By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Bahamas achieved another grim milestone over the weekend after the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths reached 605, with one senior physician warning the country could be grappling with another coronavirus surge.
Forty-eight virus related deaths were reported in data released by the Ministry of Health between October 3 and October 10.
The nation’s increase in deaths comes as confirmed infection rates appear to be trending downward.
In its daily COVID dashboards, the Ministry of Health reported that 50 cases were recorded on Sunday, 53 on Monday, 43 on Tuesday, 60 on Wednesday, 62 on Thursday, 46 on Friday and 65 on Saturday for a total of 379 cases last week.
The week before saw 537 infections confirmed.
This comes as health officials recorded another 32 cases yesterday, pushing the nation’s confirmed coronavirus case count to 21,723.
In a statement over the weekend, former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said the alarming number of deaths is proof that the nation’s fight with the deadly virus is far from over.
He said the COVID-19 situation in the country remains dire and added that healthcare workers are now concerned about what “appears to be yet another surge.”
“Colleagues, the COVID-19 challenge remains very serious,” Dr Sands said. “Of greatest concern is the impact of what appears to be yet another surge (in the last few days) that demands the overburdened health system to respond. The huge numbers of deaths speak for themselves. Far too many are critically ill. We do not have the national capacity to manage the current load!
“As context... imagine the outrage and fear felt with 100 murders in a year. We are at 500 plus deaths in the last year...and the outlook remains grim.”
In view of this, the senior physician appealed for Bahamians to get vaccinated and also to continue following the public health measures, warning that many can die in the days ahead.
“Let us recommit to disciplined adherence to public health interventions, (and) encourage persons to get vaccinated. Support the beleaguered healthcare workers and other front-line workers,” Dr Sands said.
“Stay home if you don’t absolutely need to go out. At the risk of being repetitive and worsening COVID-19 fatigue...we are in trouble. Our healthcare teams are attempting to push back the flood of patients. They are exhausted and this battle is far from over.
“The impact on patients with other illnesses cannot be understated... Many will suffer and die that may have been salvageable given different circumstances,” he also said.
In its Thursday, October 7 dashboard, the Ministry of Health reported four COVID-19 deaths. They were all New Providence residents, aged 56 to 67, who died between September 20 and 21.
The deaths confirmed on Friday include two women, aged 78 and 52, who both died September 21 and a 68-year-old woman and 64-year-old man who both died September 22. The victims were all from New Providence.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Health reported an additional six virus-related deaths involving an 88-year-old woman who died September 22; an 85-year-old woman who died September 23; a 44-year-old man who died September 24; a 72-year-old woman who died September 25; a 59-year-old man who died September 30 and a 65-year-old woman who died October 4 – all of whom were from New Providence.
As for the deaths recorded on Sunday, they include a 41-year-old New Providence woman who died September 25; an 84-year-old New Providence woman and 85-year-old New Providence man who both died September 26; an 82-year-old man from New Providence who died September 27 and an 80-year-old man from Eleuthera who died October 2.
At last report, 141 people were in hospital with the disease, 19 of whom are in the intensive care unit.
According to the government’s vaccine tracker, 115,153 people are now fully vaccinated while 238,512 have received at least one vaccine dose.