New COVID-19 Strains and Increase in Cases Worries Wells

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Health Minister Renward Wells said the country is seeing a “three-fold increase in cases,” as it battles the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wells, speaking in the House of Assembly on Wednesday morning, said the scientific data shows that the country is experiencing another surge.

“Our data clearly shows that we are in another surge. We are noticing a pattern that was seen at the beginning of the second wave.”

Why it matters

As the country continues its vaccine roll-out, health officials are seeing an increase in the number of cases on a daily basis over the last two weeks. New infections are believed to be driven by international travel and a relaxed adherence to the health measures.

Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, special health advisor to the Office of the Prime Minister, and chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine National Committee stated at a press conference on Tuesday, that officials have been identified variants of the disease from the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa, and most recently from India.

“These variants spread more easily and are infecting younger age groups. The cases may be more severe,” Dahl-Regis said.

What Health Minister is saying

“…we saw how COVID-19 cases slowed down during the second wave at the end of October, beginning of November 2020 with no definitive end. We maintained a steady-state for some months.”

“However, by the end of February beginning of March, the picture changed, and in recent weeks there has been a three-fold increase in cases, which is almost 300%, from that time to now,” Well said.

The big picture

New Providence is the epicenter and the greatest contributor to the total COVID-19 statistics in the country, which means almost 60% of new cases are in the capital.

There has been a quieting of new cases on Eleuthera, Abaco and Grand Bahama compared to prior weeks.

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