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Two new cases of COVID-19 on GB

There are two new confirmed cases and one suspected case of COVID-19 on Grand Bahama, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday.

“Two additional cases were confirmed in Grand Bahama this morning and one case is equivocal and waiting for confirmation at this particular time,” he said in the House of Assembly.

Minnis added, “Health officials are at this time in Grand Bahama doing their surveillance and at the same investigating contacts or possible spread.”

The Ministry of Health announced yesterday evening that one of the new cases, case #105, is a 33-year-old female of Grand Bahama with no history of travel. This case is in isolation at home.

Case #106 is a 20-year-old undocumented migrant, the ministry said. The young man “is also in isolation”.

No further information regarding the new cases was given.

The cases came one week after The Bahamas welcomed tourists for the first time in months. Prior to the reopening of the borders, the last confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country was on June 14. The last confirmed case on Grand Bahama was May 5.

The latest cases bring the total number in The Bahamas to 106 – 82 on New Providence; 13 on Bimini; 10 on Grand Bahama and one on Cat Cay. Eleven people have died because of the virus.

“We had stopped the spread of COVID-19, but the virus has not been eliminated and may spread widely and quickly again based on our individual and collective behavior,” Minnis said.

The reopening of the borders last week came as cases continue to spike in the United States, where the majority of visitors to the country come from.

While the government requires a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 10 days of travel for visitors to enter the country, many have raised concerns that the testing capacity must be increased before welcoming tourists.

However, Minnis said last month that widespread testing is not necessary because of The Bahamas’ strong contact tracing program.

He yesterday warned Bahamians that the pandemic is not over, even though the country has been largely reopened.

“The virus is spreading at an alarming rate in various parts of our western hemisphere, including in neighboring countries,” he said.

“And I, again, warn Bahamians that the pandemic is not yet over. The global health emergency will likely not end until a vaccine is discovered.”

Minnis added, “We are trying to do two critical things at the same time. We’re trying to protect lives and livelihoods. And we have to do both at the same time.”

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