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Updated: 30 New Cases Of Covid-19, Two Deaths Reported On Friday

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

tsmith-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

COVID-19 cases in The Bahamas have now risen to 1,119. 

While revealing 30 new cases - 24 in New Providence, six in Grand Bahama and two additional deaths, Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan admitted Friday that even though the country is on its second national lockdown in response to rising COVID-19 numbers the disease continues to spread.

A further break down of cases she said showed 570 in the capital, 446 in Grand Bahama, Bimini 45, 31 in Abaco, Berry Islands 12, Cat Island eight, Exuma five and one case each on Inagua and Eleuthera.

In this week alone the CMO said 356 cases were reported, representing a 41 percent increase over last week.

Additionally, Dr McMillan said eight deaths - four in Nassau and four on Grand Bahama - were being investigated by health officials. However, she said details were not readily available on the deaths.

The Ministry of Health painted a vivid picture of the state of the COVID-19  crisis during its weekly press conference Friday.

Health Minister Renward Wells said the situation is also affecting the country’s  pool of healthcare workers, which is not infinite nor vast. 

He said many of them were exposed to the virus and are in quarantine, meanwhile those remaining are at a very high risk for burn out and teams are working short of members.

Of lockdowns, Dr McMillan admitted that officials may not have been seeing the results they had hoped for.

“When we look at Grand Bahama, we are in our eighth day of lock down and there continues to be reported to cases,” Dr McMillan said. “There is a backlog, mentioned, in our lab capacity output currently along with delayed reporting of samples of persons who would have had samples taken prior to the lockdown will now be reflected in our numbers. 

“And, also with our enhanced contact tracing we are picking up asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic and symptomatic persons who would have not necessary presented to health facility. These are all reasons why we may not be seeing the decline we thought we would be seeing during the lock down period.” 

She said the coming days will reveal whether there is reduced transmission of COVID-19 in communities or just a function of lab testing outputs. 

Mr Wells, expressing empathy towards those who work in the government healthcare system, said the government is conscious of their fears of contracting the virus. 

“A real concern is the growing exposure to COVID-19 amongst professionals and patients in healthcare facilities in The Bahamas,” The minister said. “While the trend is consistent with COVID-19 spread worldwide in healthcare facilities, our human resource pool is not infinite – not vast. 

“Since many of these healthcare workers were exposed and are currently in quarantine, those remaining are at very high risk for burnout and teams are working short of members. I wish to assure all healthcare workers that the Government is conscious of the fears expressed in respect of COVID-19.” 

Minister Wells was happy to inform the press of the successes of his Ministry in the fight against COVID-19. 

“Let me highlight some of our successes thus far,” said Minister Wells, continuing. “The number of recoveries from COVID-19 remained steady at 91 for weeks. This number has finally escalated to over 138 and counting. PHA has improved bed capacity at the Princess Margaret Hospital through the transfer of boarders to accommodation in line with their needs. 

“Breezes has been secured off site for quarantining and treating suspected COVID-19 cases. This approach minimizes the potential spread of the virus among non-COVID-19 patients and staff within the Princess Margaret Hospital. Resources, inclusive of security have also been enhanced at Breezes to treat patients under our care.”

He also pointed other ways in which his ministry is caring for healthcare staff.

“To date, there has been no furloughing, lay-offs, terminations or a reduction or deferring of benefits for any worker in the public sector,” Minister Wells said. “The government has seen to it that PPE have even been extended to staff at Doctors Hospital West and to all public agencies of government to ensure safe delivery of services and that will continue as guided by the increased stock ledger.

“I can also assure the public that the assessment, testing and investigation protocols for staff in the public health sector are being guided by the approved policy of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and in line with the national policy under the Ministry of Health.”

Recently the Eye Ward at the Princess Margaret was reported to have been contaminated with the virus. Asked about it, Hospital Administrator, Nurse Mary Walker updated the press on the incident.

“With respect to the Public Health Authority and Princess Margaret Hospital, specifically the Eye Ward,” she said. “There has been exposure on the Eye Ward and I can indicate that the Public Hospital Authority utilizes the employee health services which mirrors the surveillance service of the Ministry of Health. 

“In that they will follow up all the patients and staff that have been exposed to the virus. Any staff that is impacted will be cared for in conjunction with the prevailing policies of the PHA for exposure management for employees.”

If you are certain that you were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and you do not receive a call from Surveillance within 48 hours, please contact the unit yourself at:

· 502-7382 (9:00am – 5:00pm,

· 376-9350 (8:00am – 8:00pm or;

· 376-9387 (8:00pm – 8:00am.

Comments

John 1 month, 1 week ago

Despite admitting there is at least a five day in receiving test results, director of health calls for stiffer lockdown restrictions . Do these people have a hidden agenda when it comes to curbing Bahamian lifestyle and destroying businesses?

