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Updated: Officials Project Nearly 90 Confirmed Covid-19 Cases By Sunday

Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands speaks on Wednesday.

Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands speaks on Wednesday.

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Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands - Press Conference - April 8, 2020

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

HEALTHCARE officials have projected that the country will have nearly 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Sunday.

That forecast came as officials revealed the seventh COVID-19 death in the country, that of a 51-year-old Grand Bahama woman who died on April 6. Her positive test was confirmed posthumously. There are now 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 394 people have been tested for the virus.

The four latest cases include three people in New Providence and one in Grand Bahama, including two men and two women. Their ages range from 38 to 60.

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that most patients are doing well but some are very ill.

He said officials are concerned about hotspots, including areas east of East Street in New Providence; south of West Sunset Highway in Grand Bahama and the immediate areas east of East Mall Drive, Lucaya and Williams Town.

He also announced that employees of clearing banks and wholesale food distributors will be allowed to join healthcare workers and law enforcement officers in shopping tomorrow morning as essential workers. Other essential workers will be allowed to shop Thursday afternoon.

A nationwide lockdown begins 9pm tonight until 5am Tuesday.

This comes as Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has mandated that all people leaving their homes during this state of emergency must wear a mask that covers their face and nose. He said exempted businesses which are allowed to operate can refuse entry to someone not wearing a mask.

Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, coordinator of the government’s COVID-19 response, said officials are considering various models for forecasting cases but have settled for the moment on an exponential regression model used in situations where growth begins slowly then accelerates quickly.

She said: “Based on that forecast, there is a prediction of almost 90 cases by Easter Sunday but we’re hoping the model is not an exponential one, but as we graphically look at it, we’re a little concerned. We look at the number of cases and the interval each day. So if you had four yesterday, four today, you had none the day before and four the day before that, we look at those cases and we plot them.”

To date, the Bahamas has a COVID-19 mortality rate of 17.5 percent, one of the highest in the world.

Dr Nikkiah Forbes, infectious disease expert, said this rate reflects the country’s limited ability to do widespread testing because of the limited number of COVID-19 test kits in the country.

“Those cases that did pass on,” she said, “they were older in age and they had other medical comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, obesity and lung problems like asthma. I have no doubt that as we increase our capacity to do testing we will see that mortality rate balance out but this is a reflection of the section of the population we have been able to test, those with moderate and severe manifestations."

Asked when Bahamians will know whether the epidemic curve is flattening, Dr Sands said the country is nowhere near that point yet. "We are in the surge," he said. "What we will do is look at the number of people with complaints of flu-like illness, fever and other signs of COVID, we will look at the number of people in our emergency rooms and hospitals and gradually we will start to see a reduction. Then we can start to consider whether it is safe to ease up on the restrictive lockdowns and curfews but we're nowhere near there yet.”

Dr Dahl-Regis admitted there is difficulty tracking contacts of confirmed cases.

“You would imagine if you have a Wendy’s worker who has serviced the public, it will be quite a challenge for that person to identify all possible contacts,” she said, several days after a Wendy's employee tested positive for the virus. “It’s quite a daunting task but we have a full service team and many volunteers who are helping us with this.”

She also admitted it is difficult to say how many people directed to self-isolate are obeying the order.

“We can only hope that those who have agreed to quarantine in their homes are compliant,” she said. “We ask them not to go out in the public to shop. We know that some are compliant, we know that for a fact, and the nurses check everyday with those who are in quarantine and for the most part they are compliant.”

Asked about the health of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Dr Dahl-Regis said he is being monitored and has not been tested for COVID-19 because he does not meet criteria for testing at the moment.

Of the confirmed COVID-19 cases, 33 are in New Providence, six are in Grand Bahama and one is from Bimini.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Is this going to be Sands' official daily duty over the next several months, i.e. simply reporting the number of confirmed Red China cases and the resulting number of deaths? Isn't there so much more that he should be doing and reporting on to us on a daily basis?

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moncurcool 3 months ago

Please tell what else he should be doing and sharing. Then we could know whether to agree or not and then how to agitate for what more would be needed.

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stillwaters 3 months ago

If he didn't report, you'd be actively complaining about that. Man........

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Don't swear...Easter is around the corner.

