SIGNS OF EASING: Surge in COVID infections showing indications of downward trend

SIGNS OF EASING: Surge in COVID infections showing indications of downward trend
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PM Minnis expected to make address today; MOH to hold press conference next week

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Notwithstanding an overwhelming number of coronavirus hospitalizations, an analysis of the confirmed cases since August and September shows the beginning of a downward trend.

A Ministry of Health statement read: “Analysis of COVID-19 data by the Ministry of Health for the period January 1 to September 12, 2021, is beginning to show a decrease in the number of new cases of COVID-19 as the result of the aggressive vaccination campaign and increased uptake of the vaccine.”

During the period, there were 11,584 confirmed COVID cases, 302 deaths and an average of 54 hospitalizations per week.

Weekly COVID cases peaked during the first two weeks of August, and began tapering off in late August and early September.

“It is noteworthy to mention that for the next four weeks or four reporting cycles, there was a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases,” health officials said.

“This result has been the effect of the aggressive vaccination campaign implemented by the government.

“It was previously predicted that once a reasonable percentage of citizens and residents become vaccinated, such a result would be experienced.

“Even though there is a decrease in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue to increase…”

Weekly hospitalizations were around 50 between April and June.

That figure soared to well over 100 in July, nearly 150 by mid-August and almost 200 per week by the end of last month — a record number of hospitalizations since the onset of the pandemic in The Bahamas.

As COVID-19 cases decrease, a decline in hospitalizations is also expected, according to the Ministry of Health.

As it relates to deaths, there have been a total of 454 deaths since last March.

The Bahamas experienced a peak of 40 deaths in one week — August 22 through August 29.

“As the cases continue to decrease, it is also expected that the number of deaths will decrease,” read the statement.

“The Ministry of Health extends its sympathies to the families who have suffered great loss during the third wave of this vicious pandemic.”

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is expected to speak to the national COVID situation today, and the Ministry of Health will hold a press conference next week to provide the public with updates.

The ministry reminded the public of the importance of following all health guidelines at the polls on Election Day.

As part of the Parliamentary Registration Department’s COVID health measures for Thursday, political party campaigners have been prohibited from polling premises or within 100 yards of the polling site; and the elderly and disabled will be allowed to vote immediately with the department’s concierge program, among other measures.

It also strongly recommended vaccination to reduce the likelihood of serious illness, hospitalization or death.

A total of 89 cases were recorded on Tuesday, and another four COVID deaths were reported.

These included two women and two men, ages 46, 59, 63, and 80, all of whom were from New Providence.

They died between August 29 and September 4.

A total of 465 RT-PCR tests were performed on Tuesday, of which 26 were repeated test and two were inconclusive.

This represents a positivity rate of 20 percent.