0

Paying The Price: Covid Numbers Explode To Highest Of Pandemic In Wake Of Mass Events

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE country recorded 580 new cases of COVID-19 over a three-day period from December 23 to 25, with Christmas Day alone accounting for 330 infections.

Those 330 cases marked the highest daily infection count the country has recorded since the start of the pandemic.

On December 23, there were 159 cases of coronavirus and the following day saw 91 cases recorded. The nation now has 23,960 confirmed cases, of which 1,294 are active.

_

Advertisement

The rapid exponential increase sparked a decision by the Ministry of Health and Wellness on Sunday to announce that effective immediately, there would be no approvals for any large gatherings and all current approvals had been suspended.

“Gatherings with more than 30 people outdoor(s) and 20 people indoor(s) will not be permitted until further notice,” a press release from Health Minister Dr Michael Darville said on December 26.

“According to the rules, persons should provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.”

Dr Darville also said there was no easy fix for dealing with the surge in cases and striking a balance with the country’s economy.

“The Omicron variant is the most highly transmissible COVID variant yet, causing soaring case numbers across the world. Many countries are seeing exponential growth, and their highest case counts yet since the start of the pandemic. We should expect the same here.

 “The Omicron variant can infect those who have previously tested positive for the virus as well as those who have been vaccinated, which means the Omicron virus is finding little resistance as it spreads throughout our communities.

 “Thankfully, most of the people who are vaccinated will experience no symptoms or mild symptoms. Unvaccinated persons have a higher risk of getting COVID, being hospitalised and dying from COVID.

“There are no easy answers for dealing with the coming surge in cases and care must be taken to strike the right balance between our country’s health crisis and economic well-being. Many Bahamians are earning their family’s first regular pay-cheques since COVID began nearly two years ago. The impact of the economic crisis on our families has been as severe, and in many cases, more severe, than the impact of the health crisis. We’re simply not going to shut down all economic activity,” Dr Darville said.

 Additionally, health officials are tightening restrictions and rolling out new initiatives, he said.

 “As you know, we did not allow the carnival to take place. It was a difficult decision, but it was the right one. We are tightening rules for entering the country in order to reduce the number of cases that are imported.

 “We have taken the decision effective immediately, to limit all gatherings to a maximum of 30 persons outdoor and 20 persons indoor until further notice. “According to the rules, persons should provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

 “At our press conference early next week we will announce details regarding the distribution of free medical-grade masks and the roll-out of free COVID-19 pilot testing in New Providence.”

 He said COVID-19 is primarily transmitted from person-to-person through respiratory particles, mainly through close range contact within six feet. He added the disease can also be airborne.

 “Infectious particles of the virus can hang in the air for hours in indoor spaces and poorly ventilated spaces and therefore the right and properly fitting masks can and do make a big difference.

 “We are finalising technical guidance for businesses, churches and others to improve ventilation and air filtration.

 “We are also increasing outreach for the ongoing procurement of vaccines because vaccines remain the best way to reduce the severity of the disease and death. We are working to procure treatments for COVID-19 and we are taking steps to enhance our hospital capacity.

“The Prime Minister and I are in contact with multiple international non-profit groups with expertise in COVID relief because this is an all-hands-on-deck moment.

 “We are also preparing a new public education programme so Bahamians can have reliable information about the Omicron variant.”

 The minister also made an appeal for the unvaccinated to get inoculated and for Bahamians to be responsible.

 “Avoid gathering with people from outside your household. Outside is always safer than inside; limit your time indoors to the extent possible.

 “When you’re inside – open as many windows and doors as you can, to reduce the number of virus particles in the air. Wear your masks, especially indoors. Universal mask-wearing in public places can help to reduce COVID-19 incidence by more than 50 percent.

 “Masks should be made of layers of tightly-woven fabric and without gaps. Properly fitting masks fit snugly over the nose, mouth and chin without gaps. Double masking enhances protection. Individuals may opt to wear N95 or KN95 respirators which are available commercially.

“If you are vaccinated, get your booster shot. If you are unvaccinated—please get your jabs now. Billions of people worldwide have been vaccinated safely.

 “If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive, or if you have cold or flu symptoms, please get tested, and please do not go to work or gather with others.”

 The Ministry of Health and Wellness is expected to hold a press conference this week with announcements on new infections and other information regarding the country’s fight against the disease.

 Last week, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis announced the testing window for people entering the country will change from five days to three days in view of rising cases. This took effect yesterday.

