Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis confirmed yesterday that he tested positive for COVID-19 and was in hospital.
“This last six weeks, more than 1,000 Bahamians have learned they have tested positive for the COVID virus,” Davis, 69, said in a voice note.
“This morning, I learned the same thing.
“I am in hospital, receiving excellent care. My family and I thank you for the many prayers and well wishes we have received. We all owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the nurses, doctors and the healthcare workers who are working day and night. Please include them in your prayers also.
“One of [our] greatest strengths as a people, is how we care for each other. Let’s find new ways to prove this now.
“Look out for your neighbors. Buy an extra bag of groceries for a friend in need and check on someone who may need your support.
“In God’s grace and blessings, may they continually be for The Bahamas. I know as we rely on God’s grace and blessings, I know brighter days are ahead for all of us. Thank you. I love you.”
The voice note was likely designed to show Davis’ strength in the face of rumors on social media that he was “very sick”.
Sources close to Davis confirmed that he was in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Doctors Hospital and was receiving oxygen.
The night before, Davis said both he and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Dr. Michael Darville were in hospital under examination.
There was no mention of Darville’s condition in either Davis’ voice note or the accompanying statement that followed.
Multiple sources in the party said that Darville was discharged from hospital. His COVID status was unknown.
Last Tuesday, Davis canceled his usual in-person monthly press conference and instead issued a statement. No reason was given for the cancellation.
Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Carl Culmer yesterday wished Davis and Darville a “speedy recovery”.
His statement came before Davis’ revelation.
“We hope to have them back to full health in the shortest time possible,” Culmer said.
“On the democratic political battlefield, there are rough but peaceful exchanges between opposing sides.
“Yet, we are all Bahamians and our political differences should always be set aside when the common good of the country is at stake or when our colleagues suffer illness.
“I have urged Bahamians to continue to abide by our collective pledge to live as one people united in love and service during these trying times. I reiterate that advice today as I pray Mr. Davis and Dr. Darville overcome whatever health-related challenges they face.”
More and more Bahamians continue to contract COVID-19 during this second wave.
One hundred and four people caught the virus during the first wave between March and June.
Since July 8, more than 1,200 people tested positive in The Bahamas.
Davis has been a strong critic of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just last week, the PLP leader said he was furious to learn that ICU beds were full.
“A patient with COVID-19 can require weeks of critical care treatment,” he said.
“What will happen to those being diagnosed now with the virus?
“Where will they go when they need critical care? It is indefensible that the government waited until this moment to act.”
Up to yesterday, 34 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, according to health officials.
Both Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest were in quarantine after an employee in the building that houses their offices tested positive.
Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said yesterday his quarantine — triggered by a “low-risk exposure” to a Ministry of Education employee — ended on Friday.