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Health minister describes COVID-19 as ‘Satan’

As The Bahamas experiences a significant surge in COVID-19 cases, Minister of Health Renward Wells today described COVID-19 as “Satan” while failing to provide an analysis of the spike in cases.

“We are now in a surge which will get worse if we do not adhere to restrictive and public health measures, which must not be taken for granted,” Wells said in his first address since being sworn in as minister on Monday.

“This virus is much like Satan, roaming to and fro, seeking whom he may devour. We must do all that we can to save lives and avert countless infections with an aggressive and proactive offense. The devil is busy, Mr. Speaker, and the church is encouraged to say, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan!'”

Wells was expected to deliver a communication as minister and provide insight into the surge in cases as well as the decision to forcibly quarantine scores of people after they traveled to New Providence from Grand Bahama on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, when asked by reporters for a breakdown of ages and genders of recent COVID patients, he replied, “All of that, the prime minister will speak to and I will speak to during the course of the debate. We will be updating the Bahamian people as to where we are.” 

Yesterday’s dashboard did not state travel specifics for any of the new cases and only gave the sexes and ages for 13 of the individuals.

Monday and Tuesday’s dashboard did not provide specific patient information, including ages or sexes.

When Wells spoke today, he said, “During the four months that our borders were closed, only 104 COVID-19 cases were confirmed. In the two-week period since the opening of the borders, the number of positive cases have more than doubled.”

There are currently 219 cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas; 115 of which were reported between July 8 and July 22.

As of last night, there are 115 active cases and 13 hospitalizations. 

This morning, Wells noted that there was an additional hospitalization but he did not indicate whether it was on New Providence or Grand Bahama.

Wells said The Bahamas is fighting an “unseen enemy,” noting that “the onslaught is tangible”.

“Around the world, we see the devastation wreaked by this novel coronavirus, COVID-19,” he said.

“Here at home, one only needs to follow the COVID-19 dashboard to draw the conclusion that we are a nation on the verge of being under siege.”

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