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Sands: 25 autopsies completed

The government has completed 25 autopsies on individuals killed by Hurricane Dorian, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands revealed yesterday.

“I’m advised that we’ve done at least 25 autopsies in Abaco already,” Sands said.

“At some point in time, a determination will be made as to whether or not bodies will be removed from cold storage and properly buried. But, that decision would be a collective decision made on the basis of some of the information available to everybody.”

At least 50 people were killed by Dorian earlier this month.

Sands said he was unsure of the specific causes of deaths for the victims.

He said the government does not intend to have a mass burial for unidentified storm victims.

“Bear in mind that every individual is indeed that: an individual human being with loved ones, family members who are seeking to get closure,” Sands said.

“And, so, while in totality, we have a number of deaths – already 51 official I believe – each individual is a human that needs to be treated with dignity and the rights of their loved ones and family will have to be preserved.”

Dorian tore through Abaco and Grand Bahama two weeks ago as one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the northern Bahamas.

On Monday, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson admitted the recovery teams have not gotten to many areas on Abaco.

“We are far from really covering the entire area,” he said.

“The island is vast. It is not something that will happen overnight, and we will continue to do our best.”

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Director Captain Stephen Russell said search and recovery could be ongoing for months.

Sands has said Bahamians should prepare themselves for a “staggering” death toll.

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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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