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‘COVID SURGE HAS HIT THE BAHAMAS’: Death toll hits 800 - and 200 new cases so far this month

DR PHILLIP SWANN

DR PHILLIP SWANN

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

HEALTH officials yesterday confirmed that the country is in another surge of COVID-19 infections after more than 200 cases were confirmed so far this month. 

The revelation came as the country continued to record double digit numbers, with 27 cases on Wednesday and 24 on Tuesday, bringing the nation’s overall tally to 33,830 since the start of the pandemic.

There have also been two more virus related deaths confirmed, pushing the death toll to 800. The latest deceased victims were a 67-year-old woman and an 81-year-old man, both from Grand Bahama.

During a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday, Dr Phillip Swann, registrar at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, attributed the recent increase in virus cases to mostly “COVID fatigue.”

“We’re seeing it’s basically more related to COVID fatigue,” Dr Swann said yesterday. “There are persons who are pushing for mask mandates to be removed and some of them are just going on and removing those mask mandates themselves, so the reality is we strongly believe in the science and science is proving true.”

 According to Dr Swann, this surge is more manageable than previous COVID waves in that fewer people are requiring serious hospitalisation.

 Because of this, he said officials are not as concerned as they feel they have the COVID situation in the country under control.

 “There’s a surge occurring, but it’s not to the threshold where we are too concerned because it’s just cases. If we look around the globe, public health has moved away from the reactive posture when there’s an increase in the number of cases, you automatically shut down,” he told reporters yesterday. 

 “So, we usually respond to the burden of the health system to respond to managing the number of cases … and at this point and time, as being reported by our numbers we have zero persons who are actually in hospital requiring advanced care and the majority of persons who are in hospital who are on the hospitalisation list are there for another reason and not because they’re ill with COVID.”

 He was also asked about the number of people testing positive by way of the rapid antigen tests after concerns were raised about the issue last week.

 However, Dr Swann replied: “That number changes and so that’s a reason why we don’t want to report that number... so that answer is no, I won’t say how much it was because when we looked at it last week, it was one number and then when we looked at it again for last week or the week before last rather, it had increased significantly.”

 The slight rise in infection rates comes as countries around the world, including The Bahamas, continue to ease measures. 

 Yesterday, Dr Swann discussed the reasoning behind the relaxation of certain protocols in the country, especially as it relates to cultural events.

 “I think what we are trying to get across to the general population is that there is a measure of general responsibility that is required. We have experienced a pushback and the outcry from the public about being ‘under lockdown’ and ‘losses associated with that’ and with other finance and the ability to socialise and so when we make our decision and we take into consideration the applications that we received, we take into consideration the promises, I guess you can say, and the statements that are made by individuals in their applications,” he said.

 He also spoke about the festivities planned for Survival Weekend set for May 20-22 and concerns about this event resulting in an outbreak or spike of COVID-19.“We’ve taken into consideration that it’s an outdoor event and that it’s going over a long period of distance for say five to fifteen hundred persons and we’ve looked at other events that we would’ve approved in smaller confines to make a determination whether or not we feel that this event is substantially more risky than the other events and again, the approval to have the event is just that. It’s not a waiving of any of the public health measures that we have asked persons to adhere to.”

 According to Dr Swann, event promoters have requested for more people to attend the event, which was initially approved for 500. However, he said officials have not yet given them their decision.

 Earlier this month, organisers of the event said they were given approval for 1,200 attendees.

 The event is set for May 20-22.

Comments

bahamianson 1 month, 3 weeks ago

We need to put America at level 4 because they are transmitting covid like crazy. If they can put us on level 2 ,and we are still wearing masks and social distancing ,then we can put them on level 4.

