THE Ministry of Health and Wellness has clarified that COVID-19 deaths have not increased as the country battles its latest surge of infections.
In a statement released yesterday, the ministry said several deaths that were previously under investigation from previous waves were recently reclassified as coronavirus related, therefore pushing virus related fatalities to 810 to date.
The figure was arrived at after two data cleaning exercises were recently conducted by health officials.
“Deaths added to the count have been the reclassification of deaths under investigation that occurred in the second, third and fourth waves,” the ministry said. “As part of its processes to ensure accurate reporting of data, the National Surveillance Unit has undertaken to resolve the number of deaths under investigation that occurred during the pandemic.
“Two recent exercises have been completed. In the first exercise, eleven deaths under investigation were reviewed and of these, eight were reclassified as COVID-19 related deaths. All of these reclassified deaths occurred during the second wave of the pandemic and were confined to the period 2nd July, 2020 and 4th March, 2021. This batch of reclassified deaths were reported on 29th April, 2022. These eight deaths from the second wave were reported at the same time as three COVID-19 related deaths that occurred between 29th March and 11th April 2022,” health officials added.
“In the second exercise, the Surveillance Unit was able to report the re-classification of a further fifteen deaths under investigation. As a result, the total new number of COVID-19 related deaths had increased by nine to 810. These deaths were added to the total COVID-19 deaths on 18th May, 2022 and occurred in the third and fourth waves during the period from 9th September 2021 and 11th February, 2022.”
Noting that even one death is too many, the ministry reminded people that vaccinations have been proven to be effective in reducing the risks of hospitalisations and deaths.
“Vaccines are available throughout the Commonwealth and we encourage Bahamians everywhere who have not been vaccinated to do so,” the ministry added.
At the last report, over 165,000 people were said to have been fully vaccinated against the virus, comprising just over 51 percent of the eligible persons in the country.
People are encouraged to visit the nation’s online vaccination site vax.gov.bs to book a vaccination appointment.