COVID isolation unit at Rand complete
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After months of repairs since the passage of Hurricane Dorian, Rand Memorial Hospital is expected to return to “some normalcy” by the beginning of December.
During a press conference, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson advised that as construction workers continue to work to complete the rebuild of the facility, the COVID-19 Isolation Unit (the Medical-Surgical Ward) has been completed and will be occupied this week.
Each room can occupy up to two patients; is fully furnished with beds and tables and equipped with oxygen outlets; and will add seven more beds for COVID-19 patients.
“The hospital will begin to have some normalcy by late-November, early-December,” Thompson said yesterday.
The hospital will include the new isolation center, new pharmacy, pediatric ward, ICU, surgical ward and a medical ward.
The main corridors, pharmacy, foyer and pediatrics area will be ready for occupancy within the next two weeks.
Thompson also noted that the kitchen cafeteria has been substantially completed with furniture and is being utilized while the cafeteria is 90 percent completed.
“While this will not be a new hospital, it most certainly will be a new Rand Memorial Hospital.”
Some $21 million was allocated for the repairs at the facility and approximately 150 workers were involved in the reconstruction process.
Thompson added that the Public Hospitals Authority is continuing to conduct assessments to identify a location where a new hospital could be built.
He said once the assessment is completed, plans will be put in place to move ahead with the new hospital.
In addition to the repairs being made at the hospital, the GB state minister also advised that road works will be carried out as a part of the Grand Bahama Road Repairs and Carriageway Rehabilitation Project.
Waugh Construction Bahamas Ltd. was engaged to carry out the work and its road patching team has already moved throughout the West Grand Bahama District that includes both the Central Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama & Bimini constituencies.
Thompson indicated that the works will be in hot-mix asphalt at a cost of $6.1 million.
Construction at the McClean’s Town Administrative Complex and Community Dock in East Grand Bahama, which housed the Royal Bahama Police Force, as well as ferry service offices supporting inter-island travel between Grand Bahama and Abaco, are near completion of the rebuilding process.