Friday, July 23, 2021

A 4th Wave is Looming. The Bahamas Must Accelerate Vaccination Drive

COVID-19 cases in the country are swelling. The latest statistics from the Ministry of health show 95 new cases, increasing the total number of cases in the country to 13,781, with 1264 active cases.

Saturday’s statistics showed 100 new cases. Thirty-eight new cases were recorded on Sunday and Monday’s statistics showed 81 new cases.

The majority of the cases are concentrated in New Providence, with Grand Bahama, a far second. Abaco, Bimini and Cat Cay, Eleuthera and Exuma are a close tie in new cases.

Health Minister Renward Wells blamed the surging number of cases on the events and gatherings held over the Independent holiday weekend.

“Usually, there’s an uptick in cases about seven to eight days… 14 days out from any sort of major holiday. We have just come through the entire weekend of Independence, so folks would’ve gotten together in groups on beaches and homes, celebrating our independence and obviously we would’ve expected that given the fact that we would’ve had positive cases in the country that there would’ve been an uptick.

“We’re going to be looking over this week, assessing over the data and then seeing where we are and whether we have defined clusters or anything new that is developing.”

The uptick in cases is not unique to the Bahamas. The United States of America is battling cases that have tripled in number due to the Delta strain.

US health officials acknowledged that the country has hit its 4th wave of the virus as deaths and hospitalizations escalate.

While few numbers are among the vaccinated group like the elderly and the immune-compromised, the majority of those stricken with the latest attack of the virus are the unvaccinated group including children.

The director for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky has labeled this latest wave, ‘a pandemic of the unvaccinated.’

Minnis has followed suit, acknowledging that the unvaccinated individuals face the worst casualty in the pandemic as the government “aggressively pursues” more vaccination.

Currently, the government has a limited supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine and has since only offered second dose jabs.

The third tranche of Astra Zeneca is expected to arrive later this month, and Pfizer is expected in August.

If the country is to beat the virus and prevent the 4th wave of COVID-19, citizens must ignore the misinformation about the vaccine, and government must move quickly to mobilize a vaccination drive.

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