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Delta Variant Now At Large: Health Officials Confirm Feared Version Of Virus Has Been Detected Here

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE highly contagious Delta variant is the predominant strain in The Bahamas, the Ministry of Health confirmed yesterday, after getting back genomic sequencing results from samples sent to a laboratory in Brazil.

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The announcement comes as 104 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the latest dashboard for September 7. The number of hospitalised cases also ticked upwards for a new record of 193, including 15 people in the intensive care unit.

To date, 453 people have died from COVID-19.

Large crowds have been seen gathering for recent political events such as motorcades and drive-in rallies, while thousands of people are expected to vote in today’s advance poll ahead of next week’s general election.

 Health officials have again urged people to avoid large groups of more than five people and to remain at least six feet away from others.

 The ministry said in a statement: “The National Reference Laboratory submitted 98 SARS-CoV-2 virus-positive samples to the FIOCRUZ Laboratory for genomic sequencing. The samples were collected between May 6, 2021 and August 8, 2021 from individuals on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Andros, Eleuthera, Exuma and Bimini.”

 Of the 98 samples, 41 showed sequencing for the Delta variant, 39 for the Alpha variant while one was positive for the Gamma strain.

 The Ministry of Health said there remains 18 samples going through the genomic testing process.

 “The new sequencing results confirm that the Delta variant is the predominant variant in The Bahamas, followed by the Alpha and Gamma variants,” the ministry said. “It is noteworthy to mention that the Alpha variant is more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus, and the Delta variant is known to be more transmissible than the Alpha variant. Consequently, all major health facilities in New Providence and Grand Bahama are experiencing increased numbers of cases, hospital admissions and deaths due to COVID-19.”

 Health officials had long suspected the Delta variant was in the country, but was awaiting confirmation from the Brazil lab.

 Officials said while the healthcare system is overburdened, those displaying coronavirus symptoms should not delay seeking medical attention.

 “The health care system of both the public and private sectors is now severely challenged and overburdened, and as a result, non-COVID-19 cases requiring health care are at risk of not being able to access life-saving health care,” the Ministry of Health said.

 “Given the predominance of these highly transmissible variants in the country, it is essential to seek medical care early and avoid home remedies that delay accessing medical care. Do not delay seeking medical help if you experience signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Contact your healthcare provider or nearest public health clinic for more information.”

 Health officials asked people to adhere to health protocols.

 “Additionally, we strongly encourage all citizens and residents of The Bahamas to be vaccinated,” the ministry said. “COVID-19 vaccinations are proven to be safe. They are known to decrease the severity of illness, hospitalisations, and deaths, if infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and all its variants. To book an appointment visit vax.gov.bs or make a walk-up appointment.”

 According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant is highly contagious, “more than 2x as contagious as previous variants”.

 The CDC also says “some data suggest the Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous variants in unvaccinated people.” The agency said while fully vaccinated people with breakthrough cases due to the Delta strain can spread the virus to others, “vaccinated people appear to spread the virus for a shorter time”.

 “The greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people who are much more likely to get infected, and therefore transmit the virus,” the CDC’s website says. “Fully vaccinated people get COVID-19 (known as breakthrough infections) less often than unvaccinated people. People infected with the Delta variant, including fully vaccinated people with symptomatic breakthrough infections, can transmit the virus to others.”

Comments

observer2 1 month, 1 week ago

I am not a Doctor but it seems to me that the General Election on September 16 will be the Mother of all Super Spreader Events.

Everything has aligned against voting being done safely starting with delta, political rallies and motorcades laying the unfortunate ground work for the final event.

On September 16 all 200,000 Bahamian adults will wait in long lines in the hot sun, file into small rooms filled with ppl, touch multiple documents touched by others then go home to our respective families.

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

And if cases and deaths aren't catapulted to the stratosphre given that (if by some miracle) many people may have antibodies in spite of their vaccination status or that covid doesn't spread well out doors - can we agree it's time to let it go a move on - recognising seasonal spikes occur but they subside and generally fairly predictable? Children can go to school and masks outside is unreasonable and unpractical, that curfews are pointless but maybe ban air conditioned dancehalls and churches?

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

WTF. Who is in charge??? From March I said something different is happening, people are dying. Its August. They waited 6 months on this late again data to mount a response? I cry shame on every single MP who sat with their mouth zipped up for 5 years. 500 once vibrant people are now dead and more to come. Thats the cost of your silence

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Honestman 1 month, 1 week ago

It is a totally shameful decision by the FNM to hold an election at this time. The boat is sinking and we are arguing about who should be captain??

