0

Officials claim COVID cases now in decline

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

AHEAD of tomorrow’s general election, the Ministry of Health said yesterday there has been a “notable decrease” in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, which it expects to be followed by a decline in the hospitalisation rate.

However, The Tribune’s analysis shows the decline in confirmed cases corresponds to a decline in testing for the virus. In fact, the COVID-19 positivity rate has shown no sign of regression in recent weeks - it stood at 26 percent for the most recent seven-day reporting period, the second highest weekly positivity rate in the last six weeks.

The Ministry of Health did not discuss the positivity rate in its statement but highlighted a graph that shows COVID-19 cases began to plateau during the first two weeks of August.

“It is noteworthy to mention that for the next four weeks or four reporting cycles, there was a decrease in the number of cases,” the ministry said. “This result has been the effect of the aggressive vaccination campaign implemented by the government. It was previously predicted that once a reasonable percentage of citizens and residents become vaccinated, such a result would be experienced.

“Even though there is a decrease in COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations continue to increase. It is expected that as the COVID-19 cases continue to decrease, there will be a decline in the hospitalisations reported. The Bahamas experienced a peak of 40 deaths during the week of August 22. As the cases continue to decrease, it is also expected that the number of deaths will decrease,” the Ministry of Health said.

The Ministry of Health said it analysed COVID-19 data for the period of January 1 - September 12, 2021. During this period there were some 11,584 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 302 deaths and on average 54 persons hospitalised per week, it said.

Experts believe the positivity rate is an important COVID-19 indicator and the World Health Organisation recommends that countries keep that rate below five percent.

The Bahamas has seen a gradual decline in confirmed COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, from 892 in the week beginning August 17 to 655 in the week beginning September 7. However, the positivity rate has changed little during these periods, standing at 26.7 percent during the August 17 week and 26.3 percent during the September 7 week, according to this newspaper’s analysis.

Dr Sabriquet Pinder-Butler, head of the Consultant Physicians Staff Association, said yesterday that the positivity rate is “absolutely” a better indicator of the COVID-19 situation in the country than the raw number of confirmed cases even as she stressed that many people with COVID-19 are likely not getting tested.

“We always have to remember two things, that one, the testing or the counts that the ministry has are related to the PCR test and we have always had challenges with the translation of numbers versus actual cases because not all patients get PCR tested,” she said.

“We always know numbers are higher than what is reflected because not all patients are having the tests done. The other component is that persons who have to pay for testing have been paying more for rapid tests than they have been for the PCR test and their results aren’t reflected in the data. People may know someone who has tested positive and rather than get tested themselves, they assume they have COVID and just quarantine. The raw numbers do not always add up because of those factors. We also know that sometimes there is a reporting lag with testing.

“What I’m seeing in clinics and from physicians and colleagues in the hospital is that we’re seeing quite a significant number of cases. The hospitalisation rate is an indication of the type of COVID-19 circumstance we’re dealing with. If hospitalisation numbers are going up I would think it means you still have a number of people out there with the virus who haven’t been confirmed.

“If I know that seven out of ten people are supposed to do well and two or three people are not going to do well, then if my two to three factors are going up then that still means the other seven people have to be out there and the question is, why am I missing them? Am I not looking for them? Because of the level of community spread, we don’t have a robust surveillance team because we’re into vaccinations and to holding down people who have COVID. We’re not able to properly contact trace because of the level of widespread community involvement. That’s why testing is really important.”

According to The Tribune’s analysis, the positivity rate in each of the last six reporting periods stood as 26.3 percent, 24.7 percent, 24.8 percent, 26.7 percent, 23.6 percent and 25.5 percent.

The Minnis administration, meanwhile, will allow quarantined people to vote in tomorrow’s election alongside everyone else.

“It’s not something we encourage, not something we hope to happen,” Dr Pinder-Butler said. “Mentally, we are preparing ourselves for what could potentially be a trying situation in the country. We are already struggling and in other countries elections have led to surges.”

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is expected to address the nation about the COVID-19 situation today.

At last report, 182 people were in hospital with the virus while there have been 467 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Comments

carltonr61 11 months ago

The PCR test will not be able to distinguish Covid, cold, flu, seasonal repiratory ailments or hayfever till January 21/2020 CDC guidelines would then demand this as for eighteen months we have had zero colds, flu, sinusitis or seasonal respiratory challenges among our 400,00 population. Every thing is Covid. Throughout history come September with the opening of the school calender we knew the kids would catch the cold and had medicines on hand. Never failed.

0

carltonr61 11 months ago

This school year historical eon years common cold season will be termed massive Covid spread and lead to forced lockdown then child forced vaccination because they always get sick then. Pediatricians who argue that childrens bodies are not smaller adult bodies but different in every way have been shuttered to silence. Bodies still in development one size will not fit all expecially pre/natal infant exposure to adult doses of zero time tested mRNA experiments.

1

carltonr61 11 months ago

Marijuana usage will not impact an adult over the age of 25 years but will impact teens mathematical, intellectual and emotional reasoning because of brain development in progress. The unknown dynamics of the multigenerational impact of these brand new vaccines is still being written. Being gong ho toward child vaccination is violently argued among doctors as precipitously dangerous and morso profit over health in life value. Furthermore governments like Israel is letting massive data drive their talking points. We see no written data evidenceprovided for anything, not even Delta being here. Just bloody fear pornography whips on our backs to vaccinate. Fear is a primal instinct that is easily manipulated upon as it alone drives our love for life and not harm our children. It however is being unfairly and criminally manipulated.

