Officials Believe Cases “Are Levelling”


Tribune Staff Reporter


DESPITE a recent uptick of positive COVID-19 cases in New Providence, Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan said data has shown that the island is experiencing a reduction of infected cases.

This also includes Grand Bahama, she added. Her comments came during a Ministry of Health press conference on Friday.

“The percentage of COVID-19 positive results on the two most impacted islands i.e. New Providence and Grand Bahamas are showing reductions over time,” she said.

According to Dr McMillan, gathering additional information on all the Family Island COVID cases and the COVID-19 deaths are chief among the challenges experienced by officials.

She said: “I will not say to you that we are fully beyond our data management challenges but I will say we are committed to continuing to work the contact tracing group and the others who are working on it to ensure that the public is updated as soon as we have the information sorted out.”

Friday’s data – which was not released until hours after the press conference - showed 37 additional cases. The cases were all recorded for New Providence, pushing the nation’s total to 2,057. Officials said the location of 77 cases are still pending.

On Thursday, The Bahamas recorded a total of 97 new cases, with 82 on New Providence, six on Grand Bahama and the local of nine cases still pending. Of Wednesday’s cases, there were 97 recorded on New Providence, 12 on Grand Bahama and one on Abaco.

Dr McMillan said while New Providence has seen a considerable increase of cases of late, officials are of the strong belief that the cases “are levelling”.

This, she said, are based on their examination of the specimen collection date.

“Certainly, the numbers over the last two days or so have seemed pretty high,” she said. “However, when we look at the specimen collection date, which is what we were using in order to give you the trend graphs,” she said.

“We have reason to believe that there is some levelling in the cases as well in New Providence as well as in Grand Bahama doing slightly better, so when you hear that yesterday, we had this precipitant increase or high increase.”

She added: “We are still, even though we have addressed the backlog testing, we’re still working through our data management side which means we are still getting some of that information. So, we are looking at the specimen collection date instead to form our trends and our trends suggest that we are in a position to begin the move forward.”

The increase of cases comes as the island prepares to resume commercial activity after a nearly four-week lockdown, which saw most businesses being ordered shut to contain the spread of the infectious disease.

Asked about the island’s readiness given the recent spike of cases, Dr McMillan maintained that while there is a risk associated with the re-opening, the country must aim to strike an economic and health balance.

“Certainly, there is risk associated with opening. (But), there is risk associated with not opening. We have to strike a balance. We have to look at all aspects, the social, the economic, the health. Should we, I guess, wait indefinitely to open the economy and there are inherent risks with that.

“With that being said, I think about two or so press conferences ago, we did say we wanted to be actually a little bit more informed with the data with respect to out epi-profile in the country and characterising it and I think we are there.”

“We are there. We continue to enhance our data management. We have moved to an electronic platform where all the information is added so that makes it easier for us to be able to monitor and be able to provide information on all the indicators.”

As of Friday, Dr McMillan said 107 health care workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

This comes amid concern in the medical community as officials say the surge of cases has placed a significant strain on healthcare workers.

Health Minister Renward Wells told reporters that officials are aware of the workers concerns and are working to rectify the issues.

“We are very concerned with the amount of stress being put on the personnel in health and the government is looking at it,” he said.

Mr Wells added that junior doctors will be hired by the government to help aid in the fight against COVID-19.

"In regards to the doctors, the Cabinet of the Bahamas has agreed to hire. It’s actually not 30," he told reporters when asked about the issue.

"It was 33, I think 32 persons in the programme and we were going to hire 29. I think three of the individuals still need to go through a rotation and pass the final parts of their exams so they can be recognised as senior house officers.”

Medical workers have also raised alarm about the lack of bed space for COVID-19 positive patients.

However, on Friday, Mr Wells said a total of 114 beds have added to the healthcare system for COVID-19 patients, adding that 30 more are expected to come “on stream” very soon.


whogothere 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Finally they separated deaths under investigation...still confusing though...two days ago they mentioned they classified one of the previously reported deaths and increased non COVID deaths by 1 but did not reduce COVID deaths total tally. Is this to mean COVID deaths is just gross number of investigated deaths rather than the persons that actually died of COVID?


