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Forbes: Still not out of the woods

Four more people died from COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Wellness reported yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths from the virus to 630. 

While the number of daily reported COVID cases and hospitalization continue to decrease, the number of reported deaths remains high. 

The latest deaths include two men and two women. The ministry said a 44-year-old man died on September 4, a 62-year-old woman died on September 6, and a 67-year-old woman died on September 11. They were all from New Providence. 

A 72-year-old Grand Bahama man died on October 6. 

Additionally, the ministry said another death was under investigation. There are now 60 deaths being investigated. Another 127 deaths are non-COVID related. 

Sixty-two cases were reported on 

October 20, bringing the total number of reported cases to 22,154 since March 2020. 

As of Wednesday, 109 people were in hospital – 64 at Princess Margaret Hospital; 28 at Doctors Hospital; three at the South Beach Clinic; and 14 on Grand Bahama.

A week ago, on October 14, 127 people were in hospital with COVID.

Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme said yesterday that the number of COVID deaths remains concerning. 

“… We do need to keep in mind that if we are still seeing a number of deaths … if a lot of deaths are continuing to be reported, that is concerning,” she said.

“It would be directly related to the number of people who have critical and severe COVID and it would make sense that there are more people with mild to moderate COVID.

“So the number of deaths is still very concerning.

“It still doesn’t quite match the lower number of daily cases. We do have to take a closer look at that because we are about 21 months into COVID and other things could be happening.

“People could be isolating at home, not coming forward for testing. There is office-based testing that uses the rapid antigen testing that may not be reported in. We do have to take a closer look at the situation.”

Only RT-PCR tests are reported on the ministry’s daily dashboards.

Forbes continued, “So where are we? It is possible that there is a slight improvement.

“But we have to continue to watch that and when the number of deaths [start] declining significantly and the percentage positives is reducing significantly, that will be an encouraging sign that things are improving.”

Forbes noted that “we are getting some traction with people getting vaccinated” and that may be related to the reduced number of daily reported cases. 

As of Saturday, 244,303 doses of the COVID vaccine were administered in the country. 

The Bahamas saw its first case of COVID-19 in March 2020. 

In April, Forbes said the country was in the third wave of infections. Cases continued to climb for much of the year but have declined in recent weeks. 

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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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