Minister of Health Renward Wells speaks on Friday.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
HEALTH officials are investigating three to four potential COVID-19 deaths as the country recorded 69 confirmed cases of the virus on Friday, a new record.
There are now 830 confirmed cases of the virus, 719 of which are active and 30 of which are hospitalized.
There have been three new recoveries for a total of 93.
Health Minister Renward Wells said during Friday’s Ministry of Health press conference: “With increasing hospitalisation the country must brace itself to experience more deaths from COVID-19.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan also revealed that 30 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus in the second wave so far.
“Our acute care units as well as hospital beds are about to exceed capacity,” she said.
She also said the number of new confirmed cases has declined by 40 percent this week compared to last week.
“We stress a cautious optimism as we look at that, what appears to be a decrease as the coming week will reveal a more instructive picture,” she said.
The National Reference Laboratory is averaging 150 COVID-19 tests per day but there are three times that number of samples being collected.
“Such demand is stressing our capacities in the lab,” Dr McMillan said.
Meanwhile, a new Emergency Powers Order released Friday evening indicated that grocery stores will now be opened to the general public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7am to 7pm.
On Abaco, gas stations will be opened between 6am and 7pm for refuelling generators; non-governmental organisations will be opened for the production and provision of water and food distribution during that time; and restaurants using takeaway and curbside services will be opened from Monday to Friday between 6am to 7pm.
Officials said Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis will give an update on Sunday on bed capacity in the country.