Completion of PMH’s Modular Unit Represents Tangible Augmentation of the Country’s Capacity to Care for COVID-19 Patients

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands said the modular unit at the Princess Margaret Hospital is now completed and it represents tangible augmentation of the country’s capacity to care for COVID-19 patients, including the capacity for ventilator support, if required. Additionally, it will aid in decompressing the current isolation unit in the Old GPC area, which was repurposed for use for assessment and management of suspected COVID-19 cases Dr. Sands stated as he presented an update on the COVID-19 response in the House of Assembly, Monday, April 6, 2020. “Our partnership with Doctors Hospital West has proven invaluable since the introduction of COVID-19 cases to our shores. Currently there are eight patients being managed at the Doctors Hospital West facility, which has a total ICU-like bed capacity of 18 beds.” He noted that a further addition to the capacity for management of ill COVID patients is coming on stream this week. Infrastructural improvements at South Beach Health Centre are in their final stages including appropriate air flow and handling. The South Beach Health Centre will be zoned for two functions: 1. Management of ill COVID-19 patients; and 2. Assessment of persons identified through our referral mechanism from the mobile response health team. “All components of our response lend value to the overall process. We are pleased to inform that we have upgraded the interface to engage the community for health and COVID-related matters.” He stated that the community can reach The Bahamas COVID-19 Health Centre at 511. The Centre is earmarked to: 1. increase capacity for early signalling of potential COVID-19 cases; 2. encourage timely referral for further investigations; 3. complement other data sources for real-time tracking and GIS mapping; and 4. deepen the national understanding of available data to guide decision-making. Dr. Sands explained that the number 511 will now supersede all other previously circulated numbers. When calling The Bahamas COVID-19 Health Centre at 511, the public is asked to have their NIB card available. He stated that the health services have significantly enhanced COVID evaluation and in-patient management capacity. New Providence now has at: Princess Margaret Hospital Four negative pressure rooms in the Modular facility; and Seven rooms in Old GPC for isolation and assessment. Doctors Hospital East 16 rooms Doctors Hospital West 18 rooms South Beach Health Centre 10 individual rooms; and open floor plan for up to 24 beds. In Grand Bahama: The Cancer Association of Grand Bahama Eight individual rooms; and open floor plan for 8 additional beds. Okanyos Facility Six rooms The Health Minister noted that the Family Island communities remain a key focus of the COVID preparedness and response activities. “Family Island community health care facilities on all of the major inhabited islands are equipped to provide basic health care services to residents and visitors.” He added, “Additionally, services for the assessment and stabilization of patients prior to air evacuation has been incorporated at advanced levels of care. I can advise that we have three transport isolation pods in country for the transport of suspected COVID-19 cases.” (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)