Health officials would not confirm or deny that it closed three wards at the Princess Margaret Hospital due to 50 persons being exposed to COVID-19. Neither did they respond to concerns that a patient on the maternity ward tested positive for the virus.
When pressed by reporters at the COVID-19 update conference, PMH Chief Hospital Administrator Mary Walker said the facility has conducted “an aggressive reconfiguration of wards across its three institutions,” namely the Princess Margaret Hospital, the Rand Memorial Hospital, and the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre.
Walker said the reconfiguration occurred because of an increase in the number of staff and persons coming to the hospital testing positive for COVID-19, which she said placed a strain on the bed capacity at the facility.
Walker added that “every effort is being made to ensure that no COVID-19 positive patients are housed or treated at the main campuses of our hospitals.
On Wednesday, the Nassau Guardian reported that three wards including Male Surgial Ward and the Female Medical Ward were not admitting new patients, as nearly 50 patients were exposed to the virus.
It further claimed that an elderly woman in the Female Medical Ward tested positive for the virus over the weekend, as a patient in another ward was exposed to the virus by a healthcare worker.
Minister of Health Renward Wells vaguely addressed the reconfiguration of wards stating only that it “is geared toward better managing patient admissions subject to their medical needs and gender.”
Wells noted that the current exposure of employees and patients across the nation’s hospitals is being managed, subject to international Infection Prevention Control guidelines for infectious outbreaks of this kind and the policies of PHA. He said every effort is being made to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the institutions.
Wells said that the Pubic Hospital Authority has increased the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff working across hospitals to ensure the safety and protection of valued employees.
Members of the public were asked to contact their personal physicians or local community clinics during the day for non-emergencies, and only access the Accident & Emergency Department in the event of an actual emergency or after-hour services.
Ambulance Services are limited to emergencies only.
It is not known how many health care workers are currently affected with the virus, but in April, nearly 200 workers were quarantined for exposure to COVID-19.