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Another Seven Families Grieve

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net 

HEALTH officials yesterday added seven deaths to the tally of overall COVID-19 deaths in the country, bringing the total to 163.

Six of the deaths, all of which involved Grand Bahama residents, had been under investigation.

The dead include five men ranging from age 42 to 83 and a 33-year-old woman.

Officials say the deaths of 21 people are currently under investigation to determine if COVID-19 was the cause.

The latest COVID-19 death is a 42-year-old Grand Bahama woman who died on November 1.

In addition, officials reported on Saturday another death - that of an 82-year-old woman from New Providence, who died on October 28.

As of last night, the country had 7,256 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 30 of which were confirmed yesterday. The newest cases include 18 men and 12 women.

A total of 25 people were reported hospitalised with COVID-19 yesterday, three of whom were in the intensive care unit.

Health Minister Renward Wells has revealed that investigations in Grand Bahama showed the majority of a spike in cases last week had originated from employee interactions in the workplace.

“Grand Bahama recorded 38 new confirmed cases in one day,” he said during a Ministry of Health press conference on Friday. “On further investigation, it was noted that 26 of these cases originated from employee interactions in the workplace.

“These employees work in the industrial sector as an electrical team . . . Positive cases have been removed from the workplace and are isolated. The surveillance continues to monitor the situation and analysis of the data over the weekend to further assess any notable trends.”

His comments come as the island continues to see an increase of cases, with its tally now standing at 897 .

On Friday, Dr Frank Bartlett, chairman of the GB COVID-19 task force, said preliminary data for Grand Bahama shows that COVID-19 cases are a “mixture” of clusters and community spread.

However, he noted that more data is still needed to exactly determine what type of transmission is happening on the island.

He said: “What we are on the process of doing now is trying to gather the data and the gaps that we have on those cases that we have not contacted. We are looking at our whole case profile from the beginning of our response to the COVID-19.

“We are looking to see if we could determine any kind of linkages. With the volumes in the numbers we had, it was much easier in the first wave because they were more manageable.

“We had more clear-cut linkages and we could clearly state if it was sporadic in nature but with the ones that we have now, with the lack of clear cut linkages, we cannot say. We know that they are sporadic in the sense that they cannot be localised to one specific area within the Grand Bahama region and it cannot be localised to one workplace.

“The fact that we don’t and we see a decrease in numbers suggests that there may not be community spread, but we still need more data.”

Grand Bahama had previously been under a lockdown for nearly five weeks after rising cases on that island.

While the island is no longer under a full lockdown, several restriction measures remain in place inclusive of a 9pm to 5am weekly curfew.

Asked Friday if health officials recommend tighter restrictive measures for Grand Bahama, Dr Bartlett replied: “The whole process now as it relates to Grand Bahama and when you look at the clusters that we have on the island, the other cases that we have, no explanation appears to be more sporadic and it relates to community spread.

“The areas that we have identified that there are an increased number of cases, we recommend targeted restrictions instead of having compete lockdowns because once we could identify those, hopefully we will be able to curtail the increase we are seeing with that as opposed to putting our community in much more not-so-nice conditions with the lockdowns.”

During Friday’s press conference, health officials also gave an update on the COVID-19 situation on several Family Islands.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan said officials have observed that positive cases on Andros now extend from Nicholl’s Town in the north to Kemp’s Bay in the south.

She said officials are closely monitoring what’s happening on the ground there.

Meanwhile, in Bimini, Dr McMillan said over 15 suspected cases are linked to a social gathering that recently occurred on the island.

“Contact tracing efforts discovered there was a large church convention on the island last week Sunday,” she noted. “To date, over 15 suspected COVID cases are linked to that event. We are awaiting the results of their swab tests. Symptoms of one of these individuals were severe, enough to warrant being airlifted to New Providence for further medical management.”

As it relates to Eleuthera, the chief medical officer said the mitigation efforts recently implemented for the island are “showing promise of containment of the COVID-19 spread on that island.”

On Abaco, she said there has been an average of one case per day for the last 30 days – a trend she said officials continue to monitor.

