16 more COVID cases confirmed, one imported

16 more COVID cases confirmed, one imported

Review ongoing of 15 suspected COVID deaths 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas recorded 16 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, according to the Ministry of Health.

Of those cases, there were 13 on New Providence, one on Grand Bahama, one on Abaco and one with a location pending.

Among the 13 new infections on New Providence, one case was imported.

Total cases now stand at 8,419, of which 1,019 were active.

Another 7,168 cases have recovered.

This represents a recovery rate of 85 percent.

Recoveries once again outpaced new confirmed cases, with 20 additional recovered cases on Thursday.

Seventeen cases remain hospitalized.

Three of them remain in the Intensive Care Unit at Doctor’s Hospital.

There have been 179 confirmed deaths.

Fifteen deaths remain under investigation.

Of the deaths under investigation, Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan said the review was ongoing, but health officials continue to keep them on their radar to ensure the classification is performed for all deaths.

“We have a group that actually carries out the review of each of those deaths,” she said during a Ministry of Health press conference on Thursday.

“That includes the pathologists, it includes clinicians, it includes public persons [who] review the necessary documentation related to each of the deaths.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan at a COVID-19 update press conference on Thursday, February 18, 2021. (BIS PHOTO/ULRIC WOODSIDE)

“Once that has occurred, then we are in a position to say, yes this is a COVID death or no.

“We would have, I think a week or so ago, maybe, maybe more now, you would have noticed that number would have decreased, in part because that ongoing process continues to move.

“It would be good if immediately we would be in a position to say yes or no, but some cases require a more in-depth review and we give the team an opportunity to do that.

“But, believe [me], we are keeping that on our radar and we are seeking to ensure every one of those deaths are classified.”

A total of 38 people who contracted the virus have died from other illnesses, with those deaths being defined as non-COVID-related deaths.

More than 65,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed.

This includes testing in the private sector.

There were 343 tests completed on Thursday.

Of these, two were repeated tests.

This indicates a case positivity rate of just over four percent — in line with international standards.

The Bahamas is expected to get 100,000 doses of Oxford’s AstraZeneca vaccine in two tranches this month.

According to health officials, the vaccine will be rolled out in a six-week period, prioritizing certain groups such as healthcare and frontline workers, those with comorbidities, essential workers and others.

However, vaccine hesitancy among some groupings may prove a challenge for the vaccine program.

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