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John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This lame government had sufficient time to take corrective actions. But they allow the tourists to come here and walk around with no masks. They are not enforcing quarantine for persons who WHo test positive. They continue to reduce travel restrictions. They approved what could be superspreader events, like carnival and beer festivals. Homecomings are already planned. But the biggest factor is the thousands of tourists coming from infected areas. And not just infected states but infections of new variants and strains. And they tell you the vaccines have zero effectiveness against these new variants. Then they tell you ‘come get vaccinated’. Then they tell you ‘O but quite a bit of the vaccines have expired because Bahamians have stopped taking them.’ Why take vaccines that are ineffective

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User1234 1 month, 3 weeks ago

explain Shanghai...China have banned international flights in and out since the start of the pandemic and yet huge swathes of the city are locked down...kind of disproves your theory about tourism doesn't it?

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KapunkleUp 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Not saying you're wrong but keep in mind that the Chinese government has insisted on using their local vaccine which is far inferior to western vaccines.

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ohdrap4 1 month, 3 weeks ago

not anymore.

3 times sinovac better then pfizer for t cell immunity.

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User1234 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I guess my point is, once the virus is in a population its in the population, if you can't locate absolutely everyone that has it (and China is a good example) then you have to live with it

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John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Does it? How comes the islands with few or no tourists have little or no Covid?

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 2 weeks ago

China hasn't banned International travel in totality since the start of the pandemic. Stop spreading mistruths. Even at this minute under an actual travel ban people are still allowed to travel internationally if they have justification. Secondly every country's story is different because our borders are different. "Our" story points directly at tourism related spikes

From 1918 intelligent people realized TRAVEL was the greatest risk of contagion spread. That's when they began quarantining travellers, i.e. sailors. What they also realized was quarantine was very difficult to maintain, humans always found ways around unnatural confinement

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John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Well actually no one ( or hardly anyone) is getting seriously ill and yes there are some Covid related deaths. So government may have a lazie faire approach: Let things work themselves out and not to intervene unless things get seriously out-of-control. This is the approach most of the world has adopted.. not to let Covid cripple the world anymore. Which is understandable… and many countries, Bahamas included, cannot afford more economic fallout from Covid. Bring on that happy face again.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago

We’re seeing it’s basically more related to COVID fatigue,” Dr Swann said yesterday. “There are persons who are pushing for mask mandates to be removed and some of them are just going on and removing those mask mandates themselves, so the reality is we strongly believe in the science and science is proving true.”"

the only COVID fatigue that's had an impact on number of cases is that from Chester Cooper and the hotel bosses because they tired tourists cant feel "free".

We have clear evidence that if there is no significant tourist influx and Bahamians party like its 1969, cases do NOT increase. October through February 2021.

It makes sense, once a variant cycles the community, there's no one else to infect. People could have 50 carnivals and cases wont go up. Youre basically in a natural bubble. The new cycle starts when that tourist infected with a NEW strain nobody see before crosses the border

Sure, it could be a Bahamian crossing the border with the new strain, but when you have over 100,000 tourists coming to the island in a month from the great land of source infections and I een wearing no mask, vs possibly 3000 bahamians travelling, the odds say who's more likely to be the carrier

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LastManStanding 1 month, 3 weeks ago

When are these people ever going to understand that BAHAMIANS ARE NOT ON YOUR RUN.

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ohdrap4 1 month, 3 weeks ago

John and Ours you need to chill.

What do you want? Lockdown? Zero Covid.

If people need to live with Covid, then do it.

Yes the tourists bring, but otherwise we end up eating breadbasket.

Just let it rip.

Omicrom BA2 is even milder than BA1.

The CDC can call any level. It list credibility among its own citizens and no one checking.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago

No. I dont want them to lockdown. Ive said over and over and over again that what's saving us now is the fact that the last 2 strains havent shown themselves to be deadly.

In fact, I point out tgat people can party without a spike, IF, we (either) remove tourist influx (or control it.)

What I address above is specifically interpretation of data. That's it. Nothing is more annoying than explanations that ignore data in front of our eyes. Especially when they pull out the why y'all cant behave card.

