Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis last night announced an additional three cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas.
“Health officials have confirmed three more cases on the island of New Providence,” Minnis said during a press conference.
“There is a total of 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date; two in Grand Bahama and the remaining on New Providence.”
The prime minister said two COVID-19 patients have been admitted to Doctor’s Hospital on Blake Road.
“All other cases are doing extremely well,” he said.
“We have seen a doubling of confirmed cases over the last four days. We anticipate more cases in a short period of time over the coming 20 days and this suggests that we are at the beginning of an expected surge.
“This means we must increase our efforts to restrict the spread of this virus and to save lives.”
According to Minnis, the Ministry of Health’s Surveillance Unit has started mapping COVID-19 cases “to help identify potential clusters of cases and to inform the ministry’s strategy to mitigate the spread of the virus in communities”.
“This will help to identify cases early and decrease the need for hospital-based services,” he said.
“It is critical that each and every one of us take personal responsibility and do everything in our power to reduce the spread of this virus.”
There are 120 people in quarantine in The Bahamas, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan said “over 200 and something” people had been tested as of last week.
She said there are more than 1,700 real-time PCR test kits in The Bahamas.
Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, COVID-19 coordinator and advisor to the prime minister, said the ministry is attempting to conduct predictive modeling to determine the expected number of cases.
“…However, it’s challenging to superimpose a small population model given what we have with existing models,” she said.
Dahl-Regis added, “…We have to develop the model in the context of our population, extrapolating into that model the experiences of the projected surge in 20 days.”
She said the government is hoping that “our numbers remain low”.
Last week, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said there are roughly 41 beds for COVID-19 patients in The Bahamas.
He said Doctors Hospital may hold five, Doctors Hospital West 15 to 20; Princess Margaret Hospital may hold nine; Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama may hold six; and the South Beach Clinic may hold between six to eight.
There have been more 713,000 cases of the virus globally.
More than 33,500 people have died as a result of COVID-19.