 Beginning January 7, a negative PCR test will be the only test accepted for all travellers entering the country, regardless of vaccination status.

 Up to press time, 19 people were in hospital with the virus. Seven hundred and thirteen people have died from the disease.

 As of December 23, 154,153 people have been fully vaccinated; this total includes people who were vaccinated abroad and registered on the government’s platform.

Comments

Bahamas2022 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Too late. Lockdown inevitable. 100 New Days and what?

1

ohdrap4 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Lockdowns stop nothing. If anything makes the wave last longer.

Think of a ball of play dough. If you press and flatten it ( the lockdown), it spreads around in a big circle.

They really need to stop this nonsense of quarentine for people who are not sick.

2

bahamian242 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Correct! Lockdown the sick and unvaccinated!

1

CoolCatBD 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Maybe we should LockDown, the UnBaptized too!!!

1

LastManStanding 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Funny how I see exposure notifications for Air Canada flights all the time when checking the Canadian news. It is quite hilarious considering that you need your shots in order to fly in Canada.

0

carltonr61 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Amazing that rape was asleep when the vaccinated are getting sick memo came out. Think about an excuse Vax companies are trying to create for wasted trillions in profit.

0

bahamaguy242 4 months, 4 weeks ago

It does stop transmission. If you want to use another analogy, lets use this one. Think about laying a few match sticks on a table, and you light one, the fire will spread. However, if you remove one or two matches, the fire won't spread and will eventually die. Therefore, if you limit the movement of people, eventually the virus will not be able to spread. However, for this to be successful, persons would have to obey the orders, and not circumvent the orders.

0

John 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I guess you are saying you are a matchstick or Domonioes ( not pizza). Lockdowns work in the short term when there is a high concentration of infected people who are getting seriously sick , being hospitalized or dying from the virus. In the case of Omicron, hospitalizations and deaths are DECLINING while the number of infections is INCREASING! Draw your own conclusions.

0

bahamaguy242 4 months, 3 weeks ago

If persons are isolated and movement is limited, how would the virus be passed on? If the virus is unable to pass on, wouldn't the virus eventually disappear? Lock downs and curfews are used to achieve this. Think about this, the longer you are exposed to an environment, the probability increases to be infected. With curfews, you are limited to the amount of places you can hangout/ visit. Therefore, decreasing the probability of being infected.

0

CoolCatBD 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Booster shots protect against symptomatic Omicron infection for about 10 weeks, study finds — which could mean more doses for some in 2022

1

CoolCatBD 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Now that I think about it, " Four legs good two legs better"

0

Biminibrad 4 months, 4 weeks ago

If common sense prevails, no lock downs or any other rule change. Omicron will run its course, not bother most people, and be done in 60 days.

0

ohdrap4 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Vaccines are not tested for carcinogens because they are meant for 2 doses and done.
Now if you start getting vaccines every 2 months, there will be problems.

We have been lied to.

Influenza A is making the rounds and killing more than omicron.

Boost the vulnerable to protect them and let others make a living.

1

Bobsyeruncle 4 months, 3 weeks ago

LOL, you really have no idea what is involved in testing of vaccines do you?

0

ted4bz 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I told yall relaxing restrictions was only a trick to get yall to accept the punishment that is coming. It would have been smarter to beg for the restrictions to remain in place it would have prepared us all better for the harsher restriction that was inevitable. Instead you all allowed yourselves to be use again,emotionally abd politically.

0

carltonr61 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Some medical cabal in the Bahamas has their own angerous agenda different and apart from CDC PAHO and WHO. The hysterical narrative being shouted applied here gas no bases in world data and science. The new global line us to calm down continue to normalcy. Only the Bahamas is speaking drastic at this point while downplaying fully vaccinated and non vaccinated may both feel like a common low grade cold with small chance of hospitalizations.

https://m.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morni...">https://m.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morni...

0

ThisIsOurs 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Can we please stop the hysterics.

