here are now five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands announced today.
The fifth case was discovered in Grand Bahama, making it the first confirmed case outside of New Providence. Dr. Sands said the patient has no significant history of travel. “Contact tracing is aggressively underway, he said during a press conference at the Ministry of Health a short while ago. The patient has no links to the other people who previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Health officials said the patient had mild respiratory symptoms. Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson said this case is especially challenging as the island is still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Dorian. “This virus can affect any of us, anywhere in the Bahamas,” Thompson warned. “Stay home. Practice social distancing.” This latest case comes just over a week after the first case was discovered in New Providence. Dr. Sands said the 61-year-old Bahamian woman, who had been hospitalized since her positive test, was released from the hospital today. The other three patients remain in isolation at home, he said. Dr. Sands said all of them are in stable condition. As cases of COVID-19 swell around the world, Dr. Sands encouraged residents comply with the 24-hour curfew and other orders imposed by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis. “If you do not listen, the virus will spread and there will be many deaths,” he said. He said the richest and most advanced countries in the world are overwhelmed by this pandemic. Minnis also ordered the closure of airports, docks, ports, and beaches throughout the country with certain exceptions. He said these unprecedented measures were imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. The order went into effect at 9 a.m. today and expires at 9 a.m. on March 31. “This is about protecting people and minimizing the likelihood that we will get uncontrolled community transmission,” Sands said referring to the emergency orders.