“The national weekly average of new cases stands at 31. This is an over 70 point reduction based on just before the tightening restrictive measures on the ninth of October,” she said.

Comments

John 3 months, 3 weeks ago

After reviewing medical files and Xrays of dozens of patients, health officials in Germany have concluded that the Corona Virus has been in Europe, at least since September of 2019. This then debunks the idea that the virus originated in China sometime in December. It also tends to support the idea and reports of some doctors here that the Covid-19 virus was in this country since September of 2019, but was not being diagnosed as such. So if this virus was around some seven months before it was recognized, does it mean that the world, and this country may be experiencing at least the third wave of the virus?

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whogothere 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Same information was confirmed in cancer screening study released 2 days ago in Italy which shows COVID antibodies in 14% of the patients in September of 2019. The more important question is not whether this a third wave but why excess mortality was not seen until 7 months later or until after government enacted wide sweeping restrictions and lockdowns. It lends credence to idea that deaths And cases are being over counted and if a over sensitive pcr test was never developed we might have been none the wiser. We would have looked at 2020 and thought of it as a rough flu season. I suspect media panic and restrictions have a lot to answer for.

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whogothere 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I believe it’s highly likely the Bahamas experienced a covid wave in January but Again simply considered it to be a strong flu. In our community some old folks unfortunately died, more than usual...sad but there is greater sadness in seeing 100,000 of our much younger country facing hunger, unemployment and Our youth confronted by myriad of social issues...stemming the above and being deprived of schooling and physical education for something that is not a dangerous threat to them.

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John 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The type of viruses start of as a weak strain, but they mutate quickly and become more contagious and more deadly. This can be evidenced in the United States and in the UK and now even Russia where the numbers of new cases are skyrocketing. Also the number of hospitalizations and deaths are increasing correspondingly. And now that more is known if the virus, social distancing, the wearing of masks and frequent hand washing and effective tools to combat the virus. It has also been confirmed that large gatherings, when many are not wearing masks but are talking and interacting are super spreader events and many who attend will not only contract the virus, but pass it on. China has managed to contain the corona virus and manage its cases better than probably every other country because of its strict control of its borders and its strict enforcement of its corona control procedures, especially quarantine and rapid response to any outbreak that involves contact tracing and enforced quarantine of anyone who has been exposed. Because if his lack of cooperation so far, Donald Trump is preventing the implementation of new strategies in the US to control the virus, so it may be another few months before and visible signs of enacting new policies to fight corona, that are not politically driven are seen.

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whogothere 3 months, 2 weeks ago

John the Virus has not got more deadly if anything it's gotten less deadly but more contagious. More Contagious does not mean more likely to kill you. It means more people are walking around not realizing they have it; but also testing capacity has also skyrocketed and there now the necessity of 'getting' a test to participate in travel or work. (As opposed to symptomatic tracing testing that is happening in the Bahamas) The net result is more cases not more death. This is evidenced in US, Uk, Spain, Sweden, Russia etc. It means more cases, but less hospitalized overall that early in the year and finally much much less death therefore a less deadly disease.

Secondly evidence has now been presented that masks do not protect against the virus but they do limit the viral load - this is a airborne virus and as such only a N95 mask can severely limited the exposure. Cloth mask only reduce viral load by about 20% or put another way allow 80% of viral load through (when a infected person wears a mask as well as the odds improve) but are far from effective. The Additional the assumption in the experiment in question was far removed from actual life - they used mannequins producing a 'cough' for twenty minutes. So unless you are a street perform standing and coughing in one place not touching your mask as cough and sneeze the efficacy is going to plummet.

The point is there is little that Donald Trump, Joe Biden or any democratic elected country can do (save imprisoning their citizens and even that has failed) to mitigate the spread of this virus which is -let face it - fairly tame in comparison to other health threats - such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

It's not so hard to forget the body's pain once new pain is felt. Does Pain have numbers making a Number 2's 2020 Pain that more felt than a 2019 Hurricane Dorian's Number 1 Pain? Shakehead once for Yeah, Twice Not be's so quick numb deadly Pain of 2019 likes it was but a ripple of sufferings past?