DDK 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The truly sad and reprehensible problem is that We The People have NO IDEA of the truth of The Virus related broadcast data, so extremely corrupt and inneficient is our medical health system led by our extremely corrupt and inneficient government...


ISpeakFacts 7 months, 3 weeks ago

NO ONE should believe any numbers coming from the Ministry of Health or from the mouth of Minnis and his corrupt cronies!


ohdrap4 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I will not say to you that we are fully beyond our data management challenges

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is its inability to calculate percentages.


TalRussell 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Who or what to believe much less trust? Is whacko in the same medical classfication as cuckoo?
Before we the PooulacesOrdinary at large POAL can depend on the data released by the Central Regime, Comrade Grocer Rupert will snag a deal with the Central Regime to have a lucrative chain of Coconut Waters Vendors operating under his flagship operating stalls on all the Out Islands, Rocks, and Cays.
The Chief Medical Officer Comrade Sister Dr. Pearl's conflicting data transgressors the National Insurance Board's NIB Minister's divulging that by September the NIB goin's run out money to pay out of work, workers benefits - only be conflicted within a matter of days by the Finance Minister, who called it poppycock rubbish cause The Colony's PopoulacesPurse's vaults was juicy stacked walls high withready cash and gold bars to fund all the Central Regime's ministries, corporations, departments, and monetary obligations.
Just couldn't make this conflicting stuff up. Just
couldn't.** Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?


ThisIsOurs 7 months, 3 weeks ago

"Is whacko in the same medical classfication as cuckoo?"

lol. no I tink dey does get put on different wards


Porcupine 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Why can I comment here, but the Tribune will not allow me to comment on the arrest of a person for "Indian Hemp"? I'm absolutely sure it is for a very good reason.


screwedbahamian 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The COVID-19 plague is showing a part of the world how inept our Steak and lobster eating, Champagne and belvedere vodka drinking and extremely CORRUPT leaders and governments are. They have no shame, conscience or soul when it comes to treating citizens with any intelligence and logic when giving misinformation. Is this the EXAMPLE that we should be setting for our next generations? Where did we go wrong, that at this time, we should be subject to this kind of misleadership????


ThisIsOurs 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It's interesting that with no lockdown the cases are levelling. What then is the point of a lockdown? My theory is the lockdown that really matters is the one at the border. control the border control the virus. Our 200% spike in cases and 363% rise in deaths are ALL due to the July 1 reopening..


whogothere 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Well the other thing that happened after July 1 was testing became widely available. Prior to July no one was really tested - there was an average of 22 test per day now we re averaging 200-300 a day... COVID has been here in the shadows for a while we just were aware of it. This a panicdemic...casedemic..whatever...border control is pointless with community transmission - wash hands social distance take vitamin d.


ThisIsOurs 7 months, 3 weeks ago

yeah I get that they did more testing so more asymptomatic people would show up. But you can't argue with the deaths... Between March and June we heard about 70 and 80 year olds dying now it's 20, 40, 50...I wouldn't be surprised if it's our obesity. Every one that they've identified publicly as succumbing to the virus has been obese.

I still believe it's the birder...we were open domestically for 3 weeks or so, people were complaining about all the cars on the road, hard headed Bahamians, illegal parties...remember the Marley resort with 200 people? not a single hospital admission, zero deaths...Minnis opened border and day-2, kaboom


whatsup 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Does Minnis still have Emergency Powers until Sept. 30th then? If yes, WHY??


JohnQ 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Until we understand the virus that originated in China really is a "novel virus" that will not be eliminated. What is going to take for us to except that we must get make our way back to normal. Are we waiting for a vaccine? Is the vaccine going to be a "polio"type vaccine or a "flu" shot type vaccine? Are we going to have the police enforce the vaccination process?

What metrics or data will be used to determine when we can return to normal? Or are we never going to return to normal and hide in our homes ?


Jim 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Watch caes spike in the Bimini Islands after Labor Day is over, several Americans know how to avoid customs and immigration; the marinas aren't doing their job of monitoring the correct paperwork and the private home owners of Port Royal, S. Bimini zip back and forth on their fast boats. Unfair to all the Bahamian people who have dealth with quarantine and lock downs.


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