The real impact of Omicron is not hospitalizations and deaths. Examine whats changed: exponentially more people are getting infected within shorter windows but no widespread severity. Essentially a greater percentage of people are sick at the same time. That is the impact, imagine if all the surgeons got sick, all the flight attendants got sick, all the bank tellers got sick... the affected business would grind to a halt. then imagine it happening to multiple businesses at the same time. Fortunately that scenario hasnt happened anywhere other than the airline industry, its had some impact on 2000 flights but hasnt stopped the entire industry. But its the potential scenario to be aware of

And in this scenario the only implication of being "sick" is, you cant go to work, specifically targeting roles where remote work is not possible. Economic impact from a less deadly angle

Again. Tourists are the main cause of spread. Their travelling numbers far outdistances the number of Bahamians travelling and they interact with 10000 Bahamians, who have families, on a weekly basis. If we dont learn that lesson now and act like it, it will be too late next time

0

JokeyJack 4 months, 4 weeks ago

"Fortunately that scenario hasnt happened anywhere other than the airline industry,..." NOPE - it hasn't happened there either. Pilots are just calling in sick to prepare the public for what is going to happen in January when Biden's new mandate takes effect. The public has to decide it they want the pilots who have been flying for 21 months now to continue flying or if they are now a danger like the doctors and nurses that risked their lives and survived Covid and have natural immunity in order to save tens of thousands of people's live during the "pandemic" and are true heroes - but are not being treated as idiots and many have been fired and many more will be fired. Then the news is saying hospitals are over capacity. They are not over capacity, it's just that the hospitals have fired the doctors and nurses - LOL. The media will not report the truth. Same with supply chain - people who cut up the chickens etc are simply not coming to work and choosing to sweep the floors somewhere else or do other work to survive instead of getting injected with who-knows-what.

0

rosiepi 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The trouble with tourists (and long bemoaned) is as its ever been, they do not have any prolonged interaction with locals nor do they have any desire to do so. The majority are at least vaxx’d, this foolish poster and Bahamians who’d rather point to the beam in the another’s eye than take responsibility for their own lack. As for mandates forcing mass firings, tisn’t so, the ranks of service workers at all levels is thinned now from Omicron and it’s going to get worse before better. The huge increase in cases here is but the tip of the iceberg as the MOH refuses to add cases and deaths diagnosed w/o a PCR test. ,impossible for many.

0

ThisIsOurs 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Tourists dont need prolonged interaction with Bahamians. They just need to have a friendly conversation with a bartender, immigration officer or be stuck in an air conditioned taxi with a driver. Exponential spread is just that, "exponential". It means it doesn't take an army of infected. One person infects their contacts and theyll infect their contacts and so on and so on.

This isnt about pointing out the mote in someone else's eye, its about referencing data thats been screaming at us for 2 years now. Every single time we opened the borders or experienced exponential tourist arrivals, there was a likewise exponential increase in COVID numbers, every single time, including this past week.

Fortunately for us we also have data of Bahamians behaving badly between Nov 2020 and Mar 2021 when there were NO exponential tourist arrivals and COVID cases went down to ZERO. My theory is every new exponential tourism landing has brought in a new variant. A variant takes 3 months or so to make its way through the entire population, after which it doesn't matter how much contact we have or how bad we behave, cases will continue to go down... until of course the next exponential tourist landing. The exponential nature of the landing increases the probability of one person in the group being COVID positive with a false negative test

0

Bobsyeruncle 4 months, 3 weeks ago

So, if the media won't report the truth, where does JokeyJack get his version of the "Truth" from? Just asking for a friend.

0

tribanon 4 months, 3 weeks ago

One thing is for sure, he won't get it from you! lol

0

Sickened 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Those who are scared and vulnerable can choose to stay home. The rest of us can continue with life's chores.

I still find it odd that there are so many instances where only one person in a household gets sick - when this is supposed to be incredibly contagious.

0

ThisIsOurs 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The cold is also very contagious. Alot of people can get it at the same time but not everyone does. Probably to do with some level of immunity natural or supplemented. There's alot to discover about this pandemic but we just failed to do so listening to others tell us what to do based on their data "alone".

0

ThisIsOurs 4 months, 4 weeks ago

"We’re simply not going to shut down all economic activity,” Dr Darville said.

No, but Omicron has the potential to do that for you. We're busy preparing for delta right now, but interestingly, Omicron is a different beast

0

JokeyJack 4 months, 4 weeks ago

"“We are also increasing outreach for the ongoing procurement of vaccines because vaccines remain the best way to reduce the severity of the disease and death..."

Wonder how much longer vaccines will remain "the best way"? My car wouldn't start since 6 months ago. Every morning I go out and hit the hood once with a sledgehammer and try to start it. It still hasn't started after 180 hits. But I believe that hitting the hood with a sledgehammer is "the best way" to get my car started. Really? That's insane.

