By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Ministry of Health reported 125 new COVID-19 cases and two virus related deaths yesterday, pushing the nation’s overall coronavirus tally to 18,460.
The country’s death toll is now 408.
According to data provided in the Ministry of Health’s August 31 dashboard, 102 of the new cases were recorded in New Providence, eight in Grand Bahama, six in Abaco, three in Eleuthera and two in Abaco. Officials said 3,167 cases are still active, with 169 people in hospital sick with the virus.
Of the two new deaths recorded, health officials said both victims were from New Providence, including a 68-year-old woman who died August 25 and a 45-year-old man who died August 27.
In its August 30 dashboard, the Ministry of Health recorded 10 COVID-19 related deaths, while 27 new deaths were added to the nation’s death toll on Sunday, August 29.
One hundred and twenty-one new deaths were reported this month, which health officials said occurred over a five-month period.
In terms of new infections, 3,540 COVID cases were recorded in August, representing the highest tally recorded in a month since the start of the pandemic.
Director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme at the Ministry of Health, Dr Nikkiah Forbes predicted there will be more deaths as the virus surges in the country.
“We’re still very much seeing an increase in the number of cases,” she told The Tribune on Tuesday. “We still have a large number of cases every day and the healthcare system is under a tremendous amount of pressure because of that and all of the COVID care sites are extremely full and above capacity.
“At Princess Margaret Hospital we’re above capacity and it’s very challenging and that’s exactly the problem when you have a surge with a virus like COVID because if it’s spreading exponentially, spreading a lot, there is going to be a tremendous increase in the number of cases above the capacity that the healthcare system can manage.
“So, that does get challenging because we know that we see an increase in the number of deaths when we are above the capacity of the health system to manage.”
However, Health Minister Renward Wells remains optimistic the situation will improve before this month’s end thanks to the large vaccine supply now in the country.
“I do believe by the end of September, and I personally believe even before the general elections we’re going to see a reduction in the numbers. We’ve seen it fluctuate and so we may see some numbers going down even before that time…. And at the end of the day, as long as we continue to vaccinate, we will get over this,” he told reporters Tuesday.