RISING UP: As COVID cases triple, health stakeholders call for public to “pay attention”

RISING UP: As COVID cases triple, health stakeholders call for public to “pay attention”

Another 37 infections confirmed Saturday, 24 had a history of travel

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Coronavirus infections have more than tripled in the last month, though health stakeholders have not yet determined whether the trend is sustained, an early indication of another wave, or predominantly the result of increased economic activity and travel.

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Consultant Physician Staff Association (CPSA) President Dr Sabriquet Butler-Pinder said the public ought to pay attention to the rising numbers.

She underscored that her statement was not intended to cause panic, but prompt precautious measures.

Data gleaned from the Ministry of Health show there were 42 cases recorded between April 10-16.

Infections doubled in the following week to 87.

Between April 29 and May 6, a total of 137 cases were reported — a 57 percent increase over the week prior.

There were 20 cases on April 30, four on May 1; 19 last Monday; 25 last Tuesday; 29 last Wednesday; 17 last Thursday, and 23 infections last Friday.

A significant portion of the recent infections has been imported cases as a result of travel.

Consultant Physician Staff Association (CPSA) President Dr Sabriquet Butler-Pinder

Of the 137 infections recorded in the one-week period, 46 were imported cases, representing just over 33 percent of the infections.

Another 37 infections were confirmed on Saturday, of which 24 had a history of travel.
Meanwhile, there were just nine hospitalized cases at the last report.

None of these cases were in Intensive Care Units.

Pinder-Butler said as more travel occurs among Bahamians and visitors, it is “something for persons at the level of the ministry of health and experts to look into” and if numbers increase, “perhaps it’s something we need to revisit”.

Asked what be attributed to the increase, Pinder-Butler said some of the contributing factors could be the increased tourism and associated travel, more Bahamians traveling, greater allowance of the capacity of businesses and churches, as well as COVID fatigue and more socialization.

“When those things happen and we know that we’re dealing with a condition that potentially is easily transmissible and we’re talking about a virus that we can’t see,” she said.

“We’re social beings and the like and so people still tend to be in close proximity and those types of things.

“We somewhat, you know, can expect that with us coming together more, congregating more, and with the element of COVID fatigue, which is real and is expected — we have been dealing with this pandemic now for several years, this is not just months, we’re talking years — and so, we could expect that those things potentially will happen with all of those factors.”

She was also asked whether the restrictions were too relaxed, particularly with approvals for several large events.

Pinder-Butler acknowledged it is difficult to manage health concerns and the need of the country, its economy and employment.

She said healthcare providers can appreciate those nuances and that it is important to facilitate “the best circumstances that will allow the balance” as safely as possible.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville speaks with the media ahead of Cabinet

“At the end of the day, it is hard for someone who has not been working for a long period of time to not be able to feed their families,” the CPSA president said.

“We also know that a lot of persons, just with the pandemic itself, you know, that it’s also been having effects on persons mental health. You know, people have been depressed, they’re anxious.

“Those types of things are important and it is important for us to as a people in general, to socialize. That’s very critical even for children. I think we just have to be wise about what we’re doing as much as possible.”

Just over a week ago, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville acknowledged the doubling of infections, but said the government was not minded to increase restrictions at this time, prioritizing the tourism stimulus.

But he said health experts were examining the cases closely.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.


It needs to be accepted that the existance of Covid is unfortunately something that will remain, the new year around flu. The Bahamian People need to accepted vaccinations as a necessity for protection. While we are receiving our 2nd boosters, we know countless Bahamians that refuse vaccination. We’re in Michigan and though Covid exists, our lives are back to normal. We vacation 4 times a winter at Paradise Island. Wake Up Bahamas…Unvaccinated Bahamians should not be allowed traveling outside the Bahamas and Unvaccinated tourists should not be allowed in, and tourists vaccinated with boosters should not have to go through the Health Visa pre testing for entry…Get Vaccinated or deny entry or travel ….period

Too many people are dropping dead after receiving those shots. Bahamians are not suicidal.

Stay in Michigan David… Please. Forcing a vaccination on anybody is wrong.

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