November 16, 2020
The Minister of Health the Hon. Renward Wells rolled out new initiatives aimed at curbing the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
In his COVID-19 Press Conference held Friday, November 13, 2020, he told the nation that a policy has been developed and ratified for rapid antigen testing and will be disseminated to the public, soon.
The Minister made the announcement on the heels of curfew and lockdown measures outlined in a Statement on Exuma by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Recent measures have also been imposed on Eleuthera, due to a spike in COVID19 cases on that island.
On the 9th November, the cases in Exuma increased by 12 in one day. And, in response, the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Competent Authority announced the implementation of a 24-hour weekend curfew, a weekday curfew from 6 pm to 5 am and other restrictive measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 on mainland Exuma.
As of the 12 November 2020, the total number of confirmed cases on the island of Exuma stood at 80.
In this vein, an assessment team from the Ministry of Health on New Providence was dispatched to the island of Exuma the morning of Friday 13.
Mr. Wells observed that some islands of The Bahamas are currently under restrictions, such as weekend and weekday curfews while others are seeing a loosening of these restrictions.
“We need to be mindful that these restrictions are not punishment. They are for the safety and well-being of the Bahamian people. The goal is to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the community.
“We want to save lives. The data has indicated that such preventative measures slow the spread of transmission in the community,” he said.
The Minister then announced that a policy has been developed and ratified by the Ministry of Health’s EOC for rapid antigen testing, and will soon be disseminated to the public.
“The Saliva direct test is being rolled out in Bimini, Abaco, Exuma, Grand Bahama and New Providence. I am happy to report that we anticipate using the test in the current mission to Exuma. We must prepare ourselves to embrace this form of testing,” Minister Wells said.
By Lindsay Thompson