By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THIRTY-TWO new COVID-19 cases and one more virus-related death were recorded in the country between Friday and Saturday, pushing the nation’s tally to 8,551 with 980 of those cases still active.
The latest deceased victim is an 80-year-old New Providence woman who died February 23, bringing the country’s COVID-19 death toll to 180. Fifteen deaths still remain under investigation.
According to data released by the Ministry of Health, there were 89 cases confirmed last week: nine recorded on Sunday, six on Monday, 19 on Tuesday, 11 on Wednesday, 12 on Thursday, 23 on Friday and nine on Saturday.
Three of those had a recent history of travel. The week prior saw 92 new infections.
New Providence accounted for the highest number of positive cases that week at 33, followed by Grand Bahama at 25 and then Abaco at 21.
Hospitalisations also rose slightly despite some fluctuations. There were 15 patients hospitalised last Sunday and Monday, 16 on Tuesday, 14 on Wednesday, 15 on Thursday, 17 on Friday and 16 on Saturday.
Last Thursday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis reimposed several more restrictive measures on the Abaco, including a new curfew and tighter travel guidelines, in response to rising cases there.
The Ministry of Health said during the period of January 8 - February 23, they have seen a gradual increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases on Abaco, which has had 256 total cases confirmed since the pandemic.
Due to the recent uptick in numbers, Dr Minnis said health officials have recommended stricter COVID-19 preventative measures which include tightening of the Abaco’s curfew to 8pm to 5am instead of its usual 10pm to 5am.
Additionally, those travelling from mainland Abaco to any other island are also now required to take a RT-PCR COVID test in addition to following the previous travel protocols.
The new orders went into effect yesterday and will be enforced for a period of two weeks, according to Dr Minnis.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health is urging all citizens and residents to keep their guard up and adhere to the recommended health protocols.
“Continue to wear a mask at all times whilst outside the home, keep physically distant and wash your hands regularly,” the ministry said. “Remember, just because a person is not sick, does not mean that he cannot have COVID-19.
“If you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not wait. First, contact your health provider. While home remedies may work for a period, it is important to get tested and receive the proper care before symptoms become too difficult to manage. If you have been asked by the Surveillance Unit to get tested for COVID-19, please follow the advice and take the gold standard RT-PCR test. Employees are encouraged to work from home.”