June 10, 2021
AMID a decline of positive COVID-19 cases in the country, former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands says it appears the nation is "starting to come out" of its third wave of COVID-19, adding he hopes virus numbers continue to trend downward.
Since the start of the pandemic, The Bahamas has recorded more than 12,000 cases and 232 virus related deaths.
Yesterday, Dr Sands told the House of Assembly the only way the country can move on from the pandemic – allowing for the country’s ailing economy to rebound — is to remain a COVID-19 free or COVID safe destination.
He said the number of virus cases recorded in both April and May – when the country’s third wave was confirmed — was more than double the number of infections reported in March and were also higher than those recorded in “December, January, February” combined.
Since June, the number of new cases in the country has considerably declined, with only three new infections confirmed on Monday and 20 on Sunday.
“It seems as if we’re starting to come out of the third wave and I hope that the numbers bear that out,” the Elizabeth MP said during his contribution to the 2021/2022 budget debate yesterday.
“(But) if we are going to make it through this then The Bahamas has to claim that we are going to be the COVID safe country in the world. All of us have to understand how a low COVID environment is critical to our collective and individual survival.
“So, we’ve got to test more than we’re testing. We have to have good treatments but most importantly, we have to vaccinate. So far, we have been fortunate to have some 62,000 shots given; 48,000 plus have gotten their first shot and 13,000 plus have gotten their second shot. That’s only 4.7 percent of adults.”
Noting that more people need to get vaccinated, the former health minister said it will take a national effort for The Bahamas to achieve herd immunity against the virus.
Dr Sands has said at least “200,000 more people” need to be fully vaccinated to achieve this goal.
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