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Forbes: Bahamas still in the third wave

While numbers of new COVID-19 cases appear to have been decreasing in recent weeks, Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme, yesterday warned that The Bahamas is still in the thick of the third wave of COVID.

Forbes said it is too early to claim that the wave is being flattened.

“We’re still very much in the COVID-19 third wave in The Bahamas,” she said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.

“In the last two weeks, there has been a slight decrease in the number of cases when we look at the seven-day average or the weekly number of cases. However, when monitoring COVID-19 outbreaks, there are other indicators that we look at to know where we are in the outbreak. 

“And some of those indicators are things like the percentage positivity rate of tests that are done, hospitalizations and we look at deaths.

“We also look at the number of persons critically ill.

“And so, yes, the past several weeks have shown us that there has been a decline in the last two weeks. However, we are still very much in the COVID-19 third wave. We are still seeing that hospitalizations are not declining. There are continuing to be COVID deaths, and the percentage positivity rate in the last week was still 11 percent.

“And so, it is far too early to say that the curve for COVID-19 in this third wave is being flattened.

“And there is still more to do to get this curve flattened.”

Forbes said the public needs to continue to follow the recommended health protocols, which include social distancing, mask-wearing and avoiding large crowds.

In the past week, from June 2 to June 8, The Bahamas recorded 159 new COVID-19 cases. The week before, between May 26 and June 1, 271 new cases were recorded. Between May 19 and May 24, 301 new cases were recorded.

With 1,345 COVID-19 cases and 31 COVID-related deaths recorded in May, the month saw the highest numbers in The Bahamas so far this year.

In April, 1,262 cases were confirmed, more than double the 613 cases recorded in March.

As of June 8, there were 234 COVID-related deaths confirmed in The Bahamas. Fifty-five people were determined to have died with COVID, but not because of it, while another 28 deaths were still under investigation.

Forty-one people were hospitalized, with three people in intensive care. 

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Rachel Scott

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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