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 month, 1 week ago

They just don't care. All he wanted to do was prevent people from voting. Especially all those young first time voters, he was afraid he didn't have support. Which is just a cowardly move to me.
If you so shaky, that you would do anything to hold on to power, you don't deserve to be leader. I can't see Minnis keeping his seat, even if the FNM wins. I'd be really disappointed.

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

Sinking? It's on rocks and scuttled it's just all the passengers and crew were none the wiser. Guess what it wasn't covid that did it - political response to that situation and many others. In sum debt, years of corruption and a leadership...take ya money outta da bank people because inflation and devaluation coming soooon....

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Baha10 1 month, 1 week ago

Well put Honestman … perhaps too honest and well put! 🤔

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

More contagious and but not more deadly and basically laughs at vaccination status...

Latest report from UK dropped we can not examine data between July 20th and August 20th. During that period 70% of deaths due to the delta variant where among the vaccinated, normalising for population size (ie numbers among the vaxxed and unvaxxed population) the deaths per million were almost exactly the same. Vaccination seemingly has not made difference to overall fatality in the respective populations.

The number of infections amongst unvaccinated where considerably higher, however that could the outcome of the testing policies for those that were unvaccinated. Case fatalities rates were higher amongst under 50 year olds that were vaccinated but overall very very low in both populations. CFI was significantly higher among the over 50's that were unvaccinated. Given the rate of 90+% vaccination rate in 50+ age group this reflects that many unvaccinated 50+ year old were likely too ill to receive the vaccine - typically those that are hospitalised for other illness are not vaccinated until they have recovered...if too feeble for vaccination it makes easy work for covid. So the outcome is again not surprising.

The delta virus has been here for as long as it has been in the USA...why we are only hearing about it now is really just testament of how woefully unprepared and overwhelmed the our health care system is...

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user123 1 month, 1 week ago

with respect...you are missing a key point here. The reason you have a similar number of vaccine deaths is that the vaccine rollout in the UK was by age. Older people are double vaccinated, younger people (under thirty) not so much. As you know this disease is more deadlier the older that you are. Young people in the UK getting Delta were less likely to end up with a serious infection due to age rather than vaccination status...thus a majority of the seriously ill and subsequently those that died, were older vaccinated patients or older unvaccinated patients. Likely due to breakthrough infection or indeed waning immunity due to age.

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

Respectfully (typos aside) I think we either agree or you have missed the point which - 'yes' is old people pass - covid or not, vaccinated or not...THEREFORE..forcefully mandating vaccines or interrupting those in society that don't wish to get vaccinated in order to force vaccination - is not going to make a difference in the long run...Vaccination effacy fades more quickly in the old the people that need protection the most and vaccination does very little to stop transmission in young people who are already mostly protected by youth and/or health...Universal vaccination is there a colossal waste of resources in the long(er)(6+ Months) term.

The MOST important covid fact/trend is emerging - Seasonality appears to have more of great bearing on risk then vaccination or mask or social distancing - it is so coincidence that cases raise in the south when it's hotter and people spend more time indoors and air conditioning and in the north people spend time indoors to stay warm...Mitigation Policy have failed to take this into account - it is fundamental to epidemiology but yet the political medical community seems to be largely ignoring it...

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

You may have misinterpreted the "summer effect". with school vacation periods more families are travelling.

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

I would weight it to that it any other year (as with a normal flu season) - but human behaviour has changed - lack of income, expense of testing and general tediousness of travel I think overshadows that..Plus school be out for a long long long time...the emphasis here is in the Bahamian context

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JokeyJack 1 month, 1 week ago

"To date, 453 people have died from COVID-19."

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL 453 LOL LOL LOL

So that is supposed to be a lot of people after a year and a half? Plus we all know that a lot of them died from other illnesses but it just so happened that they caught Covid in hospital and tested positive before (or after) they died. So they died "with" Covid, not from it.

I'm watching out for invisible dinosaurs. Somebody told me that they are tiptoeing around all over town, walking carefully not to crush vehicles in the street - but you have to be careful that they don't step on you. It's terrible that you can't see them - but know that they are there. Watch out !!!!!!!

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ohdrap4 1 month, 1 week ago

"To date, 453 people have died from COVID-19."

Does that include George Floyd?

