Four women — ages 33 to 48 — are the latest patients to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in The Bahamas, according to the Ministry of Health.
The ministry said two of the women — a 38-year-old and a 33-year-old — were hospitalized.
The other two women, who are 38 and 48, were in home isolation.
All of the women live on New Providence and none of them has a recent history of travel,according to the ministry.
As of yesterday, there were 53 cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas; 44 of those cases were confirmed on New Providence.
Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said six healthcare providers have tested positive.
So far, 500 contacts of COVID-19 patients have been identified locally, according to Sands.
With 712 people quarantined in The Bahamas — the majority of them at home — health officials anticipate that the number of confirmed cases will increase.
“This means that as testing expands, more people will be diagnosed with COVID-19 in The Bahamas, including those with mild symptoms,” Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said in a national address on Monday.
He added, “This will result in an increase in the number of cases. Health officials are closely monitoring the case numbers, as this will inform us where we are in the surge.”
Sands said 630 people have been tested as of yesterday.
“We’re identifying populations that we believe we need to sample more aggressively, including nursing homes or supervised care homes and other particular cohorts of persons or patients,” he told The Nassau Guardian.
“We’re going to make a deliberate effort to increase the sampling for those populations and that’s on top of the symptomatic patients.”
Sands said The Bahamas will “eclipse” 1,000 completed tests “very quickly”.
While the government is expanding testing, it hasn’t reached the point of mass testing, according to Sands.
“We may get to that point but you have to ramp up in order to do that,” the minister said.
“You need more machines. You need more devices. You need more reagents. You need a number of things.”
He added, “As you know, these machines are in high demand around the world. So, having made this decision (to expand testing), now it’s an issue of sourcing them.”