NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Delon Brennen said today it will take another couple of weeks to determine the impact of the latest nationwide lockdown.
The order expires tomorrow morning, but the country will remain under 24-hour curfew.
The measures appear to have slowed the acceleration of cases of COVID-19, which has remained somewhat “steady” in comparison to other countries.
However, Brennen said: “There has not necessarily been a slowdown as of yet. It’s more of sort of a staying steady with our accumulation of cases.
“There is still to consider some shorter periods and some longer periods because remember the incubation period is about 14 days; … and some of those would be overlap of others.
He continued: “So, in our general trend that we are looking at now it is probably steady, which is a good thing when you consider some of the trends where you have seen a sharp escalation in the numbers.”
It was pointed out that on Passover, former Chief Medical Officer Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis said COVID-19 cases in the country were expected to at least double by Easter Weekend.
At the time, there were 40 confirmed cases in The Bahamas.
As of 11am today, there were 47 cases in The Bahamas — 39 in New Providence, six in Grand Bahama and two in Bimini.
To this, Brennen said: “I think it is indicative of the fact that our policies that have been put in place are slowing the acceleration in cases that we have seen or that the models have shown us in other jurisdictions.”
Asked whether it was advisable for The Bahamas to remain under complete lockdown as opposed to the 24-hour curfew, Brennen said the measures appear to be working, but it will take more time — another 14 days — to determine the impact of the complete lockdown.
“We are not necessarily at that point yet, [as] we would have to see what actually happened,” Brennen noted.
“We will actually look at some statistics.”
Trend in cases
The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in The Bahamas on March 13, and announced to the public on March 15.
It was another three days before the second and third cases were reported to the public.
Within five days of the first infection, there were still only four confirmed cases.
But that figure quickly rose in the days that followed.
Between March 25 and March 30, nine additional cases were confirmed.
And between March 31 and April 5, there were another 15 cases in both New Providence and Grand Bahama.
As of April 3, 281 tests had been carried out.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced a complete shutdown of all business in The Bahamas on April 3, with the exception of certain essential services, beginning that night until 5am on April 6.
Five more cases were confirmed over that lockdown period.
In the following 10 days — between March 25 and April 4 — cases jumped from five to 28, an increase of 23 cases or more than 400 percent.
Last week Monday, the prime minister announced additional emergency measures, inclusive of another round of complete lockdowns to “save lives and to protect health”.
At the time, Minnis expressed concern about asymptomatic carriers of the virus, whom he referred to as “super spreaders”.
A five-day nationwide lockdown was announced for April 8 through April 14.
Between April 5 and April 10, there were 13 more cases of the virus confirmed.
However, only seven more cases were confirmed during the latest complete lockdown.
As previously reported, complete lockdowns will take place each weekend, for the remainder of April — from 9pm on Friday to 5am each Monday.
Of the 47 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, 26 were women and 21 were men.
The youngest infected was a nine-year-old girl.
All other cases were above the age of 25.
The oldest case reported was a 91-year-old man, who died last Tuesday.
Minnis is expected to deliver a national address at 6pm.