Coronavirus: Medical staff at Fleming St clinic, A&E asked to self-quarantine

Coronavirus: Medical staff at Fleming St clinic, A&E asked to self-quarantine

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Doctors and nurses stationed at the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department and the Fleming Street Clinic last Friday have been asked to self-quarantine, Eyewitness News can confirm.

The move follows the announcement of country’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

A key source confirmed the doctors and nurses, as well as A&E staff, have been asked to stay at home for 14 days, adding that a meeting has also been called to address emergency medical technicians this morning.

Last night, health officials did not respond to calls to confirm the self-quarantine measures, or whether the move is linked to the temporary closure of the Fleming Street clinic.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health announced the temporary closure of the clinic today “due to circumstances beyond our control”.

The ministry advised the clinic will reopen on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Acting Minister of Health Jeff Lloyd announced the COVID-19 patient, a 61-year-old Bahamian woman, was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) on Friday and tested the following morning.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan explained those initial results were retested and officials got a positive test at midnight on Sunday.

Lloyd said the patient’s level of exposure was unknown during the press conference at the Ministry of Health at 1pm Sunday.

The Fleming Street clinic came under scrutiny last week after a viral video purported to show healthcare professionals abandoning their posts due to fears an ill-patient had COVID-19.

Video footage of the clinic taken by an apparent bystander showed staff standing outside wearing masks on Wednesday.

The video prompted fears among quarters of the public about a potential case; however, officials maintained there was no confirmed cases in the country.

Later that day, Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands posted an update advising the ill-patient had tested negative for COVID-19.