Nineteen more COVID deaths were confirmed over the weekend, as The Bahamas’ death toll surpassed 600 in another grim milestone.
Two of the newly-confirmed deaths occurred in October and the others in September.
The victims ranged in age from 41 to 88 years old. Eighteen of them were from New Providence and one from Eleuthera.
Ten of the deaths were women and nine were men.
The latest deaths bring the confirmed toll in The Bahamas to 605 as of Sunday. An additional 120 people have also been confirmed to have died with COVID but not because of it.
The number of deaths still under investigation also remains high at 46.
In spite of what appears to be decreasing numbers of new COVID cases, former Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said over the weekend that the COVID-19 challenge “remains very serious” and that the strain placed on the healthcare system will continue to cause unnecessary deaths.
“Of greatest concern is the impact of what appears to be yet another surge (last few days) that demands the overburdened health system to respond,” he said in a statement.
“The huge numbers of deaths speak for themselves. Far too many are critically ill. We do not have the national capacity to manage the current load.
“As context, imagine the outrage and fear felt with 100 murders in a year. We are at 500-plus deaths in the last year and the outlook remains grim.
“Let us recommit to disciplined adherence to public health interventions. Encourage persons to get vaccinated.
“Support the beleaguered healthcare workers and other frontline workers. Stay home, if you don’t absolutely need to go out.
“At the risk of being repetitive and worsening COVID-19 fatigue, we are in trouble. Our healthcare teams are attempting to push back the flood of patients. They are exhausted and this battle is far from over.
“The impact on patients with other illnesses cannot be understated. Many will suffer and die that may have been salvageable given different circumstances.”
According to the Ministry of Health, 205 new COVID cases were confirmed between Thursday and Sunday.
Of them, 157 were on New Providence, 19 on Eleuthera, 11 on Inagua, five on Grand Bahama, three on Abaco, three on Exuma, two on Acklins, two on Andros, two in the Berry Islands and one on Cat Island.
New COVID cases seem to have been decreasing slightly in recent weeks.
From October 3 to October 9, 379 new cases were recorded.
From September 27 to October 2, 537 new cases were recorded.
From September 20 to September 26, 593 cases were recorded.
From September 13 to September 19, 648 cases were recorded and from September 6 to September 12, 621 cases were recorded.
The test positivity rate has regularly remained significantly higher than the maximum of five percent recommended by the World Health Organization.
With 32 positive results out of 272 tests, the positivity rate was 11.8 percent. The rate on October 9 was 20.8 percent. On October 8, the rate was 7.7 percent — one of the lowest rates seen in recent months.
The numbers are down notably from early September when rates were consistently over 20 percent, and on some days spiked as high as 70.5 percent.
However, the rates have continued to differ drastically from day to day, with some daily rates still in the high 20s, while others dip below.