Senator Dr Michael Darville
Opposition Spokesman on Health
COVID-19 Task Force Co-Chair
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 8TH, 2020
We listened with great interest to the latest COVID19 update by the Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands this afternoon Wednesday 8th April 2020, just hours prior to the country’s easter weekend lockdown.
At this latest press conference the Minister put the country on notice that we should expect to see the number of cases more than double over the next 5 days.
The mortality rate of COVID 19 in The Bahamas is currently pegged at just under 17 percent and is significantly higher than the global average and the rate of other countries in the caribbean.
It is certainly troubling that we have not gotten ahead of this deadly virus even after more than two weeks of curfews, lockdowns and public health education. These trends indicate that we must revisit the current protocols for self-quarantine of those exposed and apply stricter measures for those who test positive and are currently in home isolation.
After reviewing the statistical trends and monitoring the enormous challenges we faced with physical distancing at food stores in the last three days, it is apparent that the Ministry of Health Task Force is now struggling to slow the growth of new cases and the country is still in the exponential phase of this global pandemic with multiple asymptomatic carriers in public places spreading this highly contagious respiratory virus.
This highlights the need to develop more innovative ways to stop the spread by asymptomatic carriers through improvements in our methods of contact tracing. The current trends and high mortality rate clearly demonstrate the need for more random testing in hot spots in New Providence and Grand Bahama.
We now know that there is no shortage of COVID19 molecular PCR tests and serological quick tests in the country and the Ministry of Health is decentralising its molecular testing capabilities.
So, despite the Ministry of Health’s position, our task force advocates for more random testing in order to get a more accurate picture of positive COVID 19 cases and thereby more accurately determine our COVID 19 mortality rate.
The PLP stands ready to assist the government and the Ministry of Health in reducing the transmission of COVID19 in The Bahamas.