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Nearly 200 healthcare professionals in quarantine, isolation

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

194 physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals are currently in quarantine or isolation after becoming infected with COVID-19 or coming into contact with an infected person.

The information is expected to be revealed by Minister of Health Renward Wells in the House of Assembly on Wednesday. However, his communication was accidentally released to the public one day early.

“A large number of health care staff are continually being removed from the work environment for quarantine and isolation for extended periods due to becoming a case or being a contact of a case,” according to the communication.

“At last count, there were 194 out inclusive of physicians, nurses and allied health staff unable to deliver care significantly impacting care delivery,” he added.

As of Monday, 2,585 people have tested positive for COVID-19. 1,496 cases are active and 64 cases are hospitalized.

One of those cases was a nurse at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre who died last month. Bernadette Rolle, a mother or two, who left chilling voice notes detailing her Covid-19 battle before she died.

Nurses have frequently complained of being burnt out and feeling disrespected.

Wells suggested in his communication to parliament the government will bring in nurses to address a shortage.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to nursing, a large gap remains and we will likely take the decision to import that skill,” he said.

“Finalist nurses are participating as the Nursing Council prepares to set examinations in alignment with regulations. For them, we will later recognise this experience as assets to their résumés,” he added.

Wells acknowledged that surges in infection particularly expose the public healthcare system to shortfalls of healthcare providers due to illness.

“Our strategy thus far has been to identify healthcare providers both within and outside of hospital settings whose workloads have been reduced due to the cancellation of elective procedures, outpatient visits, and the reduction of non-COVID-19 hospitalizations,” he said.

The government will also reengage 29 senior house officers, who will immediately add to the medical services capacity.

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