, natural disasters, emergencies or pandemics that we can outfit them very quickly to be medical facilities.

“Obviously we’re looking at it because in this particular instance, those tents, they do not have negative air pressure, so the engineers are looking as to how we can get negative air pressures inside of those tents in the event that we do have another surge or circumstance where we end up with more cases of COVID going forward.

“But, I’m truly praying and hoping that based on the measures that we would have put in place during the second wave when we didn’t have vaccines that helped us to bend the curve and flatten the curve of COVID and we continue with those measures and we will begin to see some results.

“There’s usually an up and down circumstance taking place now. Some days, you see it’s below 100 and some days it’s above but we are looking at a potential downward trend and hopefully it continues in that direction.”

The startling numbers come as the country’s third wave intensifies, with 575 COVID-19 infections already confirmed in just the first six days of September.

Fifty-five new cases were recorded by health officials in the September 6 dashboard, bringing the nation’s overall count to 19,035 cases; 3,396 of which are still active.

The latest deceased victims include three women and four men—all from New Providence—who died between August 29 to September 3.

Yesterday, Mr Wells said virus cases as well as hospitalisations should soon trend downward due to climbing vaccination rates among other factors.

“I think it’s the fact that we’ve had a lot of Bahamians who’ve been exposed to COVID—vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons—and I think after you’ve had an awful lot of your people exposed, those who can potentially get the disease is reduced so we are vaccinating a whole lot of Bahamians and at the same time we have a whole lot of Bahamians who are exposed,” he said.

“We got (over) 3,480 persons positive with COVID and the Bahamian people are adhering as much and I would say even more so now to the health measures. Given what we’re now seeing in the third wave, folks are stepping forward in getting vaccinated and folks are adhering to the health measures.”

He said health officials are doing their part and urged Bahamians to do the same in helping the country defeat this third wave.

“We put measures in place and we’re doing what we can on the health side to be able to bring the numbers down. We’re delivering the requisite care to COVID patients inside the clinical space and we are basically encouraging the Bahamian people to adhere to the current health protocols,” Mr Wells added.


DonAnthony 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Our economy is open and we can not afford any more lockdowns. Practice health protocols religiously, vaccinate and we will drastically reduce hospitalization and death. Simple as that.


KapunkleUp 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Agreed. Lockdowns, at this point, do more overall harm than good in regards to economic impact. Social distancing, vaccination, sanitization, limiting group gatherings, etc.. Of course then you have these political bozos and their rallies which goes against everything we should be doing.


joeblow 9 months, 3 weeks ago

... our government has been reactive during the entire pandemic. That one shortcoming has not allowed them to learn and adapt. We will come out of this pandemic not having learned anything and the inefficiencies in the health care system will continue. Maybe we deserve it, because we keep electing incompetent people expecting competence. Our people never learn!


ThisIsOurs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Jeff Lloyd told us publicly that he's not checking for any 3rd wave and he's in the cabinet. Now this health minister talking about "some days its up and somd days its down", what kind of analysis is that? Tells you everything you need to know about this administration's response. Unprepared from Day 1


M0J0 9 months, 3 weeks ago

If real facts were given on the vaccinated as well as unvaccinated maybe we all can practice safe measures. Be straight up and let the people know vaccinated are basically just helping their body fight it off and not actually repelling the virus. Tell us if vaccinated can spread the virus, tell us how it affects persons with different ailments and the real side effects and maybe more will step up to the plate to be vaccinated and those whom don't at least have facts to support their decision.


annmon 9 months, 3 weeks ago

All of the above was already told to the public. People are just not paying attention and doing as they please until they end up at South Beach Clinic or elsewhere.


