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Acting CMO: Increase in COVID cases appears to be slowing

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Philip Swann said he is hopeful that the fourth wave of COVID-19 in The Bahamas is peaking, and cases will begin declining soon.

He noted that, based on the data compiled over the last two weeks, it appears that the increase in COVID cases is already slowing,” he said during a Ministry of Health and Wellness town hall meeting on Tuesday night.

“We are seeing a lesser increase than in the previous two weeks where there were orders of magnitude in the increased numbers.

“It is my personal hope that we are cresting this wave. But time will tell.”

The recent explosion in cases began in mid-December, with the holiday season already in full swing.

Since then, the numbers have continued to mount.

In the last week of updates, alone, 3,074 cases have been recorded in the country.

One hundred and twenty-five people were hospitalized with COVID in The Bahamas as of Tuesday.

While the number was notably higher than just last week, Swann said the positive news is that few people have had to be put in the intensive care unit.

As of Tuesday, six people were in intensive care. 

“Hospitalizations have shown a steady but marked increase in the past several days,” Swann said.

“The numbers have stabilized at around 120 for the past few days but it is important to note that these numbers reflect a significant proportion of individuals that are admitted for other conditions but would have tested positive for COVID-19.”

He added, “Of course, what continues to bring comfort is that the number of patients requiring ICU management remains less than 10 overall.” 

Still, the overall numbers are a cause for concern for the Davis administration.

Outside Cabinet on Tuesday, Health and Wellness Minister Dr. Michael Darville said the Ministry of Health is considering whether to impose additional restrictions as The Bahamas struggles with COVID-19 cases.

When it comes to the current measures in place, Swann said the mitigation measures, which include revised travel and quarantine measures, hiring more doctors and nurses, and a ramped-up vaccination campaign, are all in full swing.

But he said ultimately getting past this latest hurdle with the pandemic will depend on members of the public adhering to the protocols.

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Rachel Scott

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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