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Sands: We have 1,750 test kits, more on the way

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday that there are 1,750 COVID-19 test kits in the country with an additional 10,000 rapid test kits on order.

During a press conference at the ministry’s headquarters, Sands said 2,000 test kits are expected to arrive on New Providence by this week.

He reiterated that the government is preparing for a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

So far, there are four confirmed cases of the disease in The Bahamas. Sands said all of the cases are related to each other.

“I believe that we are concerned about the possibility of a surge in the near future,” he said.

“And so while we are gratified to see the number at only four, we do not believe that we should, in any way, restrain our efforts to both mitigate this and to also identify and manage any patients.

“And so, we are going to ask people not to have a false sense of security.”

Sands said the first patient, a 61-year-old woman, remains in hospital receiving treatment for the condition. The other three patients have not required hospitalization, but are in isolation.

Sands said his ministry is conducting aggressive contact tracing.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan said the first two patients identified a total of 120 contacts. She said that so far, 117 people in the country have been tested.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis last week announced a nationwide 11-day curfew and partial lockdown that began on Friday.

Sands said that while the measures have so far been fairly effective, stricter measures may be necessary.

“It is likely that additional changes will be made,” he said.

“We are pleased with what has happened. To say that we are 100 percent happy would be incorrect and imprecise, and the public can expect additional changes to come.”

Sands added, “There is no doubt about it that as a country, we are fighting a very serious threat. We do not intend to lose.”

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Rachel Knowles

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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