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Brennen says ministry still conducting ‘targeted testing’

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen said yesterday the government is still not conducting mass testing.

“[We are] concentrating on targeted testing currently,” Brennen told The Nassau Guardian.

He added, “The team is out conducting additional exercises currently, so we should see an increase in numbers shortly.”

The government has promised to ramp up testing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 14, the Ministry of Health reported that 1,700 people had been tested for the virus.

As of yesterday, 1,872 people have been tested.

Thirty-four people were tested yesterday, according to the ministry’s daily dashboard.

Twelve people were tested the day before.

The Ministry of Health said yesterday that there is one new case of the virus, a 50-year-old man from New Providence. There are now 97 cases of COVID-19.

Brennen said the ministry is aiming to test at least one percent of The Bahamas’ population of roughly 395,000.

On March 31, then Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said the government would not carry out mass testing for potential COVID-19 cases.

“We have not taken a position that we’re going to do blanket testing of any segment of the population, although it is something that may be considered,” Sands told The Guardian.

“But that has implications and methodological challenges, as well as ethical challenges.”

On April 13, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that the ministry would expand its COVID-19 testing that week, predicting that this will lead to an increase in the number of cases in The Bahamas.

At the time, there were 49 confirmed cases.

In late-April, Sands said the ministry remained “challenged to expand testing to reach the elusive goal of testing-on-demand because of international supply chain limitations”.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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