NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The number of COVID-19 cases in the country has climbed to 55, with the latest cases a 61-year-old woman in New Providence.
The woman has been hospitalized.
The government’s testing capacity is expected to increase this weekend as health officials target vulnerable groups to be tested to get a more representative samples of the COVID-19 infections in The Bahamas.
The initial groups to be tested, healthcare workers, those in assistance living homes, inmates at the Department of Correctional Services and
“We have the capacity to test all of them simultaneously,” Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands said during a broadcasted press conference on Thursday.
“We will target healthcare workers.
“We will target persons in assisting living homes.
“We will target those persons in the prison with a goal of expanding the total number of persons tested on a daily basis over time, and ultimately we will get to the point where we believe that we have an even more representative sample of what’s going on in our communities.”
There have been 55 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas — 46 in New Providence, seven in Grand Bahama, one in Bimini and one in Cat Cay.
Nine COVID-19 positive patients have died.
This puts The Bahamas CFR rate at around 14 percent.
The global projected standard is around four percent.
As pointed out by Sands yesterday, the majority of those who have died had underlying health problem, ranging from high blood pressure to diabetes and kidney failure.
Age was also a factor — the deceased ranged in age from 57 to 91.
Health officials have said the CFR rate is expected to do down once testing increases.
Cases of COVID-19 were projected to more than double by Easter Sunday; however, health officials asserted the five-day lockdown that began last week slowed the acceleration of cases.
Data modeling puts the number of cases — on The Bahamas’ continued track — at just over 100 in the next 30 days.
But former Chief Medical Officer Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis pointed out that if social distancing and other emergencies measures are not adhered to, cases could accelerate to beyond 160.
She said it is hopes this does not occur.
The government has over 7,000 PCR test kits, and 15,000 rapid test kits.
The latter have yet to be validated due to inconsistency with results and a lack of concordance with the PCR tests.
To shore up the healthcare sector in the event of a further “surge” of cases, the South Beach Health Center has been dedicated — as of Thursday — to operate as a dedicated urgent care and referral center for COVID-19 patients.
It will operate 24-hours per day and has an additional 10 beds for patients or suspected patients, who have mild to moderate symptoms.
Sands asked those who regularly visit the South Beach location for non-COVID medical services, to visit the Elizabeth Estates Clinic.