1

JokeyJack 11 months ago

With all the massive uncountable hundreds of thousands, even millions of Covid deaths here, how come there are still a few people living? Apartment rent should be lower, yes? No?

0

carltonr61 11 months ago

Yes. 99.9999999% of The Bahamian population does not exist and died from Covid. You are correct. Just pick a house, most are empty.

1

JokeyJack 11 months ago

Thank you sir. Your kindness is only exceeded by your gentlemanliness.

0

whogothere 11 months ago

We have our pick of whole island now..life never so good...but with less people around the government - winner winer chicken dinner - will have to raise taxes...or maybe it's just all side walks they built...

0

M0J0 11 months ago

lol quite intresting that only before election all seems to be well when just last week it was a push to get all vaccinated because unvax have the hospital full. wow.

1

JokeyJack 11 months ago

Minnis supposed to speak tonight. I think he dont wanna feel shame when Lincoln wins and removes all curfews. So my bet is he will remove them tonight just in case. But if there more fools in the Bahamas than we can afford to pottie train, and FNM does win then curfews will go back in place on Friday.

0

TalRussell 11 months ago

Hope we colony's PopoulacesEligibleToVote is sufficiently savvy to block out this electioneering — ill-timed health officials statement and treat it with the contempt it deserves. — The Book of Isaiah, is an awesome must-read choice to surrender your mind to, on this 2021 Election Eve. — It is the Old Testament prophet, whose words were preserved to jog both your positive —and negative memories — over the days, weeks, hours, and minutes, since —10 Day of May 2017. — This message will more resonate with our out islander Abacoians, and Grand Bahamalanders, — who continue with post-Hurricane and now, — Covid struggles. Yes?

0

licks2 11 months ago

Boy. . .what a bouncha ninnies yall could be!! And this reporter if he would go and do some "real" review of the data from Jan 2021 to Sept 2021 he would not be writing this stupid stuff!!

The Correlation coefficient for the data supports the Department of Health's asessments of covid19 current status are accurate. . .they mirror the international data set for the Bahamas as it does for all other nations affected by covid! Our reporter just don't understand the concept of correlation coefficient in data measurements. He should have gotten each data point for testings and positivity rates and calculate the slope for himself before making his assertion that the Department is not telling the truth in its data aessments! And the rest er yinna just followed him like a buncha a "blind" peoples dem!!

International tracking has the Bahamas at about 56% of its peak (196 cases peak) on 11 August, 2021. Vaccines count is now at 20.2% (164,000+) and climbing!! Testing rates remains cyclical but averaging 300 to 400 daily. It is called "getting ya stuff right".

Just let me "learn yinna" a thing or two. Check this out!! 9 of Sept the over all count was 19,335(268 tested). . .sept 10 at 19,440(438 tested). . .Sept 11 at 19,515(324 tested) and Sept 12 at 19,601(122 tested). Do the math. . .for once in yinna life!!

0

ThisIsOurs 11 months ago

The exposed vulnerable people dead. The 5th wave gonna get the people who was lock inside for a year. Good going

0

whogothere 11 months ago

seasonality is a bitch...but so it bad policy and cancer..

0

ThisIsOurs 11 months ago

"However, The Tribune’s analysis shows the decline in confirmed cases corresponds to a decline in testing for the virus. In fact, the COVID-19 positivity rate has shown no sign of regression in recent weeks - it stood at 26 percent for the most recent seven-day reporting period, the second highest weekly positivity rate in the last six weeks"

Good going Tribune and Rashad Rolle for not accepting what they say as gospel and examining the data trends yourselves

0

whogothere 11 months ago

1.5 years later is better late than never...how much of the decline is also to the collapse of tourism during hurricane season I wonder..versus curfews and BS>...

0

ThisIsOurs 11 months ago

these 9PM, no 10PM, no seriously 9PM curfews literally do nothing. well... wrong theyre pandemic propoganda, the appearance of doing something when in actual fact theyre just waiting for the virus to run its course

0

SP 11 months ago

Just in time for the election! Absolute convenient steaming horse nanny...Lol

0

joeblow 11 months ago

... the numbers are down, just in time to go up again 10-14 days after election as an election induced 4th wave begins. The competent authority would not let you risk you life to go to work, open your business or stay out after 9 pm, but you can risk you life to vote. What a considerate guy!

0

ThisIsOurs 11 months ago

That would be the 5th wave. The 4th wave started with homeporting The 3rd wave was ending at the end of June. it never bottomed out because the cruise Petri dishes arrived

0

TalRussell 11 months ago

Wasn't it like just a week back when someone was dumpster diving in FREEport when it was discovered a parked refrigerated trailer — full Hurricane Dorian deaded?
— Comrades, the Hurricane, just had its 2 year anniversary, — and you're tellin' me that the Popoulaces are still willing to believe their Dashboards on Covid's deaded.
— There is also a Graveyard, the only Abaco project that was fully completed by the government, post-Hurricane Dorian — and 55 of the 65 graves, are tagged as, — Here lies but one of Abaco's, many unidentified Hurricane Dorian — deaded. — Yes?

0

whogothere 11 months ago

So true (except for covid deaths prod - sure over count)..I met first responders that walked through settlements full of floating dead bodies - tribune nor EW nor Guardian have ever published the true extent of mortality from that storm..terrible..

0

Sign in to comment