The Bahamas received medical supplies from the Government of The USA, in the continued fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic. An Official Handover Ceremony was held at the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Minister of Health, the Hon. Renward Wells received the supplies on behalf of the country, presented by Mrs. Usha Pitts, Chargé d’Affaires, the United States Embassy in Nassau.
Also in attendance were representatives of the Ministry of Health, the United States Northern Command, and the Rhode Island National Guard. The supplies were donated in the spirit of close multilateral ties between both countries, which has spanned many decades.
“The Bahamas appreciates the kind acts of the United States of America and anticipates further collaboration as both countries aim optimistically to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Minister Wells. Quoting the Danish Proverb: “He who has a neighbour has a good morning,” the minister said of the Bahamas-US partnership, “It is hoped that through our shared commitment to maintain trade, investment, national security, education, sports, cultural relations and certainly advancements in healthcare, good mornings between us will consistently prevail.”
The medical supplies, donated through the United States Northern Command and Rhode Island National Guard, comprised 4,900 COVID-19 tests kits with swabs, six AIRVO respirators, BioFire Machines with 2,560 Biofire test kits, high flow meters and vaccine coolers, among other necessities. The BioFire machine is already in use at the Princess Margaret Hospital Laboratory. It allows for lab technicians to use multiplex PCR technology to test comprehensively for the COVID-19 virus within an hour.
“What a development for us as a country. Testing at this molecular level delivers results that are comprehensive, accurate and fast,” the Minister said. An additional 10 AIRVO respirators will arrive later this month (June), and a GenX machine is being procured for the rand Memorial Hospital that Grand Bahama “is certainly looking forward to,” he said. Meanwhile, he said that the protocols of proper hand washing, cleaning and sanitizing, physical distancing and mask-wearing are continually announced and advertised for the public’s protection.
“The establishment of the COVID-19 vaccine is now one more tool that is being used globally to help limit the spread of the virus,” Minister Wells said. Additionally, vaccine coolers were purchased in April 2021 and are being used by the expanding immunization program for the transport of vaccines to vaccination sites in New Providence and the Family Islands, Minister Wells noted as he thanked the Rhode Island National Guard for providing the C-12 aircraft to transport the vaccines.
“Your support in April and now again in June has guaranteed that our Family Islands will have access to the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. “This week over 7,600 doses of the vaccine will be deployed to 13 of our Family Islands thus continuing to boost our national COVID-19 response.”