Minister of Health & Wellness, the Honourable Dr. Michael R. Darville confirmed that there has been an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in particular in New Providence over the past three (3) weeks. The Minister added that samples to test for the Omicron BA.2. Variant were collected and sent for genome mapping.
The Disease Surveillance Unit he said has turned specific focus on schools in the country as cases continue to rise. “This Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Education & Technical & Vocational Training as well as with the unions”, Minister Darville said, “…on ways to mitigate the potential spread in our schools so that we do not disadvantage our children from getting access to education.”
He noted the increase in hospital cases was not directly related to COVID-19 but associated with complications from Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCD’s). The Health Minister described it as a “common occurrence in countries battling CNCD’s because the pandemic pushed these comorbidities to the back burner as it relates to usual care”. Hospital officials are working assiduously he said, to address bed spaces to accommodate a surplus in admission cases.
Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Managing Director Aubynette Rolle added that the number of positive cases are being recorded at the hospital because testing for the virus is a prerequisite for admission. Much of it, MD Rolle said, falls into the category of a secondary diagnosis. She echoed a previous statement by Health Minister Darville who confirmed that there is no cause for alarm when it comes to adequate supplies of medicine.
Bahamians and residents are urged to continue to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols which help to limit the spread of the virus. Persons can also guard themselves from severe COVID-19 infection by getting the COVID-19 vaccine, 1st and 2nd boosters and extended series doses for persons who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Appointments can be made online at vax.gov.bs or walk-ins are welcomed at vaccination sites. Persons with mobility challenges may request a home visit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public is encouraged to access community clinics for primary and urgent care and the Princess Margaret Hospital Emergency Department for emergency care only. The hours of operation for the New Providence Polyclinics are:
- Elizabeth Estates Clinic: 9:00a.m. – 9:00p.m., Mondays – Fridays Flamingo Gardens Clinic: 8:00a.m. – 9:00p.m., Mondays – Fridays
- Fleming Street Clinic: 8:00a.m. – 8:00p.m., Mondays – Fridays
- South Beach Health Centre: 9:00a.m. – 8:00p.m., Mondays – Fridays.