HOSPITALIZATIONS ON THE RISE: PMH at max capacity with mostly unvaccinated COVID patients

HOSPITALIZATIONS ON THE RISE: PMH at max capacity with mostly unvaccinated COVID patients

PMH chief admin notes approx 2% of hospitalized patients had received one dose of COVID vaccine

Health officials continue urging the public to become vaccinated despite reports of shortage in supply

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A senior public health administrator said yesterday that Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) has been “at capacity” over the past five to seven days with COVID-19 patients, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated.

The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) advised in a statement that PMH has been forced to reallocate clinic personnel to strengthen hospital operations.

Mary Walker, chief hospital administrator at PMH, while speaking at a contract signing yesterday between the Ministry of Health and the Beck Group for some $90 million in upgrades and expansion of PMH and Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama, echoed calls for Bahamians to get vaccinated despite reports of a shortage in supply.

“Our clinical teams are actually indicating that the vast majority of persons we are seeing at the Princess Margaret Hospital and the South Beach Health Centre are not vaccinated,” said Walker.

Mary Walker.

“These are persons in hospital right now [are] receiving care. There are a minority, I would say two percent, who had have had just one immunization, but the vast majority of persons we are dealing with have not had any vaccination.

“Over the last five to seven days, we are at capacity at the Princess Margaret Hospital and the more severe persons are actually being taken care of for ventilator purposes at Doctor’s Hospital.”

She added: “It is very critical that persons protect themselves and get vaccinated. Protect yourself [and] loved ones. You will not get the severe form of the disease requiring hospitalization if you get immunized.”

Health Minister Renward Wells also reiterated calls for Bahamians to become vaccinated. He noted that some 3,000-plus Bahamians have been vaccinated abroad.

A recent statement from the National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee noted that as of July 2, 2021, 95,992, doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in The Bahamas, with 59,731 people having received at least one dose of the vaccine and 36,261 people have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine.

On New Providence, a total of 69,642 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, and on Grand Bahama, 13,737 doses.

Renward Wells.

Wells noted the government is securing more vaccines from other Caribbean countries.

“We did receive some 5,000 doses from Antigua and Barbuda,” he said.

“I do know we were also in discussions with the UK territories in the Caribbean, Turks and Caicos, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands to be able to source vaccines from those areas as well.”

As of Sunday, The Bahamas had recorded 12,889 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 812 still active. There have been 251 virus-related deaths, 57 classified as non-COVID-related and 29 under investigation.

Fifty-nine people were in hospital on New Providence and Grand Bahama, with two in the Intensive Care Unit.