NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After completing the first week of a two-week mandatory lockdown, Bimini has seen no new cases of the novel coronavirus, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Delon Brennen confirmed yesterday.
Speaking with Eyewitness News, Brennen said there have been no known cases to develop on the island since the last two confirmed cases on May 14.
Those cases — two women aged 26 and 39 — were confirmed as Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the two week-lockdown to begin on May 18.
When asked if Bimini could discontinue the lockdown given there have been no new cases on the small island, Brennen said it was the advise of health officials to complete the two-week lockdown.
He did not provide further details on the consideration.
When contacted, Triska Rolle, a member of Bimini’s local district council, said residents were encouraged and believe the measure has flattened the curve on the virus in Bimini.
“We are happy to know there are no new cases, so we should be good after this,” she said.
“I am really hoping so, and that Bimini is no longer a hotspot.
“We have to complete the two weeks to make sure; be completely sure and hopefully we should start to lift up on some thing after this.
The country’s borders have been closed since March 27.
Last week Sunday, the prime minister announced that Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros could resume commercial this week, joining Inagua, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay.
Those islands have had zero reported cases of COVID-19.
Exuma, Eleuthera, and San Salvador, which have also had zero cases of the virus have not been afforded the same easing of restrictions — much to the frustration of residents there.
In response, the prime minister said multiple islands cannot be opened simultaneously, due to the risk of a potential outbreak.
As of yesterday, there were 100 cases of the virus in The Bahamas — 78 on New Providence, 13 in Bimini, eight on Grand Bahama and one in Cat Cay.
Of those, 43 cases were active.
Six remain hospitalized.
Forty-six people infected with the virus have recovered.
There have been 11 COVID-19-related deaths in the country.
Expanding testing is ongoing, according to health officials, who announced recently that increased focus will be placed on testing healthcare professionals, individuals in resident care and inmates and the Department of Correctional Services.
To date, 1,972 people have been tested for the virus.
Globally, over 5.3 million have been infected and more than 340,000 people have died.
Meanwhile, over 2.1 million have recovered.