Tuesday, August 4, 2020

With COVID-19 surging and ICU beds scarce, Bahamas goes into total lockdown

A man carries drinking water for a customer at a water depot store before the arrival of Hurricane Isaias in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Friday, July 31, 2020. Tim Aylen AP

By Jacqueline Charles

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced Monday a complete lockdown of the country for the next two weeks, saying the bed capacity and human resources were being “increasingly stretched” amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

“Our ICU beds are at capacity and non-critical care beds are approaching capacity,” Minnis said during a national address about the economic shutdown of the archipelago, just days after being spared by Hurricane Isaias. “We can and we will rebuild our economy and our society. But what we cannot do is bring people’s life back. We can rebuild, but we cannot recreate new life.”

On Monday, the Bahamas, whose population is about 385,000, confirmed 31 new infections — 9 in the island of New Providence and 22 in Grand Bahama, which was put on a lockdown two weeks ago after it began leading the country in newly confirmed cases.  Read more >>