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21 new cases

The Ministry of Health reported a record-breaking 21 new cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas yesterday. The total number of cases now stands at 174. Forty-five of those cases were confirmed between Saturday and Monday.

The ministry noted that 20 of yesterday’s cases were reported on Grand Bahama and the remaining case on New Providence.

“Further details of the 21 additional cases were unable to be confirmed at the time of the release of this report,” it said in a statement.

“Investigations are ongoing and a complete update of details will be published at a later date. Health officials continue to follow the condition of the other current COVID-19-positive cases.”

The number of tests completed also increased yesterday by more than 1,000.

On Sunday, the ministry reported 2,645 tests completed.

Yesterday, it said 3,672 had been done. The Bahamas has reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 since July 8.

Fifty-one of those cases were reported on Grand Bahama. Prior to that date, the island had only eight reported cases of the virus.

The resurgence of COVID-19 on Grand Bahama came after the island reported no new cases for 63 days.

It also came just weeks after the government decided to reopen The Bahamas’ borders to visitors after being shut for more than three months.

In a national address on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said many of the recent cases on the island were traced to Bahamians returning to The Bahamas, noting that the spike “coincided with the reinstitution of international flights and passenger sea transport”.

During that address, he also imposed a series of restrictions on Grand Bahama, including the closure of the island’s international and domestic borders.

“If efforts to decrease the number of cases are unsuccessful, other restrictive measures may be recommended, including a lockdown beginning Friday, the 24th of July,” Minnis said.

The prime minister pleaded with residents of Grand Bahama to co-operate with health measures.

“If we address the current increase in confirmed cases as quickly as possible, Grand Bahama can return to a greater sense of normalcy as soon as possible,” he said.

“Let us work together to get Grand Bahama back up and running as quickly as possible. I ask Grand Bahamians to work in a spirit of unity in the battle against COVID-19.”

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