BNU President Warns Young People and Govt Following Death of Nurse
Following the death of Registered Nurse Bernadette Rolle, who is the latest COVID-19 victim to succumb to the infectious disease, Bahamas Nurses Union (BNU) President Amancha Williams pleaded with the public to take the virus seriously and stay at home.
She told Eye Witness News, “We have nurses who are home self-medicating, [experiencing] respiratory distress. Please Bahamas, stay home. This is not the partying time. This is serious. We have lost our own. We are begging you, stay at home and hand sanitize, and do what you ought to do as a Bahamian citizen.”
Rolle, a nurse at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, died on Friday after a battle with the virus. She remained at home and reports say she presented herself at the hospital twice, but was turned away due to lack of beds at the facility.
Williams said Rolle had a comorbidity.
“You don’t send anyone home, especially a nurse. A nurse should have had a bed in ICU, like we do for the other rest of hierarchies,” Williams lamented,
Nurses union president warns the government
Williams said nurses have had enough and if the situation does not improve, the union will engage in strike action.
“As of today, if things ain’t right, you could assure every nurse in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas will be sitting under a tree as of today,” she said.
“Prime Minister, we are tired. Minister of health, we’re tired.”
Williams continued, “I am telling the nurses in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, if there is no PPE and no N95 mask, no boot, no cover for your head, please, do not enter. Sit and wait till the relevant authority come and bring them.”
Former health minister responds to the death of his constituent
Former Health Minister Duane Sands paid tribute to Rolle saying health workers pay a high price as front liners of the coronavirus.
In a Facebook post, he said, “The death of Bernadette Rolle RN…reminds us of the price that healthcare workers pay in the battle against Covid-19 in the Bahamas.
“Like our colleague, Judson Eneas – she has succumbed in this war. I was privileged to know her. She lived in the area I represent. I offer sincere condolences to her children and family.”
Sands added that the true number of infected individuals are not known as confirmed Covid-19 cases are only a percentage of the total.
Sands encouraged the public to stay safe and practice social distancing.
Health minister offers condolences
The new Minister of Health Renward Wells confirmed Rolle’s death and acknowledged her contribution the health sector.
“As we mourn the loss of a brave warrior from the frontline in our fight against the pandemic COVID-19, the nation is grateful for her service.
“Nurse Rolle was dedicated to her family, to her patients, and to the institutions of nursing and SRC.
“On behalf of the Government of The Bahamas and my Ministry, and on my own behalf, extend sincere condolences, particularly to her two children, her patients that she dearly loved, and to her nursing colleagues at SRC who are her extended family,” he said.