#Nassau, The Bahamas – July 24, 2020 — Grand Bahama Island is now the new epicenter of the Coronavirus in The Bahamas; a boost in cases by 119 percent and according to health officials in a late day press conference on Friday July 24, it all began with one returning resident.
Today, Bahamians learned that along with Grand Bahama which his currently on day two of a 14-day lockdown; the other islands of the country will be closed to non-essential activity on weekends.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and new Health Minister, Renward Wells first addressed the nation and then backed aside to allow the technocrats and managers of The Bahamas Covid 19 response strategy to lay out the details of why Grand Bahama is the country’s new hot spot.
So far 518 swabs have been taken in Grand Bahama, up to July 23 and patients range in age from six years old to 84 years old. One case has had to be medically evacuated to New Providence, while 111 are stay at home isolations; nine are in government isolation and 20 are being quarantined in a government facility.
On Thursday there were 39 new cases for Grand Bahama; today 35 positives for Covid-19 were added to the grim list.
The country learned that patients turning up at hospital for medical care, due to the coronavirus complain of respiratory problems, aching muscles and a loss of taste and smell.
As many as 22 patients in Grand Bahama had travelled; while 56 others were found, through contract tracking to have history of travel which means they were infected by someone or someone close to someone who had recently travelled.
With an available 16 beds, the CMO said Grand Bahamas is nearing capacity with 11 of the patients hospitalized.
Dr. McMillian confirmed that indeed, this is the second wave for The Bahamas and this round with the pandemic is significantly worse and follows the re-opening of the borders to international travel on July 1.
It is a nightmare for the island of Grand Bahama, which is further plunged into despair amidst the struggle to recover from the ravages of 2019’s Hurricane Dorian.
Grand Bahama is the source of cases which hit Moore’s Island Abaco, where there are two people confirmed to have the coronavirus.
The Bahamas, today revealed its second highest daily spike in Covid-19 cases. A frightening 42 new positive diagnoses were announced by Dr. Pearle McMillian, the Chief Medical Officer of The Bahamas.
The Bahamas leaps from 274 documented cases of the coronavirus to 316; five of the cases are charted in New Providence and there are two more cases for the Berry Islands.
Eight islands and cays are identified as having Covid-19 positive patients:Grand Bahama, 155; New Provicence, 124; Bimini, 21; Berry Islands, 6; Cat Cay, 4; Moore’s Island, 3; Cat Island, 2 and Guana Cay with one case.
Meanwhile, the announcement of the weekend lockdown sparked panic buying in New Providence with a rush to grocery stores and images of long lines flooding social media.
The lockdown weekend measure takes effect from 10 p.m. July 24, but does not completely close down grocers on Saturday or Sunday. The Prime Minister informed that: “Grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations may open 7am to 6pm to public on Saturday and Sunday during lockdown weekend.”