The Bahamas ranked 22 among global countries beating COVID-19

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Although The Bahamas has flattened the curve in its second wave of coronavirus cases, the country remains at risk of a third wave, according to Director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme Dr Nikkiah Forbes.

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Forbes noted that COVID cases in the country continue to remain “fairly low and manageable”.

Director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme Dr Nikkiah Forbes. (FILE PHOTO)

“We have come out from the Christmas holiday and New Year holiday period now where we would be looking for any changes with the outbreak related to those holidays and cases remain fairly constant [and] manageable,” she said.

“The curve of the second wave is still flattened. It’s hard to know if we will get the third wave because this really is something that happens as a result of what we are all doing.”

Forbes underscored that behavior continues to be the major factor that spreads the virus.

“We know that we are at a risk for a third wave because we know that there are other infections that have been described and circulating in the United States and Caribbean region,” she continued.

“It’s very important that we continue to follow the public health guidelines and recommendations to try and prevent a third wave.”

Health officials confirmed 17 new cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas on Saturday, taking the number of cases in the country to 8,127.

Of the latest cases, 13 were on New Providence, two on Grand Bahama and one on Abaco.

The number of active cases now stands at 1,179.

There have been 175 COVID deaths in the country to date, with 15 deaths under investigation.

Meanwhile, Dr Sabriquet Pinder-Butler, president of the Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA), has expressed concern that while the number of cases in the country remains low, testing has also been low.

Pinder-Butler noted that even though healthcare workers are not dealing with mainly COVID cases, healthcare facilities continue to be challenged, given the number of patients being seen with complications from other non-communicable diseases.

“We are hoping that that is truly reflective of what is happening in the country,” Pinder-Butler said in a recent interview.

Dr. Sabriquet Pinder-Butler, president of the Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA). (FILE PHOTO)

“Although we suspect persons are not getting tested and perhaps more testing should be done in-country, perhaps persons may be managing themselves at home and not coming in, just because we have been dealing with COVID for such a long time.

“We are still watching to see because we do realize that even though persons are trying to go about their daily activities, in some instances we are still seeing that people are being a bit lax about certain things, having more gatherings.

“We appreciate there may be some COVID fatigue as well, but we still want to encourage our population to still be wise and safeguard themselves.”

However, Forbes explained that there are currently many options for testing in the public sector and in the private sector.

She noted that other indicators that determine how the outbreak is being managed, including COVID-related deaths, hospitalizations and individuals under investigation, have been going in a “very good direction”.

“We can confidently say that things are going in the right direction, but we should remember that this thing can change quickly if we let down our guard and don’t follow the recommendations,” she added.

The Bahamas has ranked 22 out of 138 countries worldwide that are beating COVID-19.

EndCoronavirus (ECV) is an international volunteer coalition of over 4,000 scientists, community organizers, business owners and others.

The green-zone rankings show how close a region is to zero COVID-19 cases arising from community transmission.

Other countries categorized as “winning” their fight against COVID include Australia, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Djibouti, Dominica, Fiji, Holy See, Iceland, Laos, Liechtenstein, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, San Marino, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

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