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More COVID-19 tests conducted at Doctors Hospital than in public health system in Aug. and Sept.

Doctors Hospital (DHHS) conducted more than 65 percent of the COVID-19 tests conducted in The Bahamas between August 3 and September 13, according to data from The Ministry of Health.

The data indicated that DHHS, which also processed samples from Lucayan Medical Centre on Grand Bahama, conducted more tests than the public sector — the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) and Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) combined — during that period.

Doctors Hospital conducted 7,390 tests whereas NRL and PMH only conducted 3,850 tests during that period.

As DHHS is a private facility, the data indicates that more people had to pay for COVID testing in The Bahamas during that six-week period.

Breakdown

During the week of August 3, DHHS conducted 328 tests resulting in only two positive cases.

That same week, the public health sector conducted 1,080 tests, which resulted in 322 positive cases.

Doctors Hospital conducted 1,372 tests the following week, August 10.

Two hundred and forty of those tests came back positive.

The public sector conducted 645 tests, which resulted in 217 people testing positive. 

During the week of August 17, DHHS conducted 1,700 tests – 280 of which resulted in positive cases. 

The public sector conducted 598 tests that week, with 275 positive results.

During the week of August 24, DHHS conducted 1,523 tests, with 277 tests coming back positive.

The public sector conducted 485 tests that week, which resulted in 255 positive cases.

During the week of August 31, DHHS conducted 1,602 tests, of which 276 came back positive.

The public sector conducted 360 tests during that period, with 211 testing positive for the virus.

During the week of September 7, DHHS conducted 865 tests, of which 167 came back positive.

The public sector conducted 482 tests, 171 of which were positive.

Two thousand six hundred and ninety-five of the 11,240 tests conducted during the six-week period came back positive for COVID-19.

Positivity rate

The data reveals that The Bahamas has a COVID positivity rate of about 24 percent.

On Monday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan said that between August 3 and September 13, at least 23 percent of COVID-19 tests conducted were positive. 

On May 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that COVID positive rates remain at five percent or lower for at least 14 days.

The Bahamas has not achieved WHO’s recommended rate since the end of June when its positivity rate was roughly four percent before it reopened its international borders.

The Bahamas had a positivity rate of 13 percent at the end of July and 20 percent at the end of August.

The government decided to move forward with the reopening of the domestic economy despite its positivity rate being roughly five times what is recommended by international health officials.

It is also expecting to reopen to tourists by October 15.

More than 13,400 tests were conducted between June 30 and September 16 as both the private and public sectors expanded testing amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The Ministry of Health conducted 2,404 tests prior to June 30.

The Bahamas recorded over 3,000 cases of the virus since March.

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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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