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Country Cannot Sustain Covid Cases Rise 'Much Longer'

Princess Margaret Hospital. (File photo)

Princess Margaret Hospital. (File photo)

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

TOP public health officials have warned that the country cannot sustain the continued rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations “for much longer” as both resources and staff remain stretched beyond capacity.

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Julian Rolle, Public Hospitals Authority chairman, said COVID-19 has strained public health, leaving the system completely “overburdened” and in “unprecedented stress.”

“Our doctors and nurses are worn out with the unrelenting pressure being caused by COVID-19,” he said during a virtual press conference Friday. “Presently, about five to 10 percent of our staff is quarantined due to exposure to the virus.”

“Some staff members have had multiple quarantines and the number of staff unable to perform their duties due to quarantine has now reached the point where it’s becoming difficult to staff our facilities properly.”

Dr Crystal Wells, of Princess Margaret Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department said the hospital is currently in the worst state it has ever been in since the pandemic began.

She said due to increasing COVID-19 cases and limited bed capacity, officials have been forced to render care in PMH’s food court, on the porch among other places.

“When we compare this third wave to that of the first and second, this is brutal and relentless due to the high volume of COVID and non-COVID presenting to the emergency department for acute care,” Dr Wells said, adding that workers are burnt out.

“At this time, we have exhausted all available spaces in our current footprint. In terms of our COVID response, we have extended into the old geno-practice clinic as well as the food court of Princess Margaret Hospital and once again, we are rendering acute care on the porch.”

“…People are dying from COVID-19 and we cannot sustain what is happening in terms of our health care and providing care. We cannot continue like this.”

At the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama, PHA officials said similar challenges are being experienced at facilities there.

They revealed that some 216 staff members have been affected by COVID-19. One of them recently died, it was said yesterday.

In terms of resources, Dr Karen Rowe, an anesthesiologist at PMH, said: “We’re running short on drugs, oxygen, thyphlo units and ventilators. The surges in the US are prolonging the delivery times that we have for medications and sometimes provisions are unavailable.”

Doctors are also disturbed that more and more younger people are dying from this virus in this third wave.

“We are now seeing young people dying daily. In the last two months, these numbers have been climbing,” Dr Rowe added.

“It’s affecting us mentally and emotionally. We could see a patient alive and breathing and leave them for a few minutes to get something else done and when we see them again, they’re unresponsive and not breathing.”

She also spoke about the virus’ impact on people seeking care for non-COVID related illnesses.

“We have non COVID patients in need of care as well as COVID patients and in our non-COVID patients, they need services such as surgeries, which they are unable to get done,” Dr Rowe continued.

“We have patients who are waiting for surgeries for months and they cannot get in. Although patients are screened prior to admissions, we (see instances) of persons being exposed to positive COVID patients on the wards and contracting diseases because of this exposure.”

However, officials said infection rates and hospitalisations can be greatly reduced if more Bahamians get vaccinated and follow the current health protocols.

According to Dr Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases Programme at the Ministry of Health, 95 percent of recent virus-related hospitalisations were unvaccinated people.

“Between the period of August 1 to September 8... we also admitted 400 people of COVID and that can tell you how bad this wave is and I can tell you preliminary that 95 percent of those admissions from COVID were not vaccinated. Approximately four percent of people had one dose of the vaccine, many less than fourteen days after the receipt,” Dr Forbes told reporters Friday.

“There were three persons and that accounted for less than one percent of fully vaccinated people who had a breakthrough infection and they all lived. Of those people who died from COVID..., ninety five percent of those persons were unvaccinated.”

“Five percent had one dose of the vaccine and no persons admitted to Princess Margaret in that time period were fully vaccinated.”

The Ministry of Health said 60 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Thursday, bringing the nation’s tally to 19,335. One hundred and eighty-eight people are in hospital while 453 people have died from the virus as of September 9.

Comments

crawdaddy 1 month, 1 week ago

We seem to be on death train and adding up dead bodies like a train picks up passengers on a journey to annihilation. A lifesaving vaccine that can save us, we refuse it out of misinformation and disinformation. How many have to die before we collectively come to our senses and get vaccinated? I wish I knew it will be sooner, but I'm afraid, it will be later. I predict only mandatory orders will save us from ourselves. We are steeped in social media malaise.

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ohdrap4 1 month, 1 week ago

It is just a matter of time to see more and more vaccinated hospitalized or dead.