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John 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Since The Bahamas is now treating each. Island as a separate territory and no longer using. ‘One size fits all’ approach, there are fluctuations and variances on each island . And most can be traced back to a ‘super spreader’ source such as an unauthorized wedding or social gatherings, even funerals that exceed the number of authorized attendees. And in some instances, new cases of Corona are generated in the workplace or some public facility, including clinics or hospitals. But with not having the entire country on complete lockdown for extended periods, allows some economic activity to occur rather than the entire country and economy being at a standstill. Surely this will have some impact on easing the economic burdens of government and businesses and even households and individuals. BUT it should also drive home reality to those people who still going out partying and not social distancing and not wearing masks, you are directly responsible for the increasing numbers in your zone and can also be responsible for yourself, a friend or family member contracting the virus or even dying from it.

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TalRussell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade Preacherman's John, you skipped over the part about how these same Out Islanders be's much livered how they's left watch out their windows as the tourists walks and zoom on by in golf carts. Tourists arriving from the most virus-contaminated states who are then allowed roam freely about their out islands, cays, and rocks - and roam freely do they - without face-coverings nor social distancing amongst each other?

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whogothere 3 months, 2 weeks ago

You forget TalRussell they have been tested before entry and are tested again on day 5. They are probably the safest segment of Bahamian social life at present. And if they zooming by on their golf cart they ain't at risk to no one. I 'd worried about the church goer in AC then the sight seeing tourist on a golf cart. Even the naughty boy and girls on the beach in Bimini are likely safer than gospel choir in AC... And well the clubs - bad idea - but at least if the tourist frequents one then he or she will be the persons that most recently did a test with a negative result, the same cannot be said for the Bahamian brethren 'backing their asses up...'

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whogothere 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Ultimately it comes down the social procedures that we learned as children - if you're sick stay away from grandma, cover your mouth when you sneeze, wash your hands. Everything else deprives humanity of what it means to be human and no more certain to be effective than using a sock to hold water or using a stocking as ballon. At the end of the day the virus is going to do what it does until the human body does what it does. The only thing the government can do is not make matters worse by stopping travel which hurts people that need diagnostic screenings that they put off, or steer children down the wrong path by keeping them out of school, or cause marriages to get more abusive or violent by locking families together or businesses to go under by taking away their customers. Wait...Basically everything the government has done to date have made matters worse...

This virus has been around since September 2019, there are even some reports of samples discovered in march 2019 in Madrid. The average of COVID is death 75-80, with the vast majority having serious 2-3 comorbidites - 94% in the USA...basically old age. Yet the rest of society is much worse because of government, media and stakes in the socio-economy forgot generational knowledge and panicked.

'The elephant, spooked by cat, ran over the cliff and died...'

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John 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I don’t even try to decipher what Tal Russel writes because his posts are definitely not for people who only speak English so it is always Greek to me. But Donald Trump rallies have obviously been super spreader events and now his efforts to delay or block Joe Biden’s team from gaining access and putting plans in place to combat the virus demonstrates this man never took the virus seriously or apparently cared about the people who got sick or even die from it. The irony of it all is Bahamians who complain about being locked down, having to social distance or wear masks, and they travel abroad into areas that have surging case numbers. And all their wisdom and common sense is apparently left at the airport. With the US seeing over 1 Million new Corona cases in less than a week it is almost impossible to go places Bahamians go in Florida or Atlanta or Texas or New York and not be exposed to this deadly virus.

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Porcupine 3 months, 2 weeks ago

"During Friday’s press conference, health officials also gave an update on the COVID-19 situation on several Family Islands. Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan said officials have observed that positive cases on Andros now extend from Nicholl’s Town in the north to Kemp’s Bay in the south. She said officials are closely monitoring what’s happening on the ground there." What exactly are you monitoring? Why don't you share your information with our local health officials? Why is there NO contact tracing? Why does the health department remain in the dark ages regarding disclosing the information needed for Family Islanders to stay safe? This country is behind the times in so many ways. God gave us the brains that we boldly refuse to use. God help us. The Ministry of Health is as much a problem as Covid.

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