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Record daily cases for NP

Nine days into a two-week lockdown, New Providence yesterday recorded 51 cases of COVID-19, the highest number for the island since the country got its first case back in March.

In total, health authorities reported 53 cases yesterday. Two were recorded on Grand Bahama, which had previously been named a COVID-19 hotspot and was nearing an end of a lockdown when a national lockdown started on August 4.

Between August 4 and yesterday, 410 cases were confirmed nationally. Up to August 4, The Bahamas had a confirmed case count of 715. As of yesterday, it has recorded 1,089 total cases.

Of the 410 cases confirmed during the national lockdown, 245 were on New Providence; 121 on Grand Bahama, which has been on lockdown since July 23; and the remainder were on Family Islands.

Because officials do not provide information on when tests were conducted, it is impossible to say how many of those 410 cases confirmed while the country was on lockdown were from tests conducted during the nine-day period and how many were prior.

Speaking to the issue of a testing backlog at a Ministry of Health press conference last Friday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan said, “…We are getting upward of 300 tests per day going into the National Reference Lab and we are getting out — just recently — around 150. 

“So, we do have a significant number to get through in order to be up to speed. But I think we have a very committed team in there and we’ve augmented the capacities and we anticipate that they will be working throughout the weekend to try and keep moving these specimen through.”

McMillan also said, “As we do additional contract tracing, we anticipate that we may have to do more tests. So we would have actually been in a position to provide results within 24 hours during the first wave. That was above and beyond many countries. So it’s not ideal for us to say now that we are about 48 to 72 hours; we are that off, but we are significantly enhancing our capabilities to be able to get as close to the 24 hours before.”

She could not provide the exact numbers of tests that were backlogged at the time.

According to the Ministry of Health’s dashboard released yesterday, 7,242 tests have been conducted in the country since the start of the pandemic. There were 138 recovered cases and 934 active cases.

While the still high case count in the absence of more specific information from health officials does not tell a story of whether the lockdown is leading to any gains, the lack of a clear downward trend has led to expectations that the prime minister will extend the lockdown, due to end on Tuesday.

Dr. Hubert Minnis has already left the door open for that to happen by indicating that the national lockdown was for a minimum of two weeks.

The lockdown means that most businesses in the country are closed and everyone, except essential workers, is required to stay home, unless they are going to grocery stores, gas stations or pharmacies on designated days, or unless they have an emergency.

Up to July 7, The Bahamas had recorded 104 cases of COVID-19. Prior to that, its last case was recorded on June 14.

Since the borders fully reopened, the number of cases has exploded. 

BREAKDOWN

On July 8, health officials reported that there were two new cases, both on Grand Bahama. There was one case on Grand Bahama on July 9; one on New Providence on July 10; three on Grand Bahama on July 11; no cases were reported on July 12; and two cases were reported on Grand Bahama on July 13.

On July 14, there were three cases: two on Grand Bahama and one on New Providence.

There were three reported cases on July 15 on New Providence.

On July 16, there were five cases: three on Grand Bahama and two on New Providence.

On July 17, there were five cases: two on Inagua and three on New Providence.

On July 18, there were nine cases: seven on Grand Bahama and two on New Providence.

On July 19, there were 15 cases: four on New Providence and 11 on Grand Bahama.

On July 20, there were 21 cases, but health officials did not give a complete breakdown of cases that day, with some data missing on several cases.

On July 21, there were 20 cases: six on New Providence, 10 on Grand Bahama, two on Cat Island and two on Bimini.

On July 22, there were 25 cases: six on New Providence, 13 on Grand Bahama, four on the Berry Islands and two on Bimini.

On July 23, there were 55 cases: five on New Providence, 39 on Grand Bahama, four on Bimini, three on Cat Cay, three on Moore’s Island and one on Great Guana Cay.

On July 24, there were 42 cases: five on New Providence, 35 on Grand Bahama and two on the Berry Islands.

On July 25, there were 10 cases: six on New Providence and four on Grand Bahama.

On July 26, there were 16 cases: five on New Providence, 10 on Grand Bahama and one case on Exuma.

On July 27, there were 40 cases: 21 on Grand Bahama, 16 on New Providence, two on Exuma and one on Cat Island.

On July 28, there were 65 cases: 29 on New Providence, 21 on Grand Bahama, eight on Guana Cay, six on Moore’s Island and one on Abaco.

On July 29, there were 37 cases: five on New Providence and 32 on Grand Bahama.

On July 30, there were 24 cases: 20 on New Providence and four on Grand Bahama.

On July 31, there were 66 new cases: 39 on Grand Bahama and 27 on New Providence.

Health officials did not give a breakdown of the 25 cases reported on August 1.

On August 2, there were 49 new cases: 27 on New Providence, 10 on Grand Bahama, eight on Bimini, two on Cat Cay, one on Moore’s Island and one on the Berry Islands.

On August 3, there were 31 new cases: 22 on Grand Bahama and nine on New Providence.

When they hold a press conference today, health officials are expected to provide an update on the trends they have noticed since the August 4 lockdown commenced. 

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Candia Dames

Candia Dames is the executive editor of The Nassau Guardian.

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