Bahamas Can’t Handle Influx of COVID-19 Patients From Ships
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Wells said country’s healthcare system and effects of hurricane limit its ability to assist
Minister of Transport and Local Government Renward Wells said the medical system of the Bahamas can not handle a flood of COVID19 patients.
Wells was responding to the US Coast Guard bulletin which stated that COVID19 patients onboard a flagged ship of the Bahamas, should seek medical assistance there.
Wells said, “We are a small island developing state with a national population in the three hundred thousand. We are proud of the medical care that we afford our people, but it is scaled to our population size. Our system is not designed to deal with a massive influx of new COVID-19 patients from outside our country.”
But he said the country remains “grateful for the tremendous generosity and kind assistance rendered by the United States during that catastrophic and challenging period.” And emphasized that the Bahamas is still reeling from the effects of the monster storm and thus operating with limited social, economic and financial capacity.
Even though we have provided the foregoing assistance while in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic,
Wells said in the midst of the country facing the COVID19 global crisis, it has provided support to flag cruise vessels, but has not been able remove those affected with the virus from the ships to populated areas of the country.
“We have made intergovernmental contact where we could be helpful. We have devised safe methods of resupply for our Flag cruise vessels that were running critically low on provisions, medical supplies and medical personnel.
We have provided places of shelter, under carefully controlled conditions, for a number of vessels seeking to shelter in our waters. We have also given access to these sheltering vessels irrespective of country of registry; in the process accommodating ships of a number of flags in addition to our own.
Wells assured that his government will assure the safety of Bahamians and residents and will continue to
do what it can to assist the individuals sheltering-in-place aboard cruise vessels in Bahamian waters.