NASSAU, BAHAMAS — There is no indication that the curb is being flattened in New Providence, according to Director of the National HIV & AIDS programme Dr Nikkiah Forbes.
As of yesterday, the number of cases in the country stood at 5,385, with 4,136 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Providence alone.
“We are still seeing a concerning number of cases per day,” Forbes said, in an interview with Eyewitness News.
“We are still very much in the second wave. The numbers are not looking good.
“There’s no indication that the curb is being flattened here in New Providence. That is concerning that there is an ongoing spread of new cases.”
The ministry advised the long holiday weekend led to delayed reporting from a number of laboratories.
Twenty-eight cases were reported on Tuesday, with 27 in the capital and one in Eleuthera.
An additional 194 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Wednesday, with 172 in New Providence.
The ministry advised the new cases reflect infections recorded and reported during the period of October 7-13.
There was also one new case in GB and Andros and 20 cases with locations pending.
There were three more COVID deaths in New Providence: a 51-year-old man on October 13; and a 79-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man who both died today (October 14).
There were 100 more COVID-19 recoveries, taking recovered cases to 3,178.
Last week, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced increased restrictions for New Providence and Abaco, including a “full, 24-hour weekend curfew” over the upcoming holiday weekend and beyond, amid continued rising COVID cases on the islands.
Minnis said the increasing number of cases has created an immense strain and risks a collapse of the healthcare system.
The prime minister said the measures have no effect on air travel or the current travel regime, and the international tourism sector opening remains set for November 1.
He advised that the measures were being taken to reduce the number of cases “in preparation for the broader opening of the tourism sector”.
Forbes noted yesterday that as The Bahamas moves to reopen, there must be a holistic plan in place to manage travel in the era of COVID, including the buy-in from the general public.
She explained that when looking at opening borders for international travel, the government must ensure the public health system is optimized in the best possible shape to care for COVID-19 cases, along with methods for robust testing, contact tracing, surveillance, the ability to detect new infections, quarantine, and isolation.
The Ministry of Tourism has also announced that it will remove the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for visitors, returning citizens, and residents entering the country starting November 1.