NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Health officials are still investigating the death of a 26-year-old woman in Bimini on Monday.
West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe said based on initial information from the woman’s family, her death was not COVID-19 related.
In an interview with Eyewitness News today, Parker-Edgecombe said it is believed the woman died from a possible heart attack and they await an autopsy report to determine the exact cause of death.
“As for her being a COVID patient, previously there is no information to support that at this time,” she said.
“I am made aware however that she would have been close to a person who may have been among those persons who was in the contact tracing.”
She said the community is very saddened by the passing of the young woman, who was a vibrant and well-known on the island.
She noted that the woman’s family is stricken by the death and is not taking it very lightly.
The death comes as the small island community has emerged as a hotspot for the virus.
The first recorded case on Bimini was also the country’s first recorded virus-related death.
Kim Johnson-Rolle, the sister of Immigration minister Elsworth Johnson, died in Princess Margaret Hospital shortly after being airlifted from Bimini on March 30.
Health officials began increased COVID-19 testing on the island at the beginning of May.
“The reality is that because of the cases of COVID-19 everyone now is interested in what could have transpired and I think only the investigation into that will reveal that eventually,” Parker-Edgecombe continued.
“And because there continues to be much speculation I understand why the community would feel that way because everything that happens now the first question is whether or not its OCVID-19 related and we can’t say that until those reports are completed and we go from there.”
There has been 93 cases of the virus in the country to date, 11 of which have been confirmed on the island of Bimini.
Residents on the island have reportedly called for more restrictive measures to prevent further spread of the virus.
Parker-Edgecombe noted this call is still being echoed, noting that there are still mixed feelings in the community regarding the issue.
“We would have called for a lockdown several weeks ago, and this came as a result of many in the community asking for it,” she noted.
“…There are some sections of the community that may not necessarily agree with the lockdown because they feel that they will not be adequately prepared.
“But even if that lockdown were to come…we must ensure that they are taken care of and that they can pull through that two-week lockdown.
“If that two-week lockdown can bring positive results for the community of Bimini, then as the representative I am more than behind it.”