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GB sees surge in coronavirus cases

A 16-year-old girl with a history of travel is among three new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Grand Bahama, which is rapidly becoming a coronavirus hotspot in the country.

The Ministry of Health confirmed three new cases today, bringing the total number of cases to 111.

Grand Bahama has reported a total of 14 cases - 6 of them confirmed over the last four days.

The teen girl is in isolation at home. So is a 47-year-old Grand Bahama woman with no history of travel.

A 39-year old woman on Grand Bahama with a history of travel also tested positive for the potentially deadly virus, which has infected 12.5 million people globally.

The woman is in isolation at home. Health officials did not say if the three cases are related. The new cases come one day after a 40-year-old man with a history of travel on New Providence tested positive.

On Thursday, a 27-year-old man from Grand Bahama with no history of travel was confirmed to have the virus. On Wednesday, a 33-year old woman with no history of travel and 20-year-old illegal migrant on Grand Bahama also learned they had been infected with COVID-19.

Many have speculated that the surge in cases on that island is a consequence of the government’s decision to reopen borders, allowing visitors from COVID hotspots to enter the country and enabling Bahamians to travel to countries like the United States, which has witnessed an explosion in new cases.

Bahamians who leave the country for fewer than 72 hours are not required to take a COVID test to re-enter.

Many people have raised concerns that the testing capacity should’ve been increased before welcoming tourists.

However, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has argued that widespread testing is not necessary because of The Bahamas’ strong contact tracing program.

The surge in cases also raised questions over whether Grand Bahama could face a two-week lockdown like Bimini, which had 13 cases.

The new cases come amid a long and boring holiday weekend, punctuated by the closure of public parks and beaches on New Providence and Grand Bahama, leaving hundreds of tourists with nothing to do to pass the time.

The Competent Authority has faced heavy backlash from members of his own political party over the illogical decision, which critics say is not based on science as the chance of spreading COVID on the beach is much lower than eating in restaurants, going to the gym (where masks are not required) and going to the salon/barber.

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