By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Ministry of Health reported 27 additional COVID-19 related deaths over the weekend, bringing the number of people who have died from the virus in the country to 439.
The ministry’s September 4 dashboard recorded 13 COVID-19 deaths. The dead include seven males and six females, who ranged in age from 49 to 68 years and died between August 7 and 30 after suffering from COVID-19 complications.
The deceased include ten residents of New Providence, two from Grand Bahama and a 40-year-old Andros woman who died on August 21.
Health officials also said two deaths that were previously under investigation have now been reclassified as COVID-19 deaths. These victims are both Grand Bahama residents; one is an 81-year-old man and a 67-year-old Grand Bahama woman who both died on August 17.
On the September 3 dashboard, 12 COVID-19 related deaths were recorded, including nine males and three females.
The youngest was a 35-year-old man who died on August 28, while the oldest victim was an 83-year-old woman who died on August 30. Ten of the patients who lost their battle with COVID-19 resided in the capital. Andros and Exuma each reported one COVID-19 related death. The Ministry of Health also reported 87 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, pushing the nation’s overall coronavirus tally to 18,853.
Seventy-two of the new cases were recorded in New Providence, 10 in Grand Bahama, two in Abaco and one case each in Eleuthera, Berry Islands and Exuma. Six of the newly confirmed cases had a history of travel in the past two weeks.
Officials said 3,279 cases are still active, with 175 people in hospital sick with the virus. Of that figure, a total of 21 patients have been admitted to the intensive care unit of medical facilities in New Providence and Grand Bahama for treatment.
The country recorded 72 new cases of the virus on September 3, with 61 coming out of the capital, five cases coming out of Grand Bahama, two in Abaco and one each in Eleuthera and Cat Island.
On September 2, 118 newly confirmed cases were reported; 100 of which came out of New Providence. Eleuthera and Long Island also reported four new cases each while six additional cases were said to come out of Cat Island and Andros.
Officials reported 116 new cases on September 1.
In an interview with The Tribune last week, Dr Nikkiah Forbes, the director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme at the Ministry of Health, said the death toll could increase as the virus continues to surge in the country.
She said the country was still seeing an increase in the number of cases, which put a “tremendous amount of pressure” on the healthcare system and all of the COVID care sites which 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,” she told this newspaper. “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.”
In its latest health bulletin, the Ministry of Health urged the public to adhere to the necessary restrictions and guidelines to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“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.”