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Remarks by Minister of Health Renward Wells - COVID-19 Update Press Conference, October 16, 2020
Oct 16, 2020 - 9:44:21 PM

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BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham

Statement
The Hon. Renward R. Wells, M.P.
Minister of Health
Press Conference: COVID-19 Update
Ministry of Health Friday, 16th October 2020 3 p.m.

Good afternoon members of the press and good afternoon Bahamas.

Here is the latest update on COVID-19 as of Thursday the 15th of October, 2020.

One-hundred and thirty-two (132) new cases were recorded on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in The Bahamas to 5,517.

There are 2,164 active cases. Currently, there are one hundred seven (107) hospitalized patients.

Twenty-three (23) additional cases have recovered and been released from care. Total recoveries are now at 3,201 which is a recovery rate of 58%.

For the past thirty (30) days, we have averaged 1.5 COVID-19 deaths each day. Three (3) deaths alone were reported yesterday. We remind the Bahamian people that COVID-19 is no respecter of persons.

So far, twenty-six thousand one hundred fifty (26,150) samples have been tested. There were five sixty-five (565) tests completed yesterday, 15th October, 2020.

I would like to point out that at the start of the second wave of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, a total of 2,540 tests had been completed as of the 13th of July, 2020. This number includes some follow-up testing on COVID- 26,150, shows that The Bahamas has ramped up an improved testing output of 900%.

My report of the COVID-19 numbers today you would deviate from our usual format. We have heard the requests from the community for changes to the way we present information and data.

To more effectively inform the public, going forward the Ministry of Health will phase in a more comprehensive COVID-19 Update, similar to the one just presented. The COVID-19 Dashboard in its current form will also be phased out.

We encourage members of the community to continue to engage us through our clinic and hospital community advocacy groups and via our Social Media platforms. Through community partnerships, we can combat this pandemic.

In addition to community partnerships, the Government continues to embark on a multi-sectorial approach to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

An additional 80 persons will be trained as contact tracers to assist in the vital task of identifying, contacting, and conducting further follow up work on contacts of confirmed cases. This includes:

  •      10 Civil Servants;
  •      10 persons from the Ministry of Tourism; and
  •      60 employees of Bahamas air.

    This will bring the total number of contact tracers to 111.
    These new persons will be trained to assist with the vital tasks of identifying, contacting, and conducting further follow up work on contacts.

Also, to streamline our COVID-19 efforts, I am pleased to announce the reactivation of the COVID-19, 511 number, which went live yesterday, 15th October, 2020. This number will again act as the central portal for your COVID-19 questions, queries and reports.

Now when you call 511 you will have access to contact tracers and medical personnel. You will also be able to inquire about work and travel protocols and report violations of public health measures or the Emergency Orders.

Once you dial 511 listen to the recorded message then select the number that best suits your needs.

Throughout the COVID-19 response, consistent efforts have been made to increase the bed capacity at our healthcare facilities. We continue to work to ensure that COVID-19 patients, as well as patients with unrelated illnesses, have the needed space in our healthcare facilities.


Through numerous capacity building exercises the total bed capacity for COVID-19 cases is currently at 147 beds. This count includes New Providence facilities:

  •   South Beach Health Centre has ten (10) beds currently in place with a capacity of twenty-six (26). There is space for sixteen (16) additional beds underneath tents supplied by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA);
  •   Princess Margaret Hospital has seventy (70) beds;
  •   Doctors Hospital West has twenty-two (22) beds; and
  •   Doctors Hospital East has six (6) beds.
This count also includes facilities in Grand Bahama:
  •   The Cancer Association of The Bahamas has sixteen (16) beds ;
  • and
  •   Infectious Disease Centre has seven (7) beds.
Currently, a total of one hundred (110) COVID-19 beds are occupied ...see attached to continue




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