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Chinese embassy donates essential medical supplies

The Bahamas will need over 1 mil. – 2 mil. N95 masks to manage 80 COVID-19 cases

EyeWitness News CoronavirusApril 9, 2020April 9, 2020 at 3:46 am Royston Jones Jr.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Chinese embassy in The Bahamas yesterday donated an additional batch of medical supplies to the Bahamian government as the country battles a “surge” of COVID-19 cases.

The supplies include N95 masks, protective suits, goggles, shoe covers, gloves and forehead thermometers.

The embassy donated 1,000 COVID-19 test kits to the government two weeks ago.

Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands thanked the Chinese embassy for its continued support and cooperation.

Sands has said in the event of 80 confirmed cases for example, The Bahamas will need as many as 1 million to 2 million N95 masks alone will be required for frontline workers; 79 million gloves; and 691,000 cloth masks.

As the “surge” of cases continues at an increased rate, health officials projected cases will more than double to 90 by Easter Sunday.

As of yesterday, there were 40 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in The Bahamas — 33 in New Providence, six in Grand Bahama and one in Bimini.

Four more cases were confirmed Wednesday.

At least five patients were healthcare workers.

There have been seven COVID-19 related deaths.

All the cases were aged between 51 and 90.

Five have recovered.

To date, The Bahamas has tested nearly 400 people for the virus.

In the House of Assembly Monday, Sands said the government has and will continue to ensure there is adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for all workers on the frontline, particularly those caring for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.

He advised that there were more than 1,000 cases of surgical masks; more than 44,000 N95 masks with another 150,000 entrain; 2,418 surgical gowns and 57,000 to be delivered; 1,700 healthcare barrier gowns; 238 cases of face shields; 4,590 boxes of gloves.

“No soldier goes into battle without the appropriate armor,” Sands said.

“Dr Michael J Ryan of the WHO informal advisory group remarked that with a pandemic of this magnitude, it takes a huge level of health worker commitment to sight the shortages in workers, personnel protective equipment to treat the current number of COVID-19 cases.

“We are aggressively exploring various means and ways to acquire more PPEs.

“The global shortage of PPEs and other needed supplies have resulted in supply chain disruption.

“Many countries are holding onto their stock and others are coveting the stocks found in other countries.

“Hence, we must manage our supplies judiciously.”

The embassy has also been assisting the government in procuring medical supplies from China.

In China, officials have reported no COVID-19 deaths, the first since it started publishing figures in January.

Residents in Wuhan — the first epicenter of the virus — were expected to be able to leave the city for the first time since lockdowns were implemented three months ago.

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