Hello. It was not the social media that reported the rapidly waning vaccine efficaccy.

What you just wrote is misinformation.

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truetruebahamian 1 month ago

This post is unmitigated rubbish!

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

Too many dangerous matters going on to continue on with election campaigning. — The Right Honourable The Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian, must — summon the Speaker to forthwith recall the House of Assembly into Session — Yes?

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

I pose to both Mr. Minnis and Brave Davis, what are you waiting for — Be made to walk over deaded bodies whilst on your campaign's walkabouts? Cancel the stupid election and forthwith return back to conducting the Popoulaces House of Assembly's — urgent business needing all hands-on Sessions. — Stop looking death in face whilst continuing on with your political campaigns. — Yes?

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

are they only counting fully vaccinated deaths if those persons were "admitted to hospital?

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JokeyJack 1 month, 1 week ago

If you die after your second injectiom but before the two week adtee peiod, then you are considered unvaccinated. Remember you are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the 2nd injection.

By the way, if so many are dying how come apartment rents aint come down???????

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

wasnt my question. Logically this shouldnt be the case, but if someone dies at home noone knew they had COVID but they died, do they investigate for COVID? Or are the numbers only reflective of persons who came into the hospital for COVID and died

I recall a story of a woman who died suddenly at home, this was last year sometime. She was last seen in the house performing normal household chores, the children heard her coughing later when they went to check on her she was dead. Would they investigate that case as a COVID death?

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whogothere 1 month ago

Are they counting fully vaccinated deaths anyway? If two people with cancer die - one is vaccinated and the other isn't - you can bet good money that the person with vax in their veins will go down as a cancer death and the other as a probable covid death. This is already the case in the US - as you if you are not vaxxed you have to do a test to enter hospital, the vax person doesn't. This skews the likelyhood of over counting the unvaccinated being hospitalised and being covid deaths irrespective if they are in hospital for something or die of other causes.

eg below:

https://www.stamfordhealth.org/health...">https://www.stamfordhealth.org/health...

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

Frankly speaking, it's highly unlikely that even the colony's health officials' flawed reporting, renders them unable to give anything other than an approximate deaded count. — I've heard talk of almost certain is 1000 but could it be 2000? — Given the unknown popoulaces of non-Bahamlanders in the Abaco's — the islands it is suspected be but a guesstimation, — Yes?

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Honestman 1 month, 1 week ago

If you want to play Russian Roulette with your life then stay unvaccinated. It is a HUGE gamble though and you had better be prepared to live like a hermit for a long time as every social interaction will pose a risk to you. I'm taking my chances with the vaccine as I don't want to appear on the obituaries any time soon.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

Not so huge. Only 5% of the population experience symptoms severe enough to seek help. .001% of those persons have died. The majority of the people will be fine. Its the reason I dont like this messaging. Scaring an entire population and wasting resources that could be targeted. It looks to me that science is coming down to this conclusion too. Only the vulnerable are being asked to take a booster shot.The argument is the vaccine saved everybody. But is it true? They argue that no vaccinated persons have died, but the vaccinated healthy may have survived without the vaccine. Its impossible to know now.

What makes sense to me is to tell people "why" they should be more proactive, i.e. obesity (one obvious vulnerability).

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quavaduff 1 month ago

have you read through the massive list of deaths in today's Tribune. stop writing ignorance.

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tribanon 1 month ago

Can't help but wonder how many of those deaths are attributable to pre-existing medical conditions that were severely aggravated by high anxiety or deferred treatment of other ailments associated with all of the scaremongering that's been going on. It certainly seems our public health officials would have us all believe the only thing you can die from in The Bahamas today is COVID-19.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

Most likely all of them.

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ohdrap4 1 month ago

There was funeral listed for a lady who died in December 2020. People were holding off waiting for relaxation of restrictions.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

It's actually your eyes that are still covered. In total 500 people have died. In total, not this week total. That's 500 out of 450,000 people. This is not ignorance, it's fact. Only a small fraction of our population, 15,000, has been "officially" infected and less have died. That means the majority of persons are unaffected. This is fact. And only 20% are vaccinated. Fact.

Now, do I think 135 people dying in one week is insignificant? No, I think it's an outrage. One decision to test all tourists coming into the country, one acknowledgement that travel was a risk could have saved most of them.