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

453 is alot of people. I remember visiting Jamaica in 1993 and hearing a news broadcast about 300 murders. It was unbelievable I actually thought it was a joke, how could 300 people have been murdered in a year? Well, today we well on our way. If you or I knew just 3 of those people personally, much less if all 3 were in our immediate families (which has happened), it would seem like the wotld was coming to an end. The fact that 453 seems small to you just says how desensitized to death we've become.

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

1500 people will have died of heart disease in the same period…1200 of cancer…the fact that 453 seems so big to you shows how COVID has monopolized the health narrative.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

Im quite sensitive to the number of persons dying from obesity triggered diseases. That's why I speak about it so often.

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

I know which I'm surprised by your stance that 453 is "a lot"

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Bobsyeruncle 1 month, 1 week ago

@Whogothere. You should be looking at, (and posting about), the total picture, and not just saying "70% of deaths due to delta variant were among the unvaccinated" so you can promote fear and promote not getting vaccinated, (which is what you're really trying to achieve.

Firstly, that 70% is actually 65.9%, but I'll let you get away with rounding up, as I'd probably do the same. Of those "70%" 54.1% were FULLY vaccinated (2 doses) whilst the rest had only received their first dose i.e. NOT fully vaccinated

Also, consider this:

12 months ago, 100% of COVID related death were among the unvaccinated. There was no vaccine available 12 months ago so no deaths could be associated with the vaccinated.

Now, let's suppose 12 months from now every single person on the planet is fully vaccinated. (It's not going to happen, but for purposes of illustration, let's imagine it to be true). If that were the case 100% of COVID related deaths would be in vaccinated people.

Since 80% of the UK population over 16 have now been fully vaccinated, you are going to see a higher percentage of COVID deaths in the vaccinated rather than the unvaccinated. It's basic math my friend.

Quoting percentages is a very dangerous game unless you put them in perspective, which you always flatly refuse to do.

Here's another example of why just quoting percentages is plain stupid.

In 1950, 100% of people killed in automobile accidents were not wearing seat belts (no seat belt laws)

In 1990, 100% of people killed in automobile accidents were wearing seatbelts (seat belt laws in effect)

In 2020, 100% of people killed in automobile accidents were wearing seatbelts and in cars fitted with airbags. As you can see, just quoting the percentage does not show the positive effect of introducing seat belt laws, or having airbags in vehicles. Or, perhaps if we use your critical thinking skills, we should not bother with seatbelts or airbags?

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

Actually Bobby again overlooking the deets my friend..read the post again I note I ve normalized for population sizes of vaxxed and unvaxxed persons. People are dying of covid in the same ratio overall in those two populations per million. I applied vaxxed and unvaxxed population to relative deaths between aug 20 and July 20th. If you d like I d give you math but on phone at mo at tedious with the thumbs - bottom line vaccination hasn’t made a difference in the outcomes - and we ll see but seems like seasonal trend continues and so far daily covid deaths are higher than this time last year…if that’s success i d hate to see failure..

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Bobsyeruncle 1 month, 1 week ago

I beg to differ on the deets.
Please explain your normalizing process and the numbers you used. I'm pretty good at Math, so don't be afraid. Did you normalize for age ?

Looking at the Feb-August numbers, 489 of 742 people (65.9%) who died of the delta variant within 28 days of a positive covid test had received at least one dose. 402 of 742 people (54.1%) had received both doses. Tell me what the actual numbers were (not percentages) for the same period (normailzing for season) in 2020.

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whogothere 1 month, 1 week ago

Sure thing bobby have a gander - math isn’t my strong suit- so happy to hear your thoughts.

Firstly clarification on position - I was examining a specific period July 20th to August 20th - ie the difference between TB 22 and TB20. Why? because 4 months earlier is when UK hit 50% of population vaccinated and so a sizeable portion of those vaxxed would be in the period when vax efficacy is being shown to collapse.

Secondly You seem to be looking at an old briefing - TB 20 - which are from actually Feb - July 20th - so little out behind the times. I know a habit of yours (wink) but let’s look at the most recent report which is TB22* and brings us to August 20th.

Soo to it - parameters from TB 22 are the following..

