By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
THE Ministry of Health confirmed 25 additional COVID-19 cases yesterday, including the first four cases for the Berry Islands, bringing the nation’s total to 219.
The are seven new cases in New Providence, 12 new cases in Grand Bahama and two new cases in Bimini, according to the latest dashboard. This comes as Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced yesterday in the House of Assembly plans to extend country’s state of emergency. He said the House of Assembly will debate an extension to the state of emergency resolution today.
In its latest update, the Ministry of Health did not mention any cases connected to Abaco, however sources on the island yesterday said a Bahamian contractor and a Mexican employee at Baker’s Bay have allegedly contracted the virus.
According to the latest information from the Ministry of Health, there are 114 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Providence, 81 in Grand Bahama, 17 in Bimini, four in the Berry Islands, two in Cat Island and one confirmed case in Cat Cay. The youngest new case is an 11-year-old girl from Grand Bahama while the oldest is a 79-year-old woman from the Berry Islands.
The new Bimini cases are two women, aged 30 and 34-years-old.
Meanwhile, a relative of a Bahamian contractor working in Abaco said the man has fallen ill with COVID-19 and is currently being treated at Doctors Hospital in New Providence.
Asked if his relative had COVID-19, the source said: “Apparently so. He was sick here in Abaco and went to Grand Bahama. Dr Knowles, the kidney doctor who has the place in Marsh Harbour, suggested that he leave Freeport and go to Doctors Hospital in Nassau where he is now. He was transferred from Freeport to Doctors Hospital last night.”
The relative admitted that he didn’t have much details, but suggested that news of the contractor’s illness came from his daughter and the contractor’s sister who is a doctor in New Providence.
“I really can’t tell you much,” he said. “I just heard it myself last evening. My daughter is in Nassau who spoke with his sister, who is a doctor. I spoke to my daughter on it. He is in Doctors Hospital and he is doing okay, but the doctor is watching him. That is the latest that I can tell you.”
The contractor resides in Grand Bahama, but commutes to Abaco where he works at Bakers’ Bay. He is in his early forties, according to the relative and a father of two children – one boy and one girl.
“I see where the media keeps reporting all day that my nephew is from Abaco,” the relative continued. “He is from Grand Bahama. He only comes here to Abaco for work at Baker’s Bay. He goes back and forth from Grand Bahama to Abaco and so forth because of work.”
The Tribune was also told that a Mexican construction worker, also employed at Bakers Bay, tested positive for COVID-19 as well. There were several attempts made to confirm this with authorities at Baker’s Bay to no avail.
“I understand that a Mexican worker was rushed to Nassau on a flight, with COVID symptoms,” a second Abaco source said. “He was sick and showed full signs of COVID and had to be taken out. He is a part of the construction team at Baker’s Bay.
“Now the contractor might have been the most exposed, as he had travelled back and forth from Grand Bahama and also travelled on a ferry with about 50 other people to Guana Cay and Bakers Bay.”
That same source also told The Tribune that a big group of Grand Bahamians came into Abaco for a funeral last weekend and held a large “gathering” at a bar in Crown Haven.
Grand Bahama will enter a two-week lockdown today due to the recent surge in cases there.
Health officials did not provide comment on the Abaco claims up to press time.
Editorial View - Page 6