Five days of COVID deaths

For the fifth day in a row, The Bahamas recorded a death from COVID-19.

Health officials said an 84-year-old New Providence woman died from the virus yesterday morning, pushing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 23.

There has been a COVID-19 death in The Bahamas every day since August 16 when a 37-year-old man died.

On August 17, health officials reported that a 74-year-old woman died the previous day. On August 18, a 69-year-old woman died, and on August 19, two men, ages 46 and 65, died. All of the victims were residents of New Providence.

This is also the ninth reported COVID-19 death for August.

The Bahamas recorded 11 deaths in April during the first wave of the virus. There were no reported deaths in May or June. There were three deaths in July.

The figures show that there are now 12 deaths in the second wave of the virus compared to the 11 in the first wave.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 resource center, there are over 792,000 COVID-19 deaths worldwide. 

In the region, Cuba has 88 COVID-19 deaths; Jamaica, 15; Turks and Caicos, two; Haiti, 196; and Dominican Republic, 1,505.

New cases

Health officials also reported 79 new cases of the virus last night: 70 on New Providence, eight on Grand Bahama and one on Eleuthera.

There are now 1,610 cases of COVID-19.

The number of hospitalized cases rose by one from 61 to 62.

Recoveries increased from 209 to 211. The number of tests completed rose to 8,449. The number of active cases increased to 1,372.

New Providence has had a total of 950 COVID-19 cases.

Grand Bahama has had 515 cases; 45 on Bimini; 44 on Abaco; 14 on the Berry Islands; eight on Cat Island; six on Exuma; two on Inagua; five on Eleuthera; one on Andros; and the locations of 20 cases are listed as pending.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has sought to aggressively limit social interactions in The Bahamas to stave off the spread of the virus. A state of emergency was declared shortly after the first case was made public in March and since then, nightly curfews, the closure of non-essential businesses and lockdowns were implemented.

But, five months in, the strategy has become increasingly unpopular in many circles. 

On Monday, Minnis announced a new, more aggressive, seven-day lockdown for New Providence, where cases have skyrocketed in recent weeks. The new lockdown, which took effect Monday night, prohibited food stores, gas stations, private pharmacies and water depots, as well as other businesses, from opening.

However, after fierce public backlash, the prime minister walked back the measures the next day, saying his decision was partly based on a looming tropical cyclone in the Atlantic that may affect the country on Sunday.

When he spoke on Monday, Minnis warned that “we must act now, and aggressively, to prevent our healthcare system from collapsing”.

“If our hospitals collapse, we will have many more deaths,” he warned.

“We are all at risk from this deadly virus. None of us are immune.”

A day before Minnis’ remarks, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 and was in hospital. PLP Senator Dr. Michael Darville also said he tested positive and was hospitalized.

Yesterday, Central and South Eleuthera MP Hank Johnson said he, too, tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to hospital.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018. Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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