Over 890 people in quarantine
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands said today seven of the nine COVID-19 patients who died had underlying health issues and were among the most “vulnerable”.
Five men and four women died.
According to Sands, four of the nine patients or 44 percent were obese.
Three patients suffered from high blood pressure.
At least two patients had asthma and one had sleep apnea, kidney failure and diabetes.
Age was also a factor in their deaths, according to officials.
Sands pointed out the patients’ ages ranged from 57 to 91.
“It’s a fact that as of April 16, our COVID-19 confirmed deaths are 6.4 times more likely to have comorbidities or underlying medical conditions,” Sands said during a press conference on Thursday via Zoom.
“Our surveillance team will continually conduct contact tracing for persons who were exposed to the COVID-19 cases.”
Sands offered condolences to the families of those who lost their lives amid the national “battle” against the pandemic.
There have been 54 cases of the virus in The Bahamas — 45 in New Providence, seven in Grand Bahama, one in Bimini and one in Cat Cay.
To date, 892 contacts have been identified through contact tracing.
Approximately 900 people remain in quarantine, some of whom are healthcare workers.
Among the 54 positive cases, nine were healthcare workers.
Six-hundred and sixty-eight people have been tested.
The Ministry of Health plans to continue to increase testing in the days to come, but has been limited to molecular testing via the RT-PCR tests, of which there are over 7,000 on-island.
As of today, the 10,000 rapid test kits in-hand had yet to be validated.
The minister reminded the public that while these tests are more rapid and economical, to date, these tests have not been as accurate the world-over.
He said the validation process is ongoing, but there must be concordance with the PCR tests before widespread community testing can begin.
Director Dr Nikkiah Forbes explained that The Bahamas’ high case fatality rate is a reflection of the government’s ability to perform widespread testing.