Health Minister in The Bahamas, Renward Wells has expressed satisfaction with the rapid decline in cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, which he said is due to the government’s action and the diligent and hard work of the healthcare sector as well as the adherence of protocols by Bahamians.
“We note that there has been a reduction in the average number of cases from approximately 90 cases per day down to 45 cases per day over the past week,” Wells said in a statement.
“Over the past two days, we have recorded 21 and 24 cases per day respectively. It is noted that this reduction is by no means a result of a decrease in the number of tests performed,” he said, adding that the National Testing Protocol has not changed.
“Our experience has been that predominantly those who are symptomatic present for testing. Contacts of positive cases are tested only if they become symptomatic.”
Wells said that at the height of the second wave of the virus, the Hubert Minnis government took “direct and decisive action” including curfews.
Wells said that the Ministry of Health has demonstrated that the average weekly new cases were declining and as a result, it expects that the demand for testing would also decrease.
He said the positivity rate over the past two weeks has declined from 32 to 12 per cent and that a higher percentage suggests a higher transmission of the virus.
“Hence, a lower percentage suggests that the rate of transmission has been reduced by one third. The WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends that the positivity rate remains below five per cent. All indicators being monitored by the Ministry of Health point to success in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.”
He said that the Ministry of Health has engaged more than 111 contract tracers, up from 31 at the start of October.
“We thank the private sector for purchasing computers and augmenting the numbers purchased by the government to aid this effort. This has had a positive effect to keep track of confirmed COVID-19 patients and their contacts. They have been effective in tracing contacts and the results have been proving the same.”
In addition, he said hospitalizations among persons testing positive for COVID-19 have reduced dramatically and that as of Sunday, 85 persons with COVID-19 were hospitalized across the archipelago – down from the high of 122 on October 22.
He said that the health authorities are also in the process of securing therapeutics, and has already procured 150 doses of Remdesivir.
The Bahamas has recorded 6, 735 positive cases of the virus with 4,493 being active. It has recorded 146 deaths.