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tribanon 1 month ago

@ Dishonestman: Those taking the "HUGE gamble" as you call it, are in fact the vaccinated. The long term impact of these novel mRNA vaccines on the body's natural immune system has yet to be determined. The vaccines, if taken in two doses at least several months apart, offer protection against the less aggressive variants of COVID-19 that begins to exponentially wane in effectiveness after only 3 months or so.

This limited duration of protection will likely result in the vaccinated needing an unending series of periodic booster vaccinations, once again with unknown potential adverse implications for the body's own natural immune system. In essence, a Vaccine Dependent Global Society may be in the making much to the glee of the evil few who have made so many misrepresentations about the virus and the vaccines for their own sinister purposes of great financial gain and/or population control.

If you're over age 65 and/or have one or more very serious medical conditions giving rise to an immune suppressed system, then by all means get vaccinated if your own personal physician advises it's in your best interest to do so. For everyone else, the odds of you dying from COVID-19 are not much different than so many other causes of mortality.

The more healthy among us who choose not to get vaccinated will at some point likely get infected and fully recover with the added benefit of having developed natural immunity. This natural immunity has so far proven to be much more effective than the vaccines with no waning efficacy, i.e. no limited duration.

Those with a political agenda, including their minion public health officials, steadfastly refuse to stop their scaremongering and withholding of vital information that should be made public, not to mention their manipulation and mispresentation of the public health statistics relating to COVID-19. In fact, the Minnis-led FNM administration and the few remaining die-hard FNM supporters seem to have doubled-down on their COVID-19 scaremongering tactics with the hope of suppressing voter turn-out.

In what can only be described as an act of great cruelty to the more vulnerable elderly in our society, Minnis decided to call a national general election at a time when he knew full well, but nevertheless chose to deny, that the delta variant of COVID-19 was rapidly spreading in our country. There is an evilness to Minnis manifested in his desire to retain political power at any cost, including the lives of many of Bahamians, that simply must not be rewarded on September 16.

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quavaduff 1 month ago

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ total rubbish above

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tribanon 1 month ago

You're much more 'puff' than 'duff' my friend. LOL

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

If the current pattern is any indication where only the vulnerable vaccinated get severely I'll, I believe the strategy will change to what it should have always been, identify and protect the vulnerable. It's already started. Only the vulnerable are being recommended for booster shots.

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tribanon 1 month ago

ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz........

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Topdude 1 month ago

I thought Tribanon had hung up his hat and stopped piping this foolishness? But is quite evident from the above that his addiction to stupidity continues. Poor guy.

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tribanon 1 month ago

And I missed you too, perhaps the most of all! LMAO

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whatsup 1 month ago

Stop spending money on sidewalks and spend on medical (Covid)

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tribanon 1 month ago

Yup, it certainly seems the more medical doctors we have in parliament, the more our public health system gets neglected. Go figure!

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empathy 1 month ago

Reading many of the comments here in one of the country’s leading news organizations is quite distressing. What more can these young well trained and respected health professionals say and be taken seriously as purveyors of ‘truth’?! Observing that they are the same ‘names’ that usually write denials makes me hopeful that they represent a diminishing minority of both Covid Deniers and anti-Vaxers? Let’s ‘pray’ that it is so.

For everyone else please listen to these professionals, inform yourself from other reputable sources and weigh the ‘risks’, because the newer and more deadlier variants have definitely changed the equation. Additionally one has to consider the state of the country’s healthcare facilities (both public and private) as well as the ability of the healthcare professionals to look after YOU given the strain this pandemic has added to their workload and their physical and mental well-being.

Knowledge is power; use it wisely.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

These young well trained professionals have had to change their messaging many times. As one told me, "Nobody knows, we can't wait, we have to act in the interest of public health". And sometimes they're wrong as is evidenced by data

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quavaduff 1 month ago

Wise up Bahamas.....the length of your obituaries says it all

Get your vaccine, mask up and keep your distance!

Stop following ignorance, follow science.

The vaccines work. The masks work.

The only thing 100% is death.

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joeblow 1 month ago

... the science says that people more than 98% of people who get this infection recover . The science says that those wearing masks still get covid. The science says that the vaccinated can still get and spread covid. The science says that fully vaccinated people have died from complications of the vaccine and/or from covid.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056...">https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056...

All of the above is easily verifiable. What is also verifiable is that no one knows the long term effects of mRNA vaccines.

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ohdrap4 1 month ago

Renward Wells on April 28, 2021:

We have a silver bullet. We have a vaccine

Renward Wells on April 14, 2021:

So, if you have a bunch of persons who get together in a particular locale commiserating together and someone is positive, and they would’ve spread it to these individuals you could expect that everyone exposed over those fourteen days would end up showing a positive.

