By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
THE Bahamas recorded 401 COVID-19 cases from July 11 to July 17, including 100 cases on Saturday alone, the highest number of cases recorded in a day since last October.
This comes as 17 additional COVID deaths were recorded on July 14 and 15.
The number of coronavirus cases per week has steadily increased recently. Last week the number of cases represented a 41 percent increase from the period beginning July 4 and ending July 10. There were 284 cases in the week ending July 4.
The week prior, June 27 to July 3, saw even more cases, with 338 reported.
Of the 100 cases recorded on Saturday, 83 were in New Providence, seven were in Grand Bahama, one was in Abaco, two were in Exuma and seven were in Eleuthera. The cases included 50 men and 50 women.
The Tribune understands at least one person was flown out of Eleuthera for emergency care over the weekend.
Seventy-six patients are currently hospitalised with the virus, including 13 who are in intensive care.
Two hundred and seventy-three people have died from COVID-19 to date.
In the July 15 dashboard, five COVID-19 deaths were reported: these involved one Bimini death, a 35-year-old man on July 3; and a woman, 34, from Eleuthera on July 6. Three New Providence deaths were also recorded. They were two 53-year-old men on July 6 and July 13 along with a 79-year-old woman on July 14.
Health officials also said eight deaths had been reclassified, but only seven were COVID-19 related.
The victims were all from Grand Bahama and ranged from 44-years-old to 103-years-old. Their deaths took place between April and May.
On Wednesday, an additional five deaths were recorded involving New Providence residents.
The victims were a 53-year-old man who died on July 10, a 31-year-old man who died on July 1, a woman, 87, who died on July 12, and two men aged 51 and 61 who died on July 13.
The spike in cases and deaths comes as the country battles both vaccine hesitancy and vaccine shortage.
The government expects to receive 33,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX Facility before the end of the month.
The government said yesterday that 99,755 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered to date, including 39,366 second doses.
Despite the spike in cases and concerns over the Delta variant of COVID-19, the government is preparing to let the COVID-19 Emergency Powers Order lapse without renewal in August.
Health Minister Renward Wells said this last week and Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis echoed that view to reporters during a trip to Eleuthera on Friday.
Dr Minnis said: “I think once we receive the vaccines, you can be assured that Bahamians will be reporting in droves to receive that jab and once we reach a decent level, I don’t see a need in addition to the vaccines once individuals are disciplined and follow the protocols. I think seeing what’s happening around the world we will be extremely disciplined.”