PM outlines some details on COVID-19 deaths

Nearly half of the COVID-19 patients who had comorbidities and were hospitalized during the pandemic died, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis revealed yesterday.

There have been 104 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 COVID-related deaths in The Bahama since March.

While speaking at the Commonwealth COVID-19 virtual leaders’ meeting, the prime minister said, “The Bahamas continues to carry the distinction of being among the highest burdened countries for non-communicable diseases. This reality impacted our COVID-19 experience.

“Half —50 percent — of the cases with one or more comorbidities required hospitalizations compared to 29 percent of patients with no comorbidities required hospitalizations.

“Seventy-one percent of the cases — 44 cases — with no comorbidities did not require hospitalization while 42.9 percent of the patients with one or more comorbidities who were hospitalized died, while zero patients hospitalized with no comorbidities died from COVID-19.

“All COVID-19-related deaths in The Bahamas occurred with patients having one or more comorbidities.”

Minnis said exploration of the characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic in The Bahamas indicates that there is a “turning [or] bending of the curve”.

He said the age profile of the cases and deaths do not follow global or regional patterns.

Minnis said there are “disproportionate rates” of healthcare workers who have contracted the virus.

The Bahamas reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 15.

Not long after, the government imposed a series of restrictions, including nightly curfews and weekend lockdowns, to contain the spread of the virus.

Yesterday, Minnis said those restrictions have been “pivotal in our success”.

“The Bahamian people are as much to credit as the measures,” he said.

“Madam secretary-general, as we look to the future, cognizant that COVID-19 is not behind us and is still very much a looming threat, we proceed with the relaxation of restrictions with cautious optimism.

“Repatriation of Bahamian nationals and legal residents and the phased reopening of borders carry inherent risks. We must exact a balance with the economic welfare of the country and health and well-being of the people.”

The Bahamas hasn’t had any new COVID-19 cases since June 14.

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