Three medics test positive as COVID-19 fight continues

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By Orville Williams

The fight against Covid-19 has once again impacted the local healthcare sector with tests confirming that two doctors and a nurse have now contracted the virus.

The case of the nurse was disclosed by president of the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses’ Association (ABNA), Soria Dupie-Winston, who told Observer that the nurse had likely been exposed during interaction with a patient.

It follows confirmation last week that a medical doctor had been infected with the virus and was receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC).

And last night, one more doctor was also confirmed as having tested positive for Covid-19.

In addressing the affected nurse’s situation, Dupie-Winston expressed disappointment in the approach taken by ‘higher-ups’, who she said had not done enough to assist her colleague.

“I would not say that I am fully satisfied, I think more can be done to provide support to this particular nurse. Support in terms of, the nurse was asked to quarantine – to self-isolate – and we would have hoped that management, after [they] were informed, would have been more considerate to follow up on the nurse and ensure that the nurse was doing well and recuperating nicely.

“I think more could have been done to provide support, but as an executive, we sprang into action and we are providing support to that member,” she explained.

Dupie-Winston confirmed that the nurse is doing “very well”, adding that, “I spoke with them up to last evening and the family is doing well.”

The ABNA president said there are also ongoing concerns regarding the logistics at the country’s primary healthcare facility, MSJMC. She also highlighted the extent of possible exposure to the virus, as both infected and non-infected patients currently utilise the facility.

“We have a few concerns…because we have one lone hospital. Persons are being nursed in this one hospital and

[the facilities are]

used for the general public as well.

“From my understanding, certain things have been put in place to minimise the effects of other patients coming in contact with these persons who are tested positive [and] we are hoping that the continued safety measures are taken in place,” Dupie-Winston said.

 “There is an infection control nurse who assists in giving guidelines as to how things should be laid out at the hospital and we’re hoping that the management adheres to the guidelines that the infection control nurse gives as it relates to this.”

Another important issue the nurses would like addressed in assisting their efforts, is that of transparency, as Dupie-Winston explains.

“One [concern] I would say, is transparency between doctors and management and the nurses. I mean, some nurses would have to nurse a patient and sometimes you hear that there is no transparency, you’re not being told everything about the patient and at this particular time, that is a major concern as well.

“[So] we want to have transparency as it relates to every patient; that is important to us,” she added.

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