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Dr Mercline Dahl-Regis Covid 19 Czar

By Eyewitness News Sloan Smith

Health officials yesterday confirmed community transmission of the coronavirus (COVID) in The Bahamas

This comes as four more cases of the virus were confirmed on New Providence – none of which were connected to any of the previous five cases.

Community transmission means the source of infection for the spread is unknown.

“Based on the cases, the contacts and where they are, and the onset of the symptoms, we have determined that it is community spread,” said Dr Mercline Dahl-Regis, Bahamian public health expert with specialty in regional disease elimination.

Dahl-Regis is the former chief medical officer and consultant to the prime minister.

Officials warned on Sunday that while the numbers were increasing slowly, the health system was bracing for a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“We have been in the preparatory phase in the last three of four days for a surge,” Dahl-Regis assured.

“We are now in the surge as far as our population response and the tests are becoming positive so we are monitoring the clinical presentations.

“We have an active hotline. We are looking at the contact tracing, we are monitoring the contacts.”

She furthered that their teams are now in the process of plotting areas where the cases are occurring to address the clusters.

“We do have to GIS map our contacts and our cases so that we can look at interventions or modalities of moving forward and where to anticipate cases.,” she said.

The first four cases of the virus were in New Providence and were all connected.

The fifth case in Grand Bahamas had no connection with the previous cases and had no significant travel history.