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Grand Bahama’s lockdown extended by seven days

Grand Bahama’s lockdown was extended by seven days, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Monday night.

The island has been on a lockdown since July 23.

It was initially expected to end on August 7 but it was extended to August 19 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The prime minister said, “Based on the number of new cases and other indicators regularly reported on by the Ministry of Health, we are all aware that the two islands in the most grave of situations are New Providence and Grand Bahama.

“I am pleased, and personally relieved, to say that health officials are beginning to see progress on Grand Bahama. They have recommended a continuation of the present level of restrictions to control and slow the spread of COVID-19 on the island.

“As such, the present lockdown restrictions will continue in respect of Grand Bahama for a period of seven days commencing tomorrow, August 18, 2020.

“The current restrictions will continue to apply to all other islands presently under the Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic) (Lockdown) Order 2020.”

There are 461 COVID-19 cases on Grand Bahama.

The island only had eight cases prior to July 1 when The Bahamas reopened its borders.

Minnis said health officials are getting “closer” to identifying all cases and contacts.

“By identifying all cases and contacts this will help to bring the virus under control,” he said.

Minnis said 87 percent of confirmed cases on Grand Bahama have been contacted and are being monitored.

He said 80 percent of contacts of cases have been identified.

He also noted that 82 percent of cases on New Providence have been contacted and are being monitored.

Eighty percent of contacts on New Providence have been contacted, according to Minnis.

“Aggressive contact tracing is ongoing,” he said.

“Progress is also being made on clearing the backlog at the National Reference Laboratory.”

On Friday, Director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme Dr. Nikkiah Forbes said 800 tests were still awaiting processing at the lab.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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