More than 1k COVID cases confirmed in Bahamas in 72 hours
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA) Vice President Dr John Dillett said the events and large gatherings leading up to and during the holidays are expected to result in an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
But he noted that the association hopes to be proven wrong.
“We’re hoping that we’re wrong, but the expectation is cases could potentially continue to rise,” he said when contacted for comment of the latest surge.
More than 1,000 confirmed infections were recorded in a 72-hour period.
The tide is coming, but we can stem the tide if we continue to remember what is important.
– CPSA VP Dr John Dillett
The Ministry of Health reported 249 cases on New Year’s Day, 289 cases last Friday and 520 cases last Thursday, totaling 1,058 infections.
During that period, hospitalizations of COVID-19 cases, a key indicator of the healthcare sector’s capacity to handle the surge, increased by 10 cases — from 26 to 36.
The disproportionate rate of hospitalizations to the rate of new infections could be attributed to the presence of the omicron variant, which research has proven to be less severe but four times more infectious than the delta variant.
Asked if the rate of hospitalizations gave some cause for cautious optimism, Dillett said: “I think we have to remember that even before the pandemic, health services were limited and we’re already a bit overwhelmed with just our non-communicable diseases and an enormous amount of medical issues that we as Bahamians have.
“So, any significant increase in cases, even though it might be modest, would put a significant strain on our healthcare system.
“If enough people get infected, we will get some persons who will have severe illness, and certainly if the omicron, as it’s being said in other jurisdictions, is extremely, extremely, infectious in terms of transmissions, then if enough people are congregating and it’s spreading in the community, we’ll have enough cases to fill our hospitals and to fill our ICU beds.
“Right now, the best option is for us to be disciplined, remember the social distancing and sanitization methods that kind of helped us along the way for the last 18 months, get back to basics and stem the tide.
We can stem the tide if we continue to remember what is important.
– CPSA VP Dr John Dillett
“The tide is coming, but we can stem the tide if we continue to remember what is important — and that’s social distancing, sanitization and, above all else, please, for people to get vaccinated and get their boosters.”
Dillett said hopefully Bahamians have learned from the previous three waves and will be proactive and responsible in their approach to mitigate the spread and ultimately prevent further deaths.
Amid concerns about the variant, the government has made RT-PCR tests mandatory to enter The Bahamas as of January 7.
At present, fully vaccinated individuals traveling to The Bahamas are required to present an RT-PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test no older than three days on the day of travel — a recent tightening over the previous five-day time frame.
The reintroduction of RT-PCR tests and a shorter window for testing were among the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The RT-PCR test no longer has emergency approval from the CDC to be used to diagnose Covid. Have we switched to something that can tell the difference between the Flu and Covid??? Or are we still thinking the Covid cured the Flu???
I wonder how many of those positive tests are asymptomatic from travelers returning home to the US?
Funny thing is, those travelers have to have a PCR to get here and then take a test at day 5 to stay which points to the “infection” coming from within our borders. If you have to test somebody to see if they are sick are they really sick?
Hope the Bahamian government is making sure to check all the fake test results that the tourists are still coming in with??? Especially on the family islands like Bimini…. Fake tests for incoming tourists are rampant there.
How do know ?Have you yourself traveled with a fake test to Bimini