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TalRussell 3 months ago

Mathematically, the true number killings can be 14, 28 or even 96?
This unfortunate comrade's 7th killing, illustrates accuracy gap flaws in the method government reports on fast-spreading coronavirus's killings of PopoulacesOrdinary. Nod once for yeah, twice for no?

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ConchFretter 3 months ago

With 40 confirmed cases and over 300 in quarantine, the government is only testing the sickest patients to confirm Covid-19, and quarantining everyone else. With a relatively low denominator (number positive for Covid-19), this is part of why the mortality percentage is so high. But only part of why...

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joeblow 3 months ago

Now a WHO expert is saying lockdowns may not be the best way to deal with this problem!

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/coronavirus...">https://uk.news.yahoo.com/coronavirus...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Nothing the WHO says can be trusted anymore because nearly all senior officials in that organization are now beholden to the ruthless Xi Jinping communist regime. The WHO has become an international agent for the global domination agenda of Red China's evil government. And let's not forget that the Red China Virus was created by Xi Jinping's communist regime and first tested in a most vicious way on the Red Chinese people in Wahun. This speaks volumes to the ruthlessness of the leaders of Red China's communist government. Truly frightening that Red China's communist regime has started the deadly age of bio-warfare.

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Clamshell 3 months ago

I’m curious: What would motivate Red China to unleash upon the world a virus that has shut down their own economy, and shut down the economies of all the wealthy nations in the world whom Red China relies upon to buy their goods and keep all their factories running? Just wondering what they’d have to gain, if your conspiracy theory is correct.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

The tariff war with the US has totally changed Red China's game plan. They know now that they will no longer be able to bilk $550 billion a year out of the US....and their backs are up against the wall.

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Clamshell 3 months ago

Still, tho: Beyond the tariff question, China remains the No. 2 economy in the world, behind the U.S., and the U.S. remains China’s largest customer, by far. I still don’t see how China benefits by crippling its own economy and the economy of its largest customer. And keep in mind, tariffs are paid by the end-user ... i.e. the purchasers and importers in the U.S. The Chinese do not pay tariffs on goods sold to the U.S. The buyer pays the tariff.

Further, Trump has slacked of a number of tariffs and they’ve completed a deal for massive purchase by China of U.S. farm goods. Sorry, but the “conspiracy theory” still does not compute. You don’t win a race by cutting off your right foot and your competitor’s left foot.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

If it helps you any, just think of it as bio-engineered weapon experiment that ran amok on the people of its creator at the time of field testing....a creator possibly with a scorched earth outlook to its ideological goal of world domination. One thing is for sure, the Red China Virus, unlike the flu viruses we have grown accustomed to, is a highly infectious killer pathogen primarily targeted at removing from among the world's population the aged with pre-existing medical conditions, many of whom are persons of African descent. Some are beginning to think of it as a type of unleashed population control agent. There's certainly enough smoke out there involving highly secretaive pathogen research activities sponsored by the Bill Gate's Foundation to justify some of the suspicions embedded in the more outlandish conspiracy theories now floating around.

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Clamshell 3 months ago

Respectfully ... and I mean that ... but, much as folks can wildly invoke the names of Bill Gates or George Soros, and “smoke” ... 2+2 does not equal 5. And it never will. We’ve had plagues and pandemics throughout history, before those people or Red China even existed. This is one of ‘em.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

But only in very recent history has mankind had the level of technology needed to play serious games with Mother Nature. I am therefore not the least bit comforted by a "throughout history" view of pandemics. What can be done today in highly secretive labs around the world could never have been even dreamed of yesterday, let alone done. Bill Gates speaks with a wry smile on his face about all the research the Gate's Foundation is now involved in with key partners; research that is focused on developing regular vaccinations for 7 or 8 billion people that can be sold to governments around the world for their people. That's both big money and plenty power. It's an entirely new nightmarish age, undoubtedly with financially greedy and/or power hungry evil actors at play behind the scenes. It is what it is.

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Clamshell 3 months ago

Respectfully, again ... Bill Gates does not need money so desperately that he would kill a few million people to get more. He and his wife are giving away $billions through their foundation. He has never shown any interest in gaining political power. Get real. I think you’re watching too many video thrillers or reading too many pot-boiler novels. Try to get some sleep ...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Your too respectful...and all too transparent. Have a Happy Passover.

