The Ministry of Health confirms today that there are sixty (60) additional confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to two thousand eight hundred seventy-four (2,874). There have been one thousand nine hundred twenty-five (1,925) confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Providence, five hundred ninety-three (593) confirmed cases in Grand Bahama, ninety-six (96) confirmed cases in Abaco, fifty-four (54) confirmed cases in Bimini, twenty-three (23) confirmed cases in Exuma, seventeen (17) confirmed cases in Inagua, fifteen (15) confirmed cases in the Berry Islands, ten (10) confirmed cases in Eleuthera, eight (8) confirmed cases in Cat Island, eight (8) confirmed cases in Long Island, seven (7) confirmed cases in Acklins, five (5) confirmed cases in Crooked Island, three (3) confirmed cases in Andros, three (3) confirmed cases in Mayaguana, and one hundred seven (107) confirmed cases with locations pending.
The breakdown of the new cases by island is as follows:
Investigations are ongoing, and health officials continue to follow the condition of the other current COVID-19 positive cases.
The Ministry of Health also confirms the unfortunate deaths of the following persons:
- a thirty (30) year old female of New Providence, who passed away on 11th September, 2020; and
- a fifty-eight (58) year old female of New Providence, who passed away on 9th September, 2020
This decreases the deaths under investigation to ten (10), and the death toll now stands at sixty-seven (67).
In place of this week’s Ministry of Health press conference, additional information is included in today’s update to keep the public abreast of new information and timely reminders to navigate through the COVID-19 environment. A press conference will be held early next week.
Reducing Community Transmission
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 within communities and in the workplaces, the public is urged to refrain from planning or attending large gatherings or meetings. These large gatherings can cause COVID-19 to spread rapidly from person to person, especially if the people gathered are not adhering to recommended preventative measures.
When cases of COVID-19 increase, it severely challenges the healthcare system and surveillance efforts. It brings great anxiety and other concerns to families of those infected with the virus. The number of deaths may increase. Members of the public may desire to socialize normally. However, the risk of being infected with COVID-19 is too high, as infected persons may find themselves recovering or dying alone without family support with hospital COVID-19 restrictions in place. This is not the norm in The Bahamas.
Virtual calls or meetings can be scheduled at work and are useful for keeping in touch with several family members and friends all at once. All are encouraged to embrace the new ways available to communicate with each other. According to the last Emergency Order dated 10th September, 2020, gatherings of more than twenty (20) persons are prohibited.
As domestic travel gains momentum, the public is encouraged to follow the protocols set out in Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic) (No. 6) Order, 2020. Each inter-island traveller is required to complete and obtain a travel visa at www.travel.gov.bs
and present this document at the point of embarkation.
Information provided during the application process for a travel visa will assist the Surveillance Unit to carry out contact tracing activities, if necessary. As the procedure for testing and quarantine differ for some islands, the public is advised to consult the Emergency Order for information applicable to their island and destination. Remember to avoid unnecessary inter-island travel.
Caribbean Wellness Day
Caribbean Wellness Day is observed annually on the 2nd Saturday of September throughout the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Member States. The aim is to increase awareness of non-communicable diseases in the Region. This year under the new overall theme, ‘Power Through Collective Action’ with the sub-theme ‘Stronger Together 2020’ efforts will be made to –
- raise public awareness about mental illness and mental health;
- address stigma and discrimination; and
- promote coping strategies aimed at reducing stress, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having a non-communicable disease is a risk factor for contracting and having poorer outcomes from COVID 19. Caribbean Wellness Day and the Healthy Bahamas Coalition promotes wellness, prevention and control of these diseases.
During this time of COVID-19 and recovery from Hurricane Dorian, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Public Hospitals Authority, The Bahamas Psychological Association and The Pan American Health Organization, encourages all Bahamians to care for their mental health just as care is taken to preserve physical health.
Are you or anyone you know experiencing stress, anxiety, depression or other overwhelming emotions, please contact the Mental Health and Psychosocial Services (MHPSS) Help Line Numbers at 819-7652 or 816-3799 or 815-5850 or 812-0576 or 454-2993 (Call, WhatsApp or Text). Services are free. Someone is waiting to respond, help you understand your emotions and cope with stress.
With the assistance of sixty-two (62) volunteers, the capacity of the surveillance contact tracing strike-force has been augmented significantly. These volunteers in tandem with the Ministry’s Surveillance team are working diligently to communicate with cases and contacts of cases regularly.
The public is encouraged to give accurate details, especially telephone numbers and addresses to the members of the strike-force team. If persons have not been contacted, they can reach the contact tracing strike-force team by calling 502-7382, 376-9350 (8:00a.m. – 8:00p.m.) or 376-9387 (8:00p.m. to 8:00a.m.).
Persons desirous of obtaining the skills and techniques necessary to be a contact tracer are requested to register for a free online Contact Tracing Course at bit.ly/contacttracing242