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

been saying for a while that because of the backlog all of their actions are reactionary. What was going to happen already happen weeks ago. We reacting like George Costanza on Seinfeld planning his witty retort to the insult delivered 2 days ago. The cases aren't going up because people not social distancing, the cases are going up because health professionals are failing to identify and remove the infected in a timely manner. That's it

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Clamshell 1 month, 1 week ago

Sorry if a global pandemic has put a crimp in your lifestyle. Bummer.

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ashley14 1 month, 1 week ago

It's taking 5 to 7 days in the States for results also. It's a horrible virus, that is effecting everyone differently. In the school district I work for we've been opened 2 weeks now and have already closed down two high schools and have about 1200 people in quarantine. I'm being as care as I can for my family and my students.

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SP 1 month, 1 week ago

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can expect off the charts infections in about 15 days.

Opening schools was THE most idiotic thing they could have done!

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ohdrap4 1 month, 1 week ago

I find it disgusting that they have the nerve to say they would even consider a stricter lockdown.

Only one reporter asked about it. And got a response that cannot be trusted.

Not a single reporter asked if the WHO would reccommend it.

So you all going to buy food to spread disease? Fine , we will stop that.

Disgusting.

I need to return to work but my workplace may not be there when they are finished with it.

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FrustratedBusinessman 1 month, 1 week ago

"I need to return to work but my workplace may not be there when they are finished with it."

I highly suggest that you find a way out of the country if possible, not sure what sort of labour skills that you may have. Many workplaces are not going to survive this...

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 1 week ago

Like usual, The Tribune is leaving out the most important piece of information that came from the press conference!

2 ADDITIONAL DEATHS AND 8 MORE DEATHS UNDER INVESTIGATION!!! (4 on GB and 4 on New Providence)

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thomas 1 month, 1 week ago

Did they even say where the two deaths were?

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Economist 1 month, 1 week ago

The level of incompetence never ceases to amaze.

If the health workers have all the PPE, as the PM says they do, then why are they all being exposed????

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ISpeakFacts 1 month, 1 week ago

Only a fool would believe anything coming from the mouth of Minnis! Minnis would also have you believe that he's immune to the virus and that HE is the Chosen Savior who will solve all our problems (that he created btw) and lead our nation.

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proudloudandfnm 1 month, 1 week ago

Just hoping this is the begining of a downward trend on GB...

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

trends take time to reveal themselves. Don't be like McMillan who last week told us they were encouraged by a 40% decrease in cases only to come this week to report a 40% increase in cases. The weekly results really depend on their capacity to test also the number of tests per day is still not consistent. The difference with the US numbers and subsequent analysis is, random individuals are going in for tests. It's not just people identified through contact tracing.

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

The Central Authority's authoritarian approach being carried out towards both the Business Community and the PopoulacesOrdinary at large POAL has left their tarnished decision making to be caught between a rock and a hard place. They have lost the confidence of so many, many thousands. The number of those willing to believe, or trust them, grows by the thousands every 60-seconds. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

The number of those unwilling to believe or trust them, grows by the thousands every 60-seconds.

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DDK 1 month, 1 week ago

It is indeed a great mess Comrade. Maybe we should feed them all some home-baked brownies so they can chill a bit, get over themselves and all their stupid control restrictions and allow the Country to recover. Many of the idiots leading the charge to self-destruct would poo-poo the idea of dictatorship or a police state..........

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tribanon 1 month, 1 week ago

Turning to another matter:

Government's Official VAT Register shows the Taxpayer Identification Number for the Getaway Restaurant & Lounge (TIN # 100049134) is registered to Mrs Angela Camille Johnson.

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truetruebahamian 1 month, 1 week ago

Well, you have to die of something sometime - just follow the rules and roll the dice. Better than what is now!

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Takenid 1 month, 1 week ago

“To date, there has been no furloughing, lay-offs, terminations or a reduction or deferring of benefits for any worker in the public sector,” Minister Wells said

What about the private sector, bud? Why are you forcing us to furlough, lay-off, terminate or otherwise defer pay and benefits? Why are you forcing us out of business? And you brag on hon how well you and your business is doing not having to furlough, lay-off, terminate or otherwise defer pay and benefits!!

Instead of spending $100 million on assistance to those suffering economic catastrophe because of your policies, you should have had the vision and the leadership to have spent $100 million to build a 1000 bed hospital and kept our economy and our lives OPEN. Instead of wasting time to “flatten the curve” you should have invested our tax payer money in aggressively raising the threshold. But then you politicians would have no excuse for your power hungry foolishness.

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rawbahamian 1 month, 1 week ago

Lockdowns DO NOT WORK. They only serve to send people into panic and hysteria. Foodstores filled to capacity on Mon, Wed, Fri with just about everone wearing an improperley fitted mask. People bum rushing the gas stations and pharmacies. Go back to a curfew and this time stop/arrest people like bar/club and restaurant owners who blatantly conduct non compliant business affairs and stop harrassing the one one people walking the streets. The small businesses are really suffering but government officials are still drawing a salary along with government staff. But I guess NO ONE will wake up until the government kitty goes dry because there is no money coming in, will they realize the destruction they imposed on us !!!

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