Samaritan’s Purse to Set up Coronavirus Field Hospital in the Bahamas

(RNS) — First the tents went up in Cremona, Italy. Then New York City.

And now in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

It’s been a busy year for Samaritan’s Purse, the humanitarian relief organization led by Franklin Graham. On Thursday (Oct. 15), the group announced it was deploying a field hospital to Nassau after an increase in COVID-19 cases had overwhelmed the local health care system.

Plans call for a 28-bed field hospital and a team of doctors and nurses trained in infectious diseases to partner with Nassau’s Princess Margaret Hospital and the Bahamian Ministry of Health.

Samaritan’s Purse said the request for the field hospital came from the Bahamian prime minister in response to medical facilities that are filled to capacity.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to the Bahamas. The nation, made up of hundreds of small islands, has had 5,100 cases of COVID-19, with about 480 new cases in the last week. It has reported 109 deaths as of Thursday.

Samaritan’s Purse has been in the Bahamas before. After Hurricane Dorian hit last year, the organization opened a 40-bed field hospital on Grand Bahama. It also opened a country office in the Bahamas to meet ongoing needs for clean water and the rebuilding of homes damaged by the hurricane.

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Source: Church Leaders