Hospital to get back to normal after Covid-19 stress eases
Elective surgeries and outpatient clinics are scheduled to return to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital next month, it was revealed last night.
Wesley Miller, the chief of staff for Bermuda Hospitals Board, reported a “significant” ease in the hospital’s caseload after it bore the brunt of the island’s biggest outbreak of Covid-19.
He said that the number of Covid-19 patients hit the 90s at the height of the fresh wave of infections.
But yesterday fewer than 30 people remained in hospital, with just eight admissions for the illness in the past seven days.
He added the two “satellite“ intensive care units that accommodated spillover patients when the permanent ICU was full were able to close over the weekend.
But Dr Miller warned the situation had fluctuated, with one of the extra ICUs reopened yesterday.
He added, however: “We expect that to be temporary as the trend of improvement continues.”
Dr Miller told people with potentially serious complaints unrelated to the pandemic: “We are open for business”.
The hospital was forced to use refrigerated containers to store corpses after its mortuary became full at the peak of the fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
Dr Miller said it was a rare event, partly dictated by the rate at which funeral homes were able to deal with deaths.
He announced in September that BHB would look overseas for extra staff as hospital staff struggled to cope with the numbers of Covid-19 patients.
Dr Miller said last night that recruitment efforts continued but the problem was that “everyone wants the same thing”.
He added that Public Health England had been unable to assist with extra nurses.
But Dr Miller said extra nurses would arrive “shortly” from an undisclosed hospitals group in New York City – and that the extra staff will have to be vaccinated.
He added there was also “rigorous mandatory testing” in the hospital as a safeguard against Covid-19.
Dr Miller said: “It would be no soft touch for them to come to Bermuda.
“You would not want people to come here and pose a risk to our population.”