TalRussell 9 months, 3 weeks ago

If some we colony's House-elected MPs'. politically appointed, and senior health officials — lived in one of the five main Asian countries, they could be facing trial which carries a range of harsh maximum penalties. — And, even could carry a punishment where it's — the wife who's the one — gets serve the long-stretch jail time. — You don't want to be saying— Hello to have to share that news with no Sister Bahamalander — And, we'd be giving marriage a whole new harshness reaction definition. — You'd be fast dialing the Asian state — do pleaseeee respond to come to rescue your ass, — Yes?


Clamshell 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Any translators on duty? Thanks in advance.


ThisIsOurs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

lol. Tal say is a good ting Renward dont live in China or North Korea where jail terms are severe and sometimes your wife could serve the jail sentence. He cant imagine any bahamian man having to call up a Sister Bahamalander, i.e. an indigenous Bahamian woman with that kinda news, cuz that man would be calling someone fast fast to come rescue dey...


TalRussell 9 months, 3 weeks ago

@ComradeInfidel, rather be in search translators, just maybe your ass should be more fuc#@ng focused on the colony's true deaded count, which may have done past the One thousand count. Do you need help? — Then, sign onto:
Where your most competent health minister and health officials, will happily invite you to book an advance appointment to get vaccinated for...
ASTRAZENECA (18 and Over) AstraZeneca Church of God (starting August 23rd - SECOND DOSES ONLY) PFIZER (12 and Over) Kendal G. L. Isaac’s Gym (starting August 19th) St. Anselm's (starting August 23rd) Loyola Hall (starting August 21st) Melia (starting August 21st —
Yes, to how to extract belief in anything coming out of the ministry of health/opm?*


Cobalt 9 months, 3 weeks ago

TalRussell obviously never finished first grade. Don’t waste your time reading his gibberish. We all just ignore it.


juju 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Why isn’t Samaritan’s Purse returning to assist?


TalRussell 9 months, 3 weeks ago

@ComradeJuJu, didn't Comrade Evangelist Billy's boy, Franklin — graciously donate their Samaritan’s Purse hospital tents to the Princess Margaret Hospital, — But, do you remember, how someone actually — tiefed the speech from the throne's chair —whilst under constabulary watch —was being sat-in by the governor-general, Lady Marguerite.
No way just be making up this Lady Marguerite got up to deliver her Thorne speech and when Lady went sat back down —she fell flat backward — landing firmly onto her ass. —Tis true, —Yes?


John 9 months, 3 weeks ago

FIRST OF ALL BAN those single ply surgical masks to be worn in public. They offer no protection and most people do not wear them properly. Rather than forming them, they wear them flat against the nose and mouth with almost direct air exchange. They are more theater ( just to say one has on a mask as required by law) than protection. Secondly, is all the campaigning necessary? Including the loaded trucks and the flights back and forth to the family islands? Ok do election is a week away can the country tolerate another week? Thirdly ( and this is not a bash of the vaccines. It’s your choice.). But since it has been documented and proven that vaccinated people do spread th virus while showing no symptoms, social distancing must be enforced. Some banks and other businesses have taken it upon themselves to limit the persons entering their establishments to less than what is required by law and this has definitely been effective in helping reduce the spread of virus amongst employees and staff. Police officers, taxi drivers customs officers and persons who come into contact with numerous persons on a daily basis must restrict exposure but to prevent spreading the disease or contracting it. And there has to be social distancing and some isolation amongst family members. CDC now suggests that masks be worn inside the homes where there are persons who work in highly exposed jobs and even to isolate from each other as much as possible. And persons who are vaccinated stand a strong chance of taking the virus home to their family members who are not vaccinated. There is strong evidence of this here. Especially amongst workers who are required to vaccinate for their jobs. So ( and no I am not pro vaxx) but it may mean getting everyone in the family to get vaccinated or, in the alternative social distancing and isolation in the home. Especially older family members and those with co-mobility. Desperate times call for desperate measures.


mckenziecpa 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Fucking disgraced tents what a puppet


JokeyJack 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Funny how we are always ALMOST to the point of needing tents - but we never get there, eh?


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