NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While coronavirus cases overall have continued to trend downwards in comparison to recent weeks, cases and deaths on at least four Family Islands have increased since the general election, according to an Eyewitness News analysis of cases.
In the lead-up to the September 16 general election, there were election activities, campaigning, motorcades, and drive-thru rallies, though political parties assured social distancing and health protocols would be strictly followed.
More than 100,000 eligible voters showed up at polls on Election Day, including those in quarantine who were allowed to cast their ballots once they immediately returned to quarantine.
Social distancing, sanitation, temperature checks, and mask-wearing were strictly enforced, but there were lingering concerns about cases amid the presence of the delta variant, which was attributed to a surge of cases and deaths.
Data gleaned from the Ministry of Health shows that between August 26 and September 16, three weeks prior to the general election, there were 2,090 cases.
In the same period following the election, there were 1,550 cases, a decline of 25 percent.
But when comparing the period, four Family Islands experienced an increase in cases.
These included Mayaguana, Crooked Island, Long Island, and Inagua.
In the three weeks prior to the election, Mayagua recorded zero cases, compared to the 14 infections that reportedly took place three weeks after the election.
Similarly, cases on Crooked Island double from four to eight during the same period; Long Island jumped from nine to 34; and Inagua from zero to 23.
There have also been several deaths on a number of Family Islands, a trend that has not been observed since the onset of the pandemic.
A 63-year-old woman from Mayaguana and an 80-year-man died on Eleuthera died on October 2.
An 85-year-old woman died on Cat Island on September 16.
Of the 18 deaths reported on October 1, 15 were from the Family Islands, though four were reclassified as COVID-19 deaths following an investigation.
These included three men and a woman from Abaco, ages 44, 52, 62 and 72; two men and a woman from Andros, who died between August 1 and September 20; two men from Bimini, ages 49 and 74; two men and a woman from Eleuthera, ages 42, 70 and 79; three men from Exuma, between 63 and 87; and two men and a woman from New Providence.
With the exception of the reclassified deaths, the men and women died between August 1 and September 30.
As of August 26, there were 17,940 cases compared to the 20,030 on Election Day.
As of October 7, there were 21,580 cases.
As of August 26, San Salvador had 16 cases, Mayaguana four, Crooked Island seven, Acklins seven, Cat Island 73, Long Island 51, Andros 217, Inagua 25, Exuma 318, the Berry Islands 98, Eleuthera 479, Bimini and Cat Cay 234 and Abaco 578.
Three week later, San Salvador had 16 cases, Mayaguana four, Crooked Island 11, Acklins nine, Cat Island 86, Long Island 60, Andros 252, Inagua 25, Exuma 342, the Berry Islands 102, Eleuthera 548, Bimini and Cat Cay 236 and Abaco 626.
As of October 7, San Salvador had 16 cases, Mayaguana 18, Crooked Island 19, Acklins nine, Cat Island 92, Long Island 94, Andros 268, Inagua 48, Exuma 349, the Berry Islands 104, Eleuthera 627, Bimini and Cat Cay 237 and Abaco 640.