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Over 900 new COVID cases reported

While 942 new COVID cases were confirmed in The Bahamas between Thursday and Saturday, Minister of Health Dr. Michael Darville said there have been positive signs that the fourth wave is peaking and additional measures may not be needed.

However, Darville said health officials are watching what happens over the next few days closely before making a decision. 

Last week, Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Philip Swann said he was hopeful that the numbers will begin declining soon. 

“We’ve been watching the numbers from…December moving into today and, looking at the numbers, there are some positive indications,” Darville said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian. 

“I think the CMO was absolutely correct along with the deputy CMO that the indication is pointing in the direction but we still need a little more epidemiological evidence before I can conclusively say that.

“While I’m sort of optimistic about the numbers, we are on standby to implement additional measures if we have to.

“I’m looking at the numbers this week, and then a determination will be made.”

Of the cases confirmed over the weekend, 798 cases were on New Providence, 71 on Grand Bahama, 21 on Exuma, 15 on Eleuthera, 12 on Abaco, 10 in the Berry Islands, three on Andros, three on Bimini, three on Long Island, two on Cat Island and four with locations pending.

A case that had previously been listed as a Mayaguana case was also corrected to be reflected on the dashboard as a New Providence case.

Darville said he is watching hospital admissions and how the wards are managing with exposures, as he noted that the majority of the 132 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Saturday were still people who had been admitted for other reasons but happened to test positive. 

“We are always concerned about the hospital staff that have been exposed to COVID,” Darville said.

“And we have altered the quarantine and isolation time in the rules to accommodate and try to get asymptomatic individuals back to work as soon as possible, so that we can continue to provide the service.”

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health reduced isolation and quarantine periods, depending on individuals’ vaccination status and whether or not they are immunocompromised.

As of Saturday, 77 of the people hospitalized with COVID were at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), 26 at Doctors Hospital, and 29 in Grand Bahama Health Services. 

Six people were in intensive care.

No COVID deaths were confirmed over the weekend. 

As of Saturday, 719 people in The Bahamas had been confirmed to have died of COVID since the start of the pandemic. Another 153 people were confirmed to have died with COVID, but not because of it, while 37 deaths were still under investigation.

The positivity rate on Thursday was 22.7 percent. On Friday, it was 36.2 percent and, on Saturday, it was 23.9 percent.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum rate of five percent.

As of Saturday, there were 6,889 active cases in The Bahamas.

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Rachel Scott

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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