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Health officials say there could be as many as 90 cases by Sunday, based on one forecast model

The Nassau Gaurdian April 8, 2020

One of the Ministry of Health’s models predicts there will be 90 cases of COVID-19 in the country by Sunday, Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, health consultant to the prime minister, said today.

However, she noted that the rate of new infections observed so far has indicated that the model may not be accurate.

“We’re thinking that the model that we were using to forecast the number of cases has changed,” she said during a virtual press conference.

“We’re looking at an exponential regression rather than a linear regression, and based on that forecast, there’s a prediction of almost 90 cases by Easter Sunday, but we’re hoping that the model is not exponential, but as we graphically look at it, we’re a little concerned.

“We’re also looking at three other models that might fit our presentation of cases, but right now, in the name of transparency, we are looking at the exponential regression model.”

There are 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas. Seven people have died.

Dahl-Regis noted that over the past few days, growth in the number of confirmed cases has not been exponential.

However, Director of the National HIV/AIDS & Infectious Diseases Programme Dr. Nikkiah Forbes said that there has been a lack of widespread testing for COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

Forbes said the mortality rate, which has been hovering between 17 percent and 18 percent, will likely go down once testing increases.

It is uncertain what impact more widespread testing will have on the rate of new infections.

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said it’s imperative that the number of cases is limited.

“We need to limit the number of virus cases in The Bahamas so that our healthcare system doesn’t collapse,” he said.

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