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Girl, 9, among COVID-19 cases

The Nassau Guardian April 3, 2020

A nine-year-old girl is among three people who tested positive for COVID-19 in The Bahamas yesterday, according to the Ministry of Health.

The girl, who lives on New Providence and has no history of travel, has a direct link to the eighth COVID-19 patient.

The other two patients are a 79-year-old man who lives on New Providence and has no history of travel and an 80-year-old Grand Bahama man with no history of travel, according to the ministry.

There are 24 confirmed cases — 18 on New Providence, five on Grand Bahama and one on Bimini.

More than 250 people are quarantined.

Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told The Nassau Guardian that five healthcare workers are among the two dozen people who have tested positive.

After revealing the three additional cases yesterday evening, the ministry’s statement read, “Health officials continue to follow the condition of the other 21 COVID-19-positive cases.

“Case #17 is under investigation and case #18 has now been hospitalized in intensive care.”

Sands said the surveillance unit has conducted contact tracing for 16 of the 24 cases.

So far, data indicates that there are around 400 contacts of COVID-19 victims in The Bahamas, according to the minister.

There is a high demand for basic medical resources like ventilators and face masks, as the world grapples with an escalating COVID-19 crisis.

The coronavirus has infected more than one million people and killed more than 50,000.

Asked how many ventilators the government has for COVID-19 patients, Sands replied, “Enough.”

When pressed on the matter, he said, “We have 70 [ventilators] now. We expect another 15.”

Prior to the crisis, Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) — the primary medical facility in The Bahamas — was plagued with a shortage of roughly 200 beds.

Sands said yesterday that PMH’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has 20 beds.

He said “typically” only 15 or 16 of those are available.

Sands said both Doctors Hospital locations — Blake Road and Shirley Street — have 15 ICU beds, the Rand Memorial Hospital has four, PMH’s COVID-19 unit has four and the Cancer Center on Grand Bahamas has “probably” six.

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