Monday, February 6, 2023

Why Lockdown Extension Is Looming

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Health officials say virus numbers are surging as more people are ‘out and about’ during restricted shopping days

The ‘two week minimum’ national lockdown seems to have little impact in the spike of coronavirus cases.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan said at a press conference on Friday that COVID-19 cases in New Providence continue to spike in spite of the stay-at-home orders by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

On August 4th, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis ordered the lockdown as beds at the Princess Margaret Hospital reached capacity in the country’s exponential increase in COVID-19 cases.

However, Dr. Minnis referred to the two week lockdown as “minimum,” alluding that an extension is possible.

Why the 2-week lockdown may be extended

More people are out of their houses on the days permitted for shopping, than before the lockdown.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen said, “The amount of persons that are out and about, the amount of traffic that is on the road, we are definitely seeing people who are out now than when we had our first wave…We are now seeing the unfortunate results. We are having much higher cases and seeing it’s taking much longer to approach bending the curve.”

Ministry of Health graph on number of new cases each day.

Other factors on why we are seeing a spike

Dr. McMillan said an increase in new cases are also due in part to people who were exposed to the virus before the lockdown and due to the backlog in the labs, as technicians determine negative and positive cases.

Social media users are fighting against health workers

Health Minister Renwald Wells said some social media users are using the platform to encourage disobedience to the emergency order.

“They are doing the Bahamian people and this nation a severe injustice.”

Dr. McMillan revealed that 30 new confirmed cases were added on Friday and 356 new cases were confirmed this week. The COVID total is 1119, with 964 active cases and 31 hospitalized cases.

COVID-19 deaths  have increased to seventeen. Dr. McMillan said 8 deaths are under investigation—four in New Providence and four in Grand Bahama. The Ministry of Health confirmed the death of a 79-year-old male of Grand Bahama and a 55-year-old female of Bimini.

Cases per island

  • 570 confirmed cases in New Providence
  • 446 in Grand Bahama
  • 45 in Bimini
  • 31 in Abaco
  • 12 in the Berry Islands
  • 8in Cat Island
  • 5 in Exuma
  • 1 in Eleuthera
  • 1 in Inagua
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