1

bahamianson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The plp blamed the fnm. Now, it is the plp to blame. Handle this mess, plp. Get all those people whom called the talk shows during the fnm administration to solve tjis problem. They had the solution , then. They should have the solution, now.

1

bahamianson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Darville, handle ya busnis.deal wit dis.you had the answer .

0

LastManStanding 4 months, 4 weeks ago

There is nothing to indicate that this variant is anything to be concerned with in terms of severity. At some point everyone just needs to accept that they are probably going to get COVID, shots or not. Deal with it, and move on with life.

0

ted4bz 4 months, 4 weeks ago

"Thankfully, most of the people who are vaccinated will experience no symptoms or mild symptoms..." That is exactly why they do not know they are spreading sickness to each other and all over the place. THANKFULLY I AM NOT VACCINATED, otherwise I too would think it is a good thing to not know I am sick..

"... Unvaccinated persons have a higher risk of getting COVID, being hospitalised and dying from COVID." That's some amateurish bs right there!

0

John 4 months, 4 weeks ago

TODAY VACCINATED CENTERS around the country, at least New Providence, were bursting at the seams as persons, obviously in panic or fear or both, rushed to get vaccinated. FIRSTLY what is the difference between testing positive for Covid and developing symptoms or actually becoming I’ll or even seriously ill. YES the numbers of persons testing positive for Covid has Skyrocketed, not only here but worldwide. Some SEVENTY cruis ships had outbreaks but but persons getting I’ll or developing serious symptoms were minimal. Deaths worldwide from omicron are negligible but guess what? The OMICRON variant peaked in South Africa a week to 10 days ago. Persons testing positive in that country declined from 35,000 a day to just over 3,000 a day. And the same thing will mostly possibly likely happen here by mid January. The only question is What com after Omicron? Is this the end or what?

0

sheeprunner12 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Good Q. Ask Fauci, Gates, WHO & the Chinese.

0

carltonr61 4 months, 3 weeks ago

That omicron has failed the fear mechanics Biden has reopened travel to Africa. Wow! Great pressure release the world was questioning data with established unscientific rational that did not add up.

https://www.rt.com/news/544633-biden-...">https://www.rt.com/news/544633-biden-...

0

TigerB 4 months, 3 weeks ago

THis guy had all the answers when he was in opposition... he should be fine.

0

ThisIsOurs 4 months, 3 weeks ago

"The real impact of Omicron is not hospitalizations and deaths. Examine whats changed: exponentially more people are getting infected within shorter windows but no widespread severity. Essentially a greater percentage of people are sick at the same time. That is the impact"

You cant make this stuff up. The CDC is now saying infected persons only need to quarantine for 5 days. Lol. This is hysterical. You can bet it has nothing to do with science but exactly what was said above... the real danger of Omicron is businesses suffering major staff outages. And we just take it like "ok". No questions asked, because they said so. Id like to know how do you determine that a returning 5-day infected worker was not the cause of an outbreak at work? Im going to bet nobody is going to double PCR test

0

Bigrocks 4 months, 3 weeks ago

guess Brave kicked off with the big party out West a few days back.

Maybe best if we lock down the government higherarchy?

0

John 4 months, 3 weeks ago

DID COVID CASES ALREADY PEAK in the Bahamas at 330 during the fourth wave?

0

carltonr61 4 months, 3 weeks ago

The world is saying slight cold symptoms not scary boooooooo boooooooo Covid. Biden is hinting at return to normal while 4C alone in the world pumping up the stress for his world leaders desciples to follow. Even the third boosted vaccinated on cruise ships are questioning the need for a required forth boost for a mild runny nose no hospitalizations cold.

0

DWW 4 months, 3 weeks ago

so when do the kids get waxed?

0

John 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Didn’t you get the psyche? MOST People will get cold or flu like symptoms during this time of the year. Especially in places like The Bahamas, where there is very warm or hot daylight temperatures and cold or cold nights. So they rush off to get a test, if they can afford it, or to take a vaccine. Remember the common flu is also part of the Covid/Corona families of viruses and some people will get false positive tests. In fact sources are saying the rapid tests and the home self tests kits that are being widely distributed throughout Europe and the UK cannot detect the Omnicron strain. So they will give positive readings for the common cold or flu. So they authorities are now having symptoms ( mild cold or flu symptoms) and your test ( rapid or home test) comes back negative, go and take the more reliable and more expensive test. So the person doesn’t have money for this test, especially if there are several family members. So what do they do? They go and get vaccinated! And that is the plan.

0

Sign in to comment