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rosiepi 1 month, 2 weeks ago

There is no data/evidence to back up your claims. There have been huge spikes on for example some of the family islands that were supposedly restricted to outsiders and/or tourists. Simply put the Bahamas needs to up its rate of vaccinations to stop serious complications and it’s mortality. Also studies prove there is no such thing as a ‘natural bubble’, or ‘natural immunity’ from a previous infection, once the vaccine and/or antibodies one wear off one can be reinfected by the same strain. No one can believe the numbers coming from the MOH as they do not include any deaths and cases diagnosed with gov’t issued or any kind of rapid tests.

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John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The country doesn’t need lockdown or zero Covid. But if you know the tourists are coming from the highly infected areas and you give them more freedom and latitude than Bahamians or even more than some have in the own country, then what messages are you sending? Don’t forget Bahamians are working in n those hotels and in Cable Beach and downtown where tourists wander around without masks. And they are known for walking up on people. And whilst the symptoms of these new Covid variants may be more mild, what abo the long term effects? And notice the Black tourists do wear masks.

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Comrades, what does it say about we colony's own now that an explosive' COVID-19 Outbreak has so alarmed North Korea's Kim Jong-un that the Supreme Leader has personally taken upon emself to publicly appear only if wearing a face covering .... But not even a death toll of 800+ motivates a single House-elected MP nor their lowly politically appointed sanctified after becoming fatigued-out on attending ribbon cutting ceremonies to thinks to lead by face covering example. ... Long Live On we Queen/King to save from declarant we colony a *Republic. ― Yes?

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ohdrap4 1 month, 3 weeks ago

That is what they were elected for.

To oust the elected medical dictators and shush the unelected ones.

Bahamian people smart. The Canadians and French just reelected their dictators.

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JokeyJack 1 month, 3 weeks ago

800 people have died from Covid since Wednesday? Is that what you're saying???? OMG that's terrible !!!

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John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

pandemic.

There have also been two more virus related deaths confirmed, pushing the death toll to 800 Reading is fundamental, but comprehension is key

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tribanon 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Communist Red China has our government treating us like lambs being led to the slaughter house. At least Swann isn't wearing a mask. LMAO

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The world clearly got it wrong. Decades from now they'll report on the millions of people who died from ventilator misuse at the start of COVID in 2020. Then they'll report on the strange phenomena that had countries following each other on doomed reopening strategies. Then they'll report on tourist economies who put economy above public health.

But, Long COVID is real, lots of people are being left with some really strange medical complications. Can you imagine eating making you sick post COVID? "Weird"

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ohdrap4 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Another thing is long vaccine adverse effects.

The nirdic countries have started reporting on it. But the studies are being shunned.

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tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

This by far the greatest risk for all those under age 65 without pre-existing high risk medical conditions who foolishly allowed themselves to be coerced into getting multiple jabs of these experimental vaccines.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 2 weeks ago

True. I get that medical professionals have to act even in the face of incomplete knowledge but this vaccine campaign and the refusal to listen to alternate ideas was anything but first do no harm

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SP 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The government certainly did all in its power to make damn sure this surge came!

As first-world countries were reporting new surges all over the globe, the PLP was busily rolling back Covid protocols as fast as they could.

The current surge was UNQUESTIONABLY intentionally motivated by hopes of getting their fat fingers on more rounds of Covid emergency relief funds to play with!!

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Now they're gonna work themselves into knots trying to explain why carnival is safe and increasing participation from 500 to 1200 makes sense. All while ignoring that their "controls" still resulted in a spike because nothing outsmarts COVID and a travel vessel

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carltonr61 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Global vaccine results are not being read by WHO PAHO and Bahamian doctors staying the Covid script narrative toward full vaccination for each human or be locked out of jobs and a life New World Order. This is the first time in world history that a vaccine is ultimate with no science correction.

https://m.theepochtimes.com/researche...">https://m.theepochtimes.com/researche...;

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