Health minister says no active or suspected cases currently on Inagua but COVID-19 dashboard reports 11 new cases
Some Inagua residents want lockdown
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A COVID-19 outbreak in Inagua has resulted in the death of four people, the most recent being a 26-year-old man who died Friday morning.
Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville confirmed the deaths and addressed the spike in cases on the island during an on-air interview on Beyond the Headlines with Shenique Miller.
Darville said “a few weeks ago” there were 11 cases on Inagua that resulted in five people having to be airlifted to New Providence.
He said those infections were a cluster, which is now “fully under control” by health officials and the surveillance unit.
Darville said there are currently no active cases or persons under investigation of COVID-19 on Inagua, insisting that the last case was flown to New Providence.
He noted that 14 people remain in self-quarantine and are expected to be released in one week.
Health officials reclassified four deaths under investigation that occurred between September 20 and September 21 as COVID-19 related deaths, taking to the total number of COVID fatalities to 590, with 58 others under investigation.
Another 62 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Thursday, taking the number of cases in the country to 21,580, with 1,129 active cases.
Of those newly reported infections, 11 were recorded in Inagua.
The COVID-19 dashboard displays newly positive cases within 24 hours to 48 hours.
Darville said he could not confirm reports that several law enforcement officers contracted COVID-19 on the island.
Inagua has recorded 48 cases since the start of the pandemic. A month ago, there were just 25 confirmed cases on the island.
The recent cases and deaths have sparked serious concerns for residents on the island.
Philicia Seymour said serious concerns regarding access to healthcare and endorsing protocols have yet to be addressed on the island.
Seymour noted that cases on the island have been rising for about two weeks and something must be done immediately.
She said officials came to the island to see if schools were ready to return to in-person learning but she believes, “we are not in that predicament to open.”
Seymour insisted that the only way to help slow the spread on the island is for the community to come together, adding that the government is not needed to implement a lockdown if residents decide to do it themselves.
Inagua Island Administrator Marlon Leary told Eyewitness News that there has been a “drastic Increase” in the number of COVID cases on the island.
Leary appealed to residents on the island to follow all COVID-19 protocols and “stop all the gatherings, stop all the partying”.
“If you don’t have to come out stay home in your house”, he said.
He added that he does not believe the increase in cases has to do with the recent influx of migrants from Haiti who were being housed on the island.
“I think It’s our own people. These measures were put in place for our safety and people continuously are not adhering to the protocols. You can’t blame this on the migrants. It’s been around before the migrants were even here.”