Set-up of treatment unit to begin at the end of the week
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — In efforts to increase patient capacity, the government has entered into a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse to provide a 28-bed Isolation and Treatment Unit at the Princess Margaret Hospital for up to six weeks.
The additional bed capacity comes as the country continues to see a spike in new coronavirus cases, with the majority of those cases recorded in New Providence.
In a statement on the partnership, the Ministry of Health advised that the unit will be a tented inpatient facility located adjacent to PMH, which will also serve as a COVID-19 referral center.
Samaritan’s Purse will provide the unit and all staff to operate for a three to six-week period.
The unit will consist of 30 staff members, including medical professionals required to provide clinical care and operations staff to oversee the initial set-up and supporting logistics.
Public health staff will work alongside Samaritan’s Purse.
The unit will not include ICU treatment and no ventilators will be provided or operated by Samaritan’s Purse. Only step-down care will be offered.
The set-up of the treatment unit is expected to begin by the end of the week.
Upon the department of Samaritan’s Purse, the unit will be donated to the government.
The NGO will also provide Infection Prevention Control (IPC) training to protect Bahamian healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection.
“This unit is being set up as a proactive and precautionary measure,” said Health Minister Renward Wells.
“The entire world, including The Bahamas, is experiencing the second wave of COVID-19.
“The Bahamas and countries in the Northern Hemisphere are in flu season and approaching winter.
“It is critical that The Bahamas has additional healthcare capacity as the global pandemic continues, with more waves of the virus likely, which is why we continue to augment healthcare capacity here at home.”
Last week, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced additional restrictive measures for New Providence and Abaco.
Minnis has said the rising number of cases has created an immense strain and risks a collapse of the healthcare system.