“Cases come first and deaths come after”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday that The Bahamas is “not in a good place” as it continues to see a climb in new COVID-19 infections.
With a significant increase in cases over the past few weeks, officials have confirmed The Bahamas is experiencing a third wave of coronavirus infections.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Sands noted that over the last 14-days the country has averaged nearly 60-cases per day, calling the rise in cases “a very unfortunate situation”.
Sands said: “We’ve had more cases in April than March, February, and January combined. That is a very, very concerning issue because cases come first and deaths come after.
“We’ve seen a number of younger people hospitalized, some in their 20s, some in their 30s, that’s not a good thing.”
The Bahamas recorded 336 cases in January and 335 cases in February.
Cases nearly doubled in March with 613 cases.
There were more than 1,200 cases recorded in April.
Between Friday and Saturday, health officials reported 96 new COVID-19 cases.
Of those cases, 72 were on New Providence, 13 on Grand Bahama, one on Bimini & Cat Cay, one on Abaco, one on Eleuthera, two on Exuma, one on Long Island, one on Andros; and four additional cases with locations pending.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed six deaths that were previously under investigation to be COVID-related, bringing the total number of COVID deaths to 209.
The six deaths, all on Grand Bahama, included four women, ages 69, 68, 64, and 61; and two men, ages 80 and 56.
Another 24 deaths remain under investigation while a total of 44 deaths have been classified as non-COVID-related.
There are currently 52 hospitalized cases, 48 of which are moderately ill and four are in the intensive care unit (ICU).
The total number of cases in the country stands at 10,519, of which 711 remain active.
Sands insisted yesterday that Bahamians must continue to follow public health protocols, such as social distancing, wearing masks, and washing their hands, in order for the country to get a handle on the cases.
“That is where we are falling down as a people right now,” he said.
He warned that stricter protocols, such as lockdown and shorter curfews, may have to be considered if the behavior does not change.
“We are absolutely not in a good place and hopefully we will see the trend turn or the tide change. But to have an average over 14-days of 58 to 60 cases is not good,” he added.
Health Minister Renward Wells has said the government does not intend to implement stricter protocols and has highlighted a need for more enforcement instead of restrictions.