Tuesday, October 27, 2020

PLP Knocks Government’s Preparedness for COVID-19

Michael Darville questions the circumstances surrounding death of suspected COVID-19 patient

Following the death of a suspected COVID-19 patient from Bimini, Progressive Liberal Party Senator Michael Darville said he is calling on the government to move quickly to initiate contact tracing in that community.

In a press statement, he said, “Given the close knit nature of the Bimini community and if this case is confirmed positive for Covid-19, we are calling on the Ministry of Health to move swiftly and execute the required contact tracing protocols and deep cleaning of the clinic because this could very well be a complicated public health issue.”

Yesterday, Minister of Health Duane Sands confirmed the death of the woman from that island. He said although it is a suspected case of COVID-19 due to the signs consistent with the disease, a test needed to be done to determine the exact cause of death.

Reports are that the woman experienced difficulty breathing and was subsequently airlifted to New Providence, where she died.

Darville said the circumstances of this case raise concerns regarding the processes implemented to assist people who may become ill because of COVID-19 on the islands.

He said he doubts government’s COVID-19 health and safety preparations for the islands.

Darville questioned, “On close examination of the timeline I am constrained to ask why it took the government some thirty hours to respond to this emergency. Bahamians are questioning the government’s preparedness to handle this crisis on the ground, quite apart from speeches at choreographed press conferences.

“Pointedly, are the facilities in the Family Islands equipped to attend effectively to persons who exhibit extreme respiratory distress? If they are not, what alternative arrangements has the government made to give urgent medical support to such persons?” he asked.

A test done 24 to 48 hours after the woman’s death will determine if she tested positive for the virus, Dr Sands said.

The woman is believed to be the sister of the Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson.

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