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Forbes: Low COVID numbers an underrepresentation of true cases

Despite the low number of COVID-19 cases reported in recent weeks, they are an underrepresentation of the “true” number of cases, according to Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme.

“COVID hasn’t gone away,” Forbes said.

“Daily, there are cases reported, could be 16, one day and nine, the other day, but what you need to know is that that’s an underrepresentation of the number of true cases. That’s who’s diagnosed in the healthcare system. So, COVID is still here.”

The Ministry of Health reported 44 cases between Thursday and Saturday; 12 on Thursday; 23 on Friday and nine on Saturday.

The Bahamas recorded a total of 8,551 cases of COVID since March 2020. Since February 1, 328 cases were reported.

Since mid-November, the number of reported COVID cases in The Bahamas trended downward. 

Regarding the COVID-19 variants stemming from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, Forbes said “all scientists should be concerned”.

“In the case of some of these mutations, it is more contagious, it’s more transmissible, because more people can be affected and then more people can be seriously ill and hospitalized or even die,” she said.

According to Forbes, health officials have been monitoring the recent spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

She said while numbers are still relatively low, if people begin to let their guards down and don’t follow instructions, it could lead to the number of cases getting out of control very quickly.

“If it is that there are clusters going on and there’s ongoing transmission and cases unidentified in people in the community and so on, that could lead potentially to a third wave,” she said.

“But I don’t think that we are there yet. Let me be clear, I don’t think that we are there yet.

“I think that the MOH did get on the top of this and determined that there were workplace clusters and what was needed was done.

“Certainly, there are other parameters: the seven-day moving average, the number of hospital admissions, deaths, those have been fairly under control and that’s a good sign.

“However, I always say we’re only at one moment in time and it’s dependent on what we all do. If we let down our guards and stop wearing our masks properly, wearing it just below the nose, that’s not wearing a mask effectively. If we start gathering in closed spaces, then we could have a problem and that can get out of control very quickly. So, it’s dependent on what we all do and how well our control activities are.”

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Kyle Walkine

Kyle started with The Nassau Guardian in June 2014 as a broadcast reporter. He began anchoring the newscast four months later. Kyle began writing national news and feature stories in 2016. He covers a wide range of national stories. He previously worked as a reporter at Jones Communications. Education: College of The Bahamas, Bachelor Media

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