Total Delta Deaths : 1,798 Vaccinated (2 doses) Deaths: 1,091 (60%) Unvaccinated (no doses): 536 (30%)

England Population: 56,550,138 as of mid 2020 ‘Vaxxed’ with 2 doses as of August 20th: 34,445,109** ‘Unvaxed’ Total: 32,685,516

So standardising in terms of mortality rates per million in unvaccinated and vaccinated populations you get the following:

1,091 / 34,445,109 x 1 million = 31.7 Vaccinated Delta deaths per million 536 / 32,685,516 x 1 million = 24.2 Unvaccinated Delta deaths per million

…hmmm it appears that in fact vaccinated ARE dying in much higher level per their respective populations than the unvaccinated…You can show me how to normalise for age and all that jazz - thats not my wheel house.

* https://assets.publishing.service.gov...">https://assets.publishing.service.gov...

** https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics...">https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics...

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Bobsyeruncle 1 month, 1 week ago

Friend, I can't fault your Math, but I think I have a problem with your method.

Firstly, when you assume that the Vax efficacy is, in your words, ‘collapsing’ after 4 months, it is a HUGE assumption on your part, with no data to support it. Not saying it can’t be so, but IMO it’s just guesswork on your part.

If you’re trying to determine which deaths in August were in the proportion of people who were vaccinated 4 months earlier, then you have to have the mortality numbers specific to that data set, you can’t use the mortality numbers for the August period because you don’t know when those people were all vaccinated.

Another issue with your method, is you’ve used the whole of the population of England, when in fact you should be using the population over 16, since no-one under 16 is eligible to be vaccinated.

Additionally, age is a huge factor when looking at the data. The older you get, the more likely you are at risk of death from COVID. Since the number of vaxxed is disproportionately higher in the elderly, and the number of unvaxxed disproportionately higher in the younger, these really skew the data.

Lastly, your numbers for unvaxxed & vaxxed are from August 20th, but your mortality data is from July 20th to August 20th. You can’t choose a specific date for one of your variables and a range of dates for another, that just doesn’t work, especially since the number of vaccinated changed by 4 million (nearly 10% of the whole population) over that time period.

In all honesty, I think the statistical interpretation of the data, given all the variables, is well above both our pay grades and we should leave that job to the professionals.

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joeblow 1 month, 1 week ago

...two interesting articles I recently came across.

1) Moderna just announced they have $15 billion (with a 'B') available in cash as of August 31!

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mod...">https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mod...

2) Resurgence of covid in vaccinated healthcare workers

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056...">https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056...

Each can draw their own conclusions!

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

In the Talk Radio Politics Free September 9, 2021 meantime — I goin' be honest with you. — Shoutout to talkie Radio Show Host, Comrade Juan, who is enjoying pokin' fun at — The Blackout Code does establish regulatory standards against talkin' bouts anything **but anti-Red politics?
The Code is working so well silencing the RedParty's election critics — don't be shocked if Mr. Minnis, doesn't already has the office of the prime minister — seeking extensions to the number 2021 election Blackout silence of blow by blow anti-Minnis red days, — Yes?

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JokeyJack 1 month, 1 week ago

Oh, one more thing, if so may people are dying - how come rents aren't coming down?

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

If you believe the bible in the end times inflation will soar

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John 1 month, 1 week ago

As long as they continue this mass vaccine drive and vaccinate everybody campaign then of course more stronger variants will develop. They are now reporting that the MU variants have been detected in at least 46 states in the USA. Both Minnis and Dr Duane Sands are medical doctors so why do they remain with their heads stuck out-ofthe-sunshine and oblivious to hat is going on and when they are pressuring everyone to get vaccinated? The manufacturers of the vaccines say this is the wrong approach. VACCINATED PERSONS CANNOT ACHIEVE HERD IMMUNITY! Not by themselves. A population needs persons who have had the disease and recovered or have been exposed to the virus significantly to develop antibodies and now have natural immunity to achieve herd immunity. If you continue to vaccinate these people and suppress or destroy this natural immunity then the m longer the virus will linger and the more variants it will create and the less resistant vaccinated people will become. And the more people (yes vaccinated too) will become critically ill and the more will die! Just look and see what is happening in the UK and other highly vaccinated countries. Their numbers will flatten or go down slightly then climb back up. There is still time to avoid that happening here. Stop destroying natural immunity with these short-lived and unstable vaccines.

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GabrieleFoerster 1 month, 1 week ago

Quoting percentages is a very dangerous game unless you put them in perspective, which you always flatly refuse to do.

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ohdrap4 1 month, 1 week ago

Well many if the deaths have happened in the demographic that votes colors.

The ones left may change after having seen their church, work and party friends gone.

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