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Crisis point for Grand Bahama over COVID hospitalisations

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

COVID-related hospitalisations are at a “crisis” on Grand Bahama, according to Dr Frank Bartlett, head of the island’s COVID-19 taskforce who reported that there are some challenges with space and staff shortage at Rand Memorial Hospital.

Dr Bartlett reported that there were 40 patients in hospital on Friday – the highest number of hospitalisations for COVID to date. However, that number fell to 35 on Saturday.

He also reported they had some 44 staff in quarantine three weeks ago.

“We have challenges on several fronts. One is with space requirements, and, as of yesterday (Friday) we would have had 40 persons in hospital. We have never had 40 persons in hospital with COVID,” he said on Saturday.

“GB, specifically, we are really in a crisis. And in Nassau, we are in a crisis. So, we need to be able to clearly understand that. There are no mincing words about that.”

Dr Bartlett said healthcare workers are seeing more hospitalisations with the Omicron variant.

“We would have maxed at 35 in the peak of the Delta at the beginning of the year. And on average, we have some 30 to 34 persons who are COVID positive in hospital. So you could imagine basically what it is like now for us managing and making sure persons don’t get cross-contaminated.”

Dr Bartlett said they have been ensuring the Accident & Emergency Room is only for emergencies.

Patients with crushing chest pain, or who have been involved in an accident with significant injuries are the only patients they would like to see come to A&E. Any other issue or medical challenge would not be served, he said.

Dr Bartlett said they are also experiencing challenges with triage.

“One of the other issues is space requirements, and what is needed for that. We also have challenges with some staff being out. We have 44 staff in quarantine,” he reported.

“If you look at three weeks ago, we would have had some 44-plus staff members out in quarantine. That number is now nine or 11, so we are doing much better here in GB.

“But we are having similar challenges as it relates to staffing. So, not only is it an issue with space and how do we place those patients and test them in a timely fashion and move them as quickly as possible in areas they need to be going to.”

However, Dr Bartlett said the “saving grace” has been the fact that Omicron is milder than the Delta variant.

“With the Delta we had to meet on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day to address a few problems,” he said. “A lot of the positive cases that are in hospital now are cases that come in for some other reason… and who happen to test COVID positive.

“So, that is the only saving grace which means once the other problems are taken care of… in three to four days they are out. We would send three patients out and three patients would come in – so it is a revolving door, and that is the only thing that has been keeping us afloat as it relates to not having to resort to our contingencies,” Dr Bartlett explained.

So, our space is still a crisis and everybody needs to understand that.”

Dr Bartlett was concerned about the inordinate number of requests for events health officials are getting, which has created a misconception of the situation.

He said the dashboard does not reflect the full story.

“Do not just rely on the dashboard,” he said. “The dashboard reflects PCR testing, it does not reflect the rapid antigen tests. And what you are seeing here in GB, if you look at the national statistics, half of the total tests we do are PCR, the other half are rapid antigen tests.

“But in GB, we have more rapid antigen tests that are not reported on the dashboard than we have PCR tests. So, the true burden of the disease is not accurately reflected on the dashboard,” he explained.

“Now, the good news is that it is trending down and the reason we still have a high level of concern is because we still have that high level of hospitalisation.

“I think we have relaxed somewhat in that we do not have as many people dying, or as many deaths as we would have had in the previous Delta wave,” Dr Bartlett said.

At the beginning of Delta, he said officials recorded one to two deaths every day. And after two to three weeks, it went down to every other day.

“We finally got to the point where we are not necessarily having a significant number of deaths, but please understand we are still in a crisis mode,” the physician stressed.

He warned that if they continue to have increased hospitalisations, it could mean recommending restrictions.

“We still have an inordinate amount of hospitalisation. So, as long as we have hospitalisations, and we are looking at not relaxing and if the number increases, then we have to start looking at restrictions because we have to find some way to be able to make sure that our community remains safe,” he said.

Comments

whogothere 6 months, 3 weeks ago

“We have challenges on several fronts. One is with space requirements, and, as of yesterday (Friday) we would have had 40 persons in hospital. We have never had 40 persons in hospital with COVID,” he said on Saturday.

GB, specifically, we are really in a crisis. And in Nassau, we are in a crisis."

Oh no!! Handing wringing! What are we going to do? COVID is sooooo bad... CRISIS CRISIS

“A lot of the positive cases that are in hospital now are cases that come in for some other reason… and who happen to test COVID positive."

Oh...

“We finally got to the point where we are not necessarily having a significant number of deaths, but please understand we are still in a crisis mode,” the physician stressed.

Also oh... so people aren't dying? But 'alot' (btw is a lot like like 50% - 75% - 90%?) of the hospitalised are in for other reasons... ? Hmmmm

This is a perfect example of the medical 'emperors new cloths' - upon weaving a beautiful suit of panic and crisis, our medical overloads accidentally reveal this garment of terror is made of imaginary thread.

"we have to start looking at restrictions because we have to find some way to be able to make sure that our community remains safe"

Really !? On what basis. This is just crazy...

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Bobsyeruncle 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Just in case you accidentally missed this news. I'll leave you to research the source of the quotes

The number of Americans dying each day from Covid-19 now stands as high as it did during the Delta variant's peak, a grim figure that experts believe will rise.

According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, the daily average of confirmed Covid-19 deaths surpassed 2,000 on 21 January and stood at 2,033 on 23 January.

The common thread throughout the Omicron wave is that it is largely impacting the unvaccinated, in terms of severity of illness, hospitalisation rates and indeed, risk of dying from the infection,

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whogothere 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Bobby buddy, this is unusually bland of you....you feeling ok? You booster didn't give you any side affects?

US still doesn't differentiate hospitalisations 'of' covid or 'with' it ... same with deaths. So pretty meaningless...conversation without that data

Meanwhile excess mortality in the us is at an all time low...hmmm

https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mor...">https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mor...

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JokeyJack 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I can only guess that there have been threats to their famikies from the NWO to cause all of these "leaders" to constantly talk rubbish and indeed the exact same rubbish like they are reading from a script.

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