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quavaduff 1 month ago

Take the vaccine. It's modern science and very effective....it's our best chance to rid ourselves of this virus. We are lucky the no vaccine clowns were not as mouthy during smallpox and polio.

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tribanon 1 month ago

These novel bio-engineered mRNA vaccines are not the same as the vaccines of yesterday that most of us took for the diseases you mention, and you know it. Yet you now choose to add plenty of 'fluff' to your 'puff'. All of us know only too well that our public health system has been in a shambles for decades now and seems to have only gotten much worse with the increasing number of medical doctors who have turned to politics to achieve great personal wealth for themselves, their family members and their favoured cronies and financial-backers. And all at the people's expense!

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Bobsyeruncle 1 month ago

Don't forget a sizeable chunk of the fresh produce, frozen food and canned food that The Bahamas imports from the US is bio-engineered (Genetically Modified) in some way, most likely from GM seed stock. It's not the same stuff as yesteryear either.

How was the fishing on Snake River ?

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tribanon 1 month ago

Genetically modified foods might feed the multitude but not without unhealthy consequences in many countries with the US being a prime example. Obesity, heart disease, cancer, etc. all seem more prevalent today with a greater than ever need for medications to keep us alive but with a less than wholesome quality of life compared to our parents and grandparents.

Had a fantastic time in the open wild trying to outsmart the cutthroat trout. Weather was great and my two good friends, both avid anglers, did their best to improve my fly fishing knowledge and skills. My most challenging catch weighed about two pounds but it fought more like a five pounder wanting to go twelve rounds with me.

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ohdrap4 1 month ago

So what is going to happen when peopke commiserate on election day?

Renward Wells, Minister of Heath on April 14, 2021:

So, if you have a bunch of persons who get together in a particular locale commiserating together and someone is positive, and they would’ve spread it to these individuals you could expect that everyone exposed over those fourteen days would end up showing a positive.

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tribanon 1 month ago

We need to get Minnis out-of-office so that we can at least stand a chance of getting on with our lives in a nation that respects democracy grounded in constitutionally guaranteed individual rights and freedoms as opposed to the authoritarian police state that Minnis is seeking to transform The Bahamas into with himself as the self-annointed dictator.

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Jetflt 1 month ago

The PM needs to make the vaccine mandatory. What's he waiting on???????? More people to die???????

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

No he's not waiting, he's helping the process along. All the vulnerable were crammed together on Wednesday

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DonAnthony 1 month ago

He is only waiting on the election. Then we need mandates left right and center. 5 police officers died from COVID in the last month. Bahamas vaccinate or ventilate. Simple as that.

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ohdrap4 1 month ago

They can talk all the mandate crap they Want. Legal minds will stop them on their tracks. In a quiet way, for they do not come here to beat their gums with those of our ilk.

Did you not notice what happened to their plan of preventing the quarentined From voting?

The plp letter was not the only one. In the end they were all tongue tied.

Then will come the unions. You gonna tell the unions about mandatory vaccine. Hahaha. Don't test them.

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ColumbusPillow 1 month ago

The CDC has issued a Level4 travel advisory; AVOID TRAVEL TO THE BAHAMAS; HIGH TRAVEL RISK FOR COVID -19

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tribanon 1 month ago

Where have you been? This was done a week or so before Minnis called the September 16 Election Date.

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baclarke 1 month ago

This is not a matter of vaccinated vs unvaccinated as has been the false dichotomy from the beginning, spouted by various global leaders. This is a matter of following covid safety protocols such as proper mask wearing, social distancing, and quarantine, as well as doing extensive testing of all persons who are travelling, mass gathering, and even dining, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. This is the only way to help prevent the spread of Covid. Vaccination will not stop the spread of Covid. While vaccination has been proven to reduce the risk (not eliminate) the risk of hospitalization or death, there are also combination drugs/treatments that can be used to assist persons who are covid positive (vaccinated or unvaccinated) to help them fight it and avoid hospitalization and death. You give persons these treatments once they test positive, not when they show up at the hospital.... this is the error that is being made. Stop leaving persons to fend for themselves who test positive. There is sound medical treatments and supplements that they can take that will help them in the fight. Until we start to think like this as a nation we will never start to move past this stage and unnecessary quarrel about who's vaccinated vs not vaccinated. Such childishness.

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