Health capacity being approached in GB

Health capacity being approached in GB
CMO Dr Pearl McMillan (FILE PHOTO)

Second wave has “much faster” growth

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As coronavirus cases continue to balloon in Grand Bahama in particular, health officials have expressed concerns about the island’s healthcare capacity to handle the dramatic increase.

According to Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan, New Providence has a total of 30 COVID-19 hospital beds, while Grand Bahama has a capacity for 16.

Of the 316 confirmed cases in The Bahamas, 11 patients have been hospitalized.

“Grand Bahama is fast approaching its bed capacity,” McMillian said during a Ministry of Health virtual press conference.

“Of note, during the first wave, the largest number of hospitalized patients at any given point in time was nine patients [on] May 2, 2020.

Reflecting on contributing factors to the case growth rate, McMilli an said: “The gravity of the day is unmistakable, and the stakes are high. A single new case of COVID-19 is too much.

McMillan said Grand Bahama has become an epicenter for the virus, with confirmed cases far exceeding New Providence, which had eight times as many cases as Grand Bahama during the first wave.

According to the chief medical officer, July 8 marked the second wave of cases.

Data shows that community transmission had been suppressed on Grand Bahama between the end of May and the first week of July.

During that period, there were only four new infections.

Cases of the virus on Grand Bahama increased by than twelvefold — from 10 to 155.

Since then, New Providence has experienced a doubling of COVID-19 cases — from 82 to 124, an increase of 51 percent.

Bimini has also experienced a 50 percent increase in cases of the virus during the second wave — from 14 to 21.

The virus has also been introduced to previously unaffected islands, including Cat Island, the Berry Islands, Moore’s Island and Great Guana Cay, McMillan pointed out.

As of yesterday, there were 155 cases in Grand Bahama, 124 cases in New Providence, 12 in Bimini, six in the Berry Islands, four in Cat Cay, three in Moore’s Island, two in Cat Island, one case in Great Guana Cay.

Data modeling New Providence could have an additional 50 new infections today, and new cases in Grand Bahama could exceed 140 if it “remains unrestrained”

“Even at this point, it is recognized that the characteristics of this second wave are different,” she said.

“It is more widespread. It is affecting more persons under the age of 40 years. It shows a much faster initial growth or steeper curve.”

Nearly, 4,000 tests have been performed nationwide.


How can we be sure the second wave is worse than the first if there were almost no testing kits during the first wave? Most folks just thought they had a bad flu or sinus infections the first time. Most survived and moved on fine.

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