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Two new deaths

The death toll from COVID-19 rose by two, bringing the total number of deaths in The Bahamas to 17, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan announced on Friday.

Additionally, she said there are eight deaths under investigation; four on New Providence and four on Grand Bahama.

Dr. McMillian said details on the deaths were not available at the time of the press conference, but promised to provide them later today.

This comes as The Bahamas recorded 30 new cases of the virus on Friday.

The total number of cases recorded since March has increased to 1,119. That total includes 570 cases on New Providence, 446 on Grand Bahama, 45 on Bimini, 31 on Abaco, 12 on the Berry Islands, eight on Cat Island, five on Exuma, one on Eleuthera and one on Inagua.

Dr. McMillan noted that 356 cases were reported this week alone, which is a 41 percent increase over last week.

Health officials are particularly concerned about the spike in New Providence cases. Yesterday, New Providence recorded 51 cases of COVID-19, the highest number for the island since the country got its first case back in March.

“We are not seeing the impact of the lockdown on New Providence yet,” she said.

Health Minister Renward Wells said 45 to 50 people are presenting to the clinic daily with mild symptoms of COVID-19.

Meantime, health officials continue to experience a backlog at the lab.

 Director of the National HIV/AIDS & Infectious Diseases Programme Dr. Nikkiah Forbes indicated that up to 800 COVID-19 tests are pending.

However, Wells said the government is increasing its capacity to test.

Given the steady increase in cases, rumors of an extended lockdown are beginning to make the rounds. 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.

When asked if that is a consideration, Dr. McMillan said, “I am hoping that we won’t have to.” However, she added that if things don’t improve in the short term, “I would not say that that recommendation would not come forward.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen has criticized that apparent lack of adherence to the lockdown.

He warned that “if we continue to take this approach where we are partly on lockdown” and continue to engage in social activity, The Bahamas will find itself in a position where it is difficult to suppress the spike.

The death toll from COVID-19 rose by two, bringing the total number of deaths in The Bahamas to 17, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan announced on Friday.

Additionally, she said there are eight deaths under investigation; four on New Providence and four on Grand Bahama.

McMillian said details on the deaths were not available at the time of the press conference, but promised to provide them later today.

This comes as The Bahamas recorded 30 new cases of the virus on Friday.

The total number of cases recorded since March has increased to 1,119. That total includes 570 cases on New Providence, 446 on Grand Bahama, 45 on Bimini, 31 on Abaco, 12 on the Berry Islands, eight on Cat Island, five on Exuma, one on Eleuthera and one on Inagua.

McMillan noted that 356 cases were reported this week alone, which is a 41 percent increase over last week.

Health officials are particularly concerned about the spike in New Providence cases. Yesterday, New Providence recorded 51 cases of COVID-19, the highest number for the island since the country got its first case back in March.

“We are not seeing the impact of the lockdown on New Providence yet,” she said.

Health Minister Renward Wells said 45 to 50 people are presenting to the clinic daily with mild symptoms of COVID-19.

Health officials continue to experience a backlog at the lab.

 Director of the National HIV/AIDS & Infectious Diseases Programme Dr. Nikkiah Forbes indicated that up to 800 COVID-19 tests are pending.

However, Wells said the government is receiving assistance from private labs.

Given the steady increase in cases, rumors of an extended lockdown are beginning to make the rounds. 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.

When asked if that is a consideration, Dr. McMillan said, “I am hoping that we won’t have to.” However, she added that if things don’t improve in the short term, “I would not say that that recommendation would not come forward.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen has criticized that apparent lack of adherence to the lockdown.

He warned that “if we continue to take this approach where we are partly on lockdown” and continue to engage in social activity, The Bahamas will find itself in a position where it is difficult to suppress the spike.

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Krystel Brown

Krystel covers breaking news for The Nassau Guardian. Krystel also manages The Guardian’s social media pages. She joined The Nassau Guardian in 2007 as a staff reporter, covering national news. She was promoted to online editor in May 2017. Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications

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