More women dying of COVID than men 

Of the 117 COVID-19 deaths confirmed in August, just over 60 percent have been women.

The Ministry of Health dashboards released in August show that of all COVID-19 deaths reported thus far, 71 were women and 46 were men.

Women also accounted for the majority of the more than 3,300 COVID infections reported this month.

Former Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said while the gender divide may seem random, he doesn’t believe that’s true.

“It just speaks to several issues,” he said. “One, to the role that women play in the service industry.

“And, two, in The Bahamas, we have a far greater problem with overweight and obesity, as well as some of the other non-communicable diseases, among women.

“So, certainly, if we drill down on the overweight and obesity, far more women, statistically speaking, are overweight or obese in The Bahamas than men. So, if you look at the comorbidities, it is going to impact outcomes from COVID.”

The COVID-19 death toll surpassed 400 on Tuesday night with the Ministry of Health confirming 10 additional COVID deaths between August 24 and 27.

Two more deaths, confirmed on Wednesday morning, pushed the death toll to 408.

Of the 117 deaths confirmed in August, 93 occurred this month.

Twenty-four of the deaths reported this month occurred between April and July.

More cases and deaths have been recorded in August than any other month since the start of the pandemic last year.

“No matter how you slice it, it has been a horrible month to look at the number of deaths, to look at the number of cases, the number of cases per 100,000 – whatever method you choose, it has been a horrible month for COVID,” Sands said.

While Health Minister Renward Wells expressed optimism that before the next general election, The Bahamas is going to see a reduction in the numbers, the former minister said he believes more restrictive measures are necessary to flatten the curve.

“I have said that we need to be more restrictive with our approach to COVID,” he said.

“I think that the evidence is clear that we are not on a good wicket right now, and at the very least, we need to be a lot more diligent, a lot more disciplined in regard to our public health measures, social distancing, mask wearing, sanitization.

“I think we need to start restricting interactions with people that don’t know each other. It’s unfortunate to imagine having to tighten measures any further, but we haven’t seen this curve flatten by any stretch of the imagination.

“As a matter of fact, it seems to be on a climb and what is happening in the hospitals is heartbreaking.”

The Bahamas recorded an additional 125 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

One hundred and sixty-nine COVID-positive individuals remain hospitalized.

Officials at both major hospitals on New Providence have indicated that their institutions are overwhelmed with COVID-positive patients.

Patients needing care are reportedly being turned away from Princess Margaret Hospital because no beds are available.

Fifteen COVID patients were in the intensive care unit as of Tuesday.

Last week, Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme, said the country has not yet seen the worst of this surge.

Forbes predicted that with the healthcare system already overwhelmed, more people will die before the situation improves.

“If we continue business as usual, there will be nothing to really stop the spread,” she warned.

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Krystel Brown

Krystel covers breaking news for The Nassau Guardian. Krystel also manages The Guardian’s social media pages. She joined The Nassau Guardian in 2007 as a staff reporter, covering national news. She was promoted to online editor in May 2017. Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications

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