Local and intl. data show young people spreading virus in second wave
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bains and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson yesterday encouraged young people, who have been drivers of the second wave of COVID in The Bahamas and elsewhere, to be responsible to protect those more at risk as the country partially reopens next week.
“I think we owe and have a tremendous responsibility to be able to stem the spread of this virus in the second wave, as all indications point to us young people being some of the lead spreaders; and particularly as young people, as some reports point to, are the asymptomatic individuals.”
“It is important for us to be responsible, to be compassionate toward other persons who do not have the luxury of an immune system such as young persons who are relatively healthy.
“I know just like me many of them want to get back to partying; socializing; having a good time; going to the restaurants and living your young adult life,
“But in order to get there, we have to take full responsibility individually — each one of us — and understand the important role that we play in stemming the tide of this coronavirus second wave here in The Bahamas.”
Robinson reminded the public to adhere to all protocols and remain vigilant with sanitization and social distancing.
During a virtual press briefing, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr Carissa Etienne said young people were being disproportionally affected, as she underscored the doubling of cases and deaths in the region in the last six weeks.
She said the “vast majority” of reported cases of the virus in the Americas had been among those aged between 19 and 59, but almost 70 percent of deaths have been among individuals 60 years old and older.
“This indicates that younger people are primarily driving the spread of the diseases in our region,” said Etienne, who highlighted the growth of cases in The Bahamas since the reopening of its borders on July 1.
Localized Ministry of Health data presented on Monday during a joint press briefing is consistent with PAHO’s findings.
According to the Ministry of Health data, the vast majority of cases in The Bahamas in the ongoing second wave were among individuals aged between 20 and 60 — 1,035 cases.
Comparative analysis of the first wave, which spans mid-March through the end of June, and the second wave shows older people being predominantly impacted in the earlier months, while the virus was spread across age groups in the ongoing second wave.
For example, in the first wave, 51 percent of cases were among individuals age 50 through 90.
That age grouping represents 28 percent of cases in the second wave.
Individuals aged between 20 and 49 represent 67 percent of cases in the second wave, compared to 46 percent in the first wave.
Yesterday, Robinson encouraged Bahamians, particularly young people, to adhere to all health guidelines and to continue to be vigilant with mask-wearing, sanitization and social distancing protocols.