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162 COVID deaths since Aug. 1

There have been 162 COVID-19 deaths confirmed since August 1, the Ministry of Health reported yesterday. 

That’s almost as many as the 171 deaths reported during March 2020 and December 2020.

In total, 453 COVID deaths have been confirmed since the start of the pandemic. 

Another 101 people died with COVID, but COVID was not the cause of death.

Nineteen deaths remained under investigation as of Monday.

Additionally, 191 people were in hospital with COVID.

Of the seven deaths included in the report for Monday, there were four men and three women, all from New Providence.

One death occurred on August 29, four on September 2, and two on September 3. The victims ranged in ages from 45 to 67.

Former Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday, “I think we are in a horrible spiral. The consequences are tremendous.

“I … operated on five COVID patients today and six in the last 24 hours. Every single patient in the emergency room at Doctors Hospital today is a COVID patient. Every single one. It is heartbreaking to watch. 

“It is numbing to watch people around you knowing that some of them are not going to survive. 

“You can only imagine that this is what it was like in India at some point. I don’t think we know how bad it is going to get.”

Sands said he is trying his best to help people. 

“We try to separate the COVID patients from the non-COVID patients and that for all intents and purposes is now impossible in some situations,” he said of the overcrowding at the hospitals.

“All you can do is continue to fight, to continue to try and help people that find themselves gasping for breath or otherwise ill. This is a relentless wave.”

In the midst of this recent surge, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on August 19 that the general election will be held on September 16.

Since then, the FNM has had drive-in rallies and motorcades. The Progressive Liberal Party has foregone rallies, but had a massive motorcade on Saturday. 

Sands has also been campaigning as he is the FNM’s candidate for Elizabeth.

The Guardian asked him about his role as a physician and a politician seeking re-election. 

“It is somewhat surreal,” he said, adding that, “pragmatism demands that you are almost schizophrenic”.

“I mean you have to literally change modes. It is equally important for me to spend time in the hospital, as I do now, as it is to be in the street in order to have a seat at the table to influence the policy that might change this. The decision making ultimately determines how we face these problems.”

He added, “As you drive from one role to the next, you transition. I got done campaigning last night and left Elizabeth at 8:30 p.m. and went to Doctors Hospital to operate on a patient with COVID.

“Today, I went in the hospital, operated on five patients. I then took a shower and went into the consistency. That is the reality.”

He said he is worried about the campaigning he is seeing, adding that many Bahamians seem to be caught up in the “euphoria” of election season.

Sands was asked if he made any recommendations to the FNM to scale back its campaigning, but he had no comment.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018. Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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