Eight more COVID-19 deaths were confirmed in The Bahamas on Tuesday, bringing the toll so far for the month of September to 81.
The victims, who were all from New Providence, ranged in age from 46 to 70.
Six of the victims were women and two were men.
The latest deaths bring the total number recorded in The Bahamas to date to 511. Another 111 people were confirmed to have died with COVID but not because of it, while 43 deaths were under investigation, according to the latest dashboard.
Seventy-seven new COVID cases were also confirmed on Tuesday — 69 on New Providence, five on Grand Bahama, two on Exuma, and one on Eleuthera.
There were 146 people hospitalized with COVID as of the latest update, 17 of whom were in intensive care.
Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme, said yesterday that while that figure is down from the 195 people who were hospitalized with COVID earlier this month, it is too soon to be confident in the decline.
“That’s still a large number of hospitalized patients,” Forbes said.
“…We hope that the numbers bear out and we continue to see a declining trend. But we do have to keep our eye on that.”
Former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis called an early election as The Bahamas was experiencing the worst surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations it had ever seen.
Many were critical of the move, and raised concern that the election season would inevitably result in large gatherings and greater spread of COVID.
Crowds at drive-in rallies, on nomination day, at the advanced poll and on Election Day prompted worry among many.
But the number of new cases in recent weeks has been notably lower, although the test positivity rate has remained consistently high.
Forbes said it’s important that health officials keep a close eye on how the numbers trend over the next few weeks.
“There has been a slight reduction in the case numbers that have been reported,” she said.
“However, testing also went down in that time period. And there is a very, very slight increase. So, we do have to keep our eye on this because testing declines in those periods where the case numbers were going down.”
She added, “We are about two weeks out from other activities that may contribute to spread, and so, we’ve got to watch the epidemic curve.”