This week, between Sunday, April 18th and Thursday, April 22nd, 230 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported throughout the country, with the bulk of those cases located on the island of New Providence.
50 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported for The Bahamas on Friday morning, April 23rd, with (41) of those located in New Providence, and the other eight spread amongst, Grand Bahama (5), Exuma (3) and the Berry Islands (1). Two COVID-19 deaths of a 37 year old woman of New Providence and a 91 year old man of Grand Bahama, were also reported, along with an additional three deaths described as being under investigation. Hospitalizations in-country currently sit at 49 people – 10 of those in Grand Bahama, and 39 in New Providence.
On Thursday, April 22nd the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) in a release, announced the adjustment of certain services at its main location, due to the increase in COVID-19 admissions, saying, “The PHA confirms that the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases requiring admission. Measures have been implemented to manage the increase in cases which have required adjustments to hospital operations, including the discharge of patients who meet the criteria for discharge, and the temporary suspension of in-person clinics. The hospital has also now reverted to the telehealth/virtual platform for out-patient clinics…” Read the full PHA release.
Reminiscent of what was seen in 2020, several government agencies on Friday, April 23rd, also announced temporary closures, due to COVID-19 positive cases detected among employees.
The Postmaster General in a public release advised, “the Parcel Post Section, General Post Office Town Center Mall will be closed for a period of two weeks due to a staff member testing positive for the covid-19 virus. Out of an abundance of caution, the entire section will be closed to allow the staff to quarantine.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised on Friday, “The Consular Division, located at Charlotte House, Shirley Street will be closed today, 23rd April, 2021, to undergo cleaning following a positive Covid case at the Office. Full Covid mitigation protocols, in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines, have been implemented. The Office is expected to reopen on Monday, 26th April at 9am. Persons requiring urgent consular assistance should contact the Ministry at 502-9500.”
On Tuesday, April 20th, the Bahamas Ministry of Education (MOE) published a statement, outlining details of cases recently seen in the education system and relevant mitigation actions taken (Read full MOE statement).
Minister of Health the Hon. Renward Wells, while giving a COVID-19 update in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, said, “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. 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 2021, the picture changed and in recent weeks there has been a three-fold increase in cases, which is almost 300 percent from that time to now.”
Minister Wells reported that New Providence continues to be the epicentre and the greatest contributor to the total COVID-19 burden in-country. Of the approximately 1,901 new cases reported between the beginning of 2021 to date, 1,079 of these have been in New Providence.
Eleuthera, which saw a considerable slowing of new cases, since a brief uptick in March, stood at a total of 213 cases as of Sunday, April 18th. Notably, after what the Ministry of Health described as a data cleaning exercise, in its’ Tuesday, April 20th daily COVID-19 report, re-classifying 347 of its ‘locations pending’ cases – 15 of those re-classified cases were assigned to Eleuthera. As a result, reported cases for the island, for the past year, jumped from 213 to 228.
As of Friday, April 23rd, 2021, COVID-19 deaths in the Bahamas, since March 2020 stand at 196 people. Another 44 deaths during the same period have been classified as non-COVID-19 deaths, and 29 deaths are currently still under investigation.