By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Ministry of Health recorded 37 new cases and two more virus-related deaths on Wednesday, pushing the nation’s overall tally to 11,930.
Twenty-four of the new cases are on New Providence, five are in Andros, four are on Abaco, two are in Eleuthera, while there is one new case each in Cat Island and Long Island. Of the nation's total count, 685 of those are currently active.
The latest deceased victims are a 70-year-old man and 77-year-old man, both of whom are from New Providence. Health officials said both men died on May 30. Their deaths have pushed the nation’s COVID death tally to 232, with 28 deaths still under investigation.
Meanwhile, 51 cases are said to be in hospital with the virus.
The increase in virus cases and hospitalisations comes as officials continue to urge the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the Ministry of Health, more than 55,000 people have received their first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine to date, with 8,659 second doses already administered.
However, Health Minister Renward Wells estimates that about 120,000 people need to be vaccinated in order for the nation to achieve herd immunity.
Infectious disease expert Dr Nikkiah Forbes said on Sunday that vaccination is the key to overcoming COVID-19 in the country, again stressing that the benefits far outweigh the risks.
“We are seeing that there is vaccine hesitancy and there are also a lot of myths about the COVID vaccines that need to be combated to increase the number of persons that are vaccinated,” Dr Forbes told The Tribune.
“I really implore everyone to protect themselves from COVID-19. The public health measures work. And I encourage people to know the facts on COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 in general. Go to reputable sources for information.
“The benefits of vaccines outweigh risks and are major solutions for seeing our way out of the COVID pandemic and for the situation to be better in (the) country,” she added. “We are the third wave of COVID-19 in The Bahamas. Cases are continuing to be high every day and the curve is not being flattened.”