'COVID SURGE HAS HIT THE BAHAMAS': Death toll hits 800 - and 200 new cases so far this month

Share |

May 13, 2022

HEALTH officials yesterday confirmed that the country is in another surge of COVID-19 infections after more than 200 cases were confirmed so far this month.

The revelation came as the country continued to record double digit numbers, with 27 cases on Wednesday and 24 on Tuesday, bringing the nation’s overall tally to 33,830 since the start of the pandemic.

There have also been two more virus related deaths confirmed, pushing the death toll to 800. The latest deceased victims were a 67-year-old woman and an 81-year-old man, both from Grand Bahama.

During a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday, Dr Phillip Swann, registrar at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, attributed the recent increase in virus cases to mostly “COVID fatigue.”

“We’re seeing it’s basically more related to COVID fatigue,” Dr Swann said yesterday. “There are persons who are pushing for mask mandates to be removed and some of them are just going on and removing those mask mandates themselves, so the reality is we strongly believe in the science and science is proving true.”

According to Dr Swann, this surge is more manageable than previous COVID waves in that fewer people are requiring serious hospitalisation.

Because of this, he said officials are not as concerned as they feel they have the COVID situation in the country under control.

“There’s a surge occurring, but it’s not to the threshold where we are too concerned because it’s just cases. If we look around the globe, public health has moved away from the reactive posture when there’s an increase in the number of cases, you automatically shut down,” he told reporters yesterday. 

“So, we usually respond to the burden of the health system to respond to managing the number of cases … and at this point and time, as being reported by our numbers we have zero persons who are actually in hospital requiring advanced care and the majority of persons who are in hospital who are on the hospitalisation list are there for another reason and not because they’re ill with COVID.”

He was also asked about the number of people testing positive by way of the rapid antigen tests after concerns were raised about the issue last week.

However, Dr Swann replied: “That number changes and so that’s a reason why we don’t want to report that number... so that answer is no, I won’t say how much it was because when we looked at it last week, it was one number and then when we looked at it again for last week or the week before last rather, it had increased significantly.”

The slight rise in infection rates comes as countries around the world, including The Bahamas, continue to ease measures. 

Yesterday, Dr Swann discussed the reasoning behind the relaxation of certain protocols in the country, especially as it relates to cultural events.

“I think what we are trying to get across to the general population is that there is a measure of general responsibility that is required. We have experienced a pushback and the outcry from the public about being ‘under lockdown’ and ‘losses associated with that’ and with other finance and the ability to socialise and so when we make our decision and we take into consideration the applications that we received, we take into consideration the promises, I guess you can say, and the statements that are made by individuals in their applications,” he said.

He also spoke about the festivities planned for Survival Weekend set for May 20-22 and concerns about this event resulting in an outbreak or spike of COVID-19.“We’ve taken into consideration that it’s an outdoor event and that it’s going over a long period of distance for say five to fifteen hundred persons and we’ve looked at other events that we would’ve approved in smaller confines to make a determination whether or not we feel that this event is substantially more risky than the other events and again, the approval to have the event is just that. It’s not a waiving of any of the public health measures that we have asked persons to adhere to.”

According to Dr Swann, event promoters have requested for more people to attend the event, which was initially approved for 500. However, he said officials have not yet given them their decision.

Earlier this month, organisers of the event said they were given approval for 1,200 attendees.

The event is set for May 20-22.

Click here to read more at The Tribune

News date : 05/13/2022    Category : Covid-19, Health, Tribune Stories

Share |