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Clamshell 3 months ago

Oh good grief ... now you’re claiming that I’m part of the International Jewish Conspiracy? I hope all this ends soon so you can go get some fresh air. You could use it.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

I just knew that one would go over your head.

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Clamshell 3 months ago

I just sent your name to Bill Gates. Better run! Hide! 🤣🤣🤣

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xtreme2x 3 months ago

POTUS STARTED THE TARIFF WAR, THEN STOPPED. WHY?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Tariffs already put in place are still in place. Only the next round of planned tariffs has been postponed.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months ago

Do you trumpies realize how easily you are all manipulated? You people accept the dumbest conspiracy theories from the dumbest man ever to hold office. Think about that and ask yourself how such a moron can so easily control you....

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jackbnimble 3 months ago

Why the sudden surge in numbers? Is it possibly this is related to the employee at Wendy’s who served hundreds of customers at their drive-thru window? I’m sure they have the store’s tapes hence the prediction.

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joeblow 3 months ago

… are you the only person who didn't see the lines at the grocery stores, Aquapure and other places caused the panic caused by this idiotic government?

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Hoda 3 months ago

Perhaps it did, but perhaps the disease's the 14 day incubation and Bahamians failure to social distance had a role. when the first curfew and social distancing order came down Bahamian were still in bamboo shack and every where else without masks, bahamians wheb asked to back up a few feet refused. Early on i went about with a mask on to hear Bahamians tell me and i quote, "i should take it off and breath cause it aint that serious".

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bahamianson 3 months ago

It is all about exponential growth. We can wake up this morning and that number can triple.

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RealTalk 3 months ago

"To date, the Bahamas has a COVID-19 mortality rate of 17.5 percent, one of the highest in the world."

The D average don't know what mortality means. It means our DEATH RATE is one of the HIGHEST in the WORLD! Now I'm scared....

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Dawes 3 months ago

We also have one of the lowest level of testing in the world. If you only test those who are already very sick your death rate will be very high. They need to expand testing beyond only those who are very sick

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RealTalk 3 months ago

I am begging PM Minnis at this point to have a complete shutdown for 4 weeks. The last 2 weeks should be open as a drive through food store.

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BahamaPundit 3 months ago

The best way forward is to test everyone on New Providence and seperate those found infected from the general population.

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Newlife6751 3 months ago

And how would you propose to do that? Any suggestions for how to secure that many test kits given that literally every country in the world is experiencing a shortage? I'm sure the government would welcome solid ideas. Stay well.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Alternatively, those most vulnerable in our society could be isolated from everyone else. But that would be most Bahamians who are aged 60+ and/or morbidly obese with two or more significant existing health conditions. By my count that would be a majority of Bahamians.

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Economist 3 months ago

Thank you Dr. Sands for telling us the truth about how deadly this virus is to Bahamains in particular.

Thank you for explaining why many more Bahamians will die from this, than those in other countries, because of the huge number of underlying health issues that Bahamians have. You are giving us a better understanding as to why it is so important that we remain at home and are very careful about social distancing.

40% of us have 3 or more underlying issues. We know from the news reports that just a single underlying issue can be deadly with this virus. We see a large number of Afro-Americans dying in the US. They are dying in dispraportionate numbers because of undrlying health issues such as the ones we have 3 or more of.

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

Dr Sands is a great communicator

"We see a large number of Afro-Americans dying in the US. They are dying in dispraportionate numbers because of undrlying health issues such as the ones we have 3 or more of."

Could be underlying issues.... But I understand that black patients receive "different" in hospital care under normal circumstances. Just think of how the store clerk treats a regular black Bahamian versus a white tourist who steps through the door. This is real.

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birdiestrachan 3 months ago

I believe they are all doing their best. This is a tough one. no one really understands.

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

"But some health professionals have wondered whether ventilators might actually make matters worse in certain patients, perhaps by igniting or worsening a harmful immune system reaction." -abcnews.com

This has been my theory all along. Well, they've gone partway on my theory.

They're speculating that the "ventilator" may be the cause of the high death rate. My theory is een nuttin wrong with the ventilator. My theory is the nurses and doctors using the ventilator don't know enough about managing a patient needing a ventilator.

