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Hospitalizations, deaths both approach 100 mark

Ninety-three COVID-19 cases were hospitalized as of Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health, but at last report, there were only 74 beds available for COVID-positive individuals.

On August 28, Minister of Health Renward Wells said there were 114 beds for COVID-19 patients, but only 84 were available. 

The number of beds decreased to 74 by September 9.

During an address to Parliament, Wells said 51 beds were available on New Providence and 23 on Grand Bahama. 

Yesterday, the health minister promised to call back when reached for a comment regarding the bed capacity for COVID-19 cases.

In recent weeks, healthcare workers and health officials have expressed concern over the public healthcare system’s ability to accommodate the inevitable increase in hospitalizations as a result of a spike in cases during the second wave of the novel coronavirus in The Bahamas

On August 3, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said, “There has been an exponential increase in the number of cases, an increase in hospitalizations, an increase in the demand for ICU beds and, sadly, an increase in the number of deaths. The more cases that present to health institutions, the more services will be needed. Right now, our bed capacity and human resources are being increasingly stretched.

“Health officials advise that a lockdown will allow for the repurposing of health facilities and addition of health resources to accommodate the increased need for hospitalizations and healthcare support.”

At the time, there were 679 confirmed cases and 22 hospitalizations.

The prime minister has since moved away from lockdowns as a means to fight COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 48 additional cases on Saturday — 47 on New Providence and one on Grand Bahama.

An additional death was under investigation on Saturday as well.

The ministry also confirmed 91 cases on Friday — 85 on New Providence, two on Grand Bahama, one on Abaco, one on Exuma and the locations of two cases were pending.

On Friday, health authorities confirmed the death of a 33-year-old New Providence man, who died on September 19.

A 71-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man of New Providence died on Friday and an additional death was under investigation.

As of Saturday, there were 3,838 total confirmed cases; 2,005 recoveries; 1,717 active cases; 89 COVID-19 deaths; 13 non-COVID-related deaths; and 14 deaths under investigation.

According to the ministry’s dashboard, 19,026 tests have been conducted in The Bahamas. 

The Ministry of Health said yesterday that due to circumstances beyond its control, its Sunday dashboard will not be released.

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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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