They may know how to turn the machine on, they know how to adjust the settings on the machine, they know if they put the setting at a certain level it gives X amount of oxygen/pressure. My theory is the missing element is a DEEP understanding of biology. What's not happening is the nurses and doctors don't know how to adjust to in the moment biological changes. They apply one formula to all patients. It's the difference between a worker with a set of rules and the manager who has to assess the current environment and react to the environment, adjusting rules as needed.

That is what is killing patients at these dramatic rates, lack of knowledge in nurses and doctors. And these could be doctors in the profession for decades. Some of whom are supposed yo know how to ise the machines. There's alot of social promotion in the medical profession. This is my theory many died who didn't have to. I also predict that no hospital will admit it.

In some cases it doesn't make them bad doctors/nurses, they just dont "know". They tried everything they knew to do but a really sick patient just didn't make it.

And where there is no knowledge the people perish

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

And I dont mean to imply that every patient needing a ventilator would have survived. Im just giving my theory for the unusually high death rate.

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newcitizen 3 months ago

The people on ventilators are on them because they need them. They would die quicker without them.

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

Yeah, I acknowledge a couple of things:

1.the patients are really ill 2.A ventilator could help 3.Some would still die even under the care of the most knowledgeable dictir in the world

What I have said all along Is, something is off.

Doctors who dont know me or my craxy theory are also now saying something is off. They also believe "some" of these patients shouldn't have died. They havent come up with a consensus on what the underlying problem is, but they think its linked to the ventilator. Theyre now opting to try everything but put patients on ventilators

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

It's why everything possible is being done to keep Boris Johnson, PM of the UK, off of a ventilator. Only one in five survive this Red China Virus once they are put on a ventilator.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months ago

So far the majority of the cases in the US are mild. Appears most of ours are severe. I wonder why that is.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Bahamians are on average the most unhealthy people on the planet. Speaks volumes about our quality and way of life, not to mention the complete failure of our public healthcare system when it comes to both standard of care and preventative care. We are as third world as it gets when it comes to healthcare and the greedy insurance companies have locked most Bahamians out of proper and/or affordable healthcare. Truly a very sad situation.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

The real conundrum for our society is that keeping everyone locked-up in their homes and unexposed to the Red China Virus only means they will remain vulnerable to contracting whenever our tourist sector re-opens and the cruise ships are once again allowed to bring super spreaders back to our shores. The current consensus of the world's leading pandemic experts is that it will take approximately 18 months to develop an effective vaccination or serum recipe that can be rolled out on a global scale basis. After that it could then take a few years before most of the world's population is resistant or fully immunized. Some are even saying that an annual booster vaccination will be rquired for the Red China Virus going forward. Certainly not a rosy outlook for the tourism industry....too many people are going to be afraid to travel, period; especially as passengers in filthy floating hotels that are now known to be impossible to keep clean and therefore serve as deadly pathogen incubators. One thing is for sure....we can't all remain locked up in our homes with fear and high anxiety issues for the next 18 months, with a dead economy to boot. That's simply not doable under any circumstance. Put another way, keeping the curve of cases flattened so that healthcare facilities and providers are not overwhelmed may well ultimately prove to be an unworkable solution for the longer term.

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DDK 3 months ago

So Mudda, is the country of China's not officially named The People's Republic Of China?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

The very ruthless Xi-led communist regime's track record of inhumanity to the people of Red China who in any way are perceived to oppose the communist party's ideology and rules are well known and evidenced. One only has to look at what has happened to the Red Chinese people who practice the Muslim faith, or the communist regimes harvesting of kidneys and other organs from prisoners.

As you probably know, the one and only 'real' China is the "Republic of China" a/k/a ROC or Taiwan which is an island state where the non-communist Chinese fled in 1949 to escape persecution by the ruthless Mao communist regime.

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xtreme2x 3 months ago

Dr Dahl-Regis admitted there is difficulty tracking contacts of confirmed cases. “You would imagine if you have a Wendy’s worker who has serviced the public, it will be quite a challenge for that person to identify all possible contacts,” she said, several days after a Wendy's employee tested positive for the virus.

GET TO THE ROOT OF THAT PROBLEM. CLOSE ALL FAST FOOD OPERATION. FAST FOOD SHOULD NOT BE AN ESSENTIAL COMMODITY. LET BAHAMIANS STAY HOME AND COOK REAL FOOD. IF THEY NEED A QUICK COOKING LESSON FIND ME, WILL BE GLAD TO GIVE A LESSON.

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