COVID cases doubled in two weeks

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April 27, 2022

HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville indicated that in the last two weeks, officials have watched the COVID-19 numbers "double".

The revelation comes after Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis revealed on Monday that remaining mask mandates in the country could be totally lifted by the summer, but highlighted the concern of “proper air ventilation” for some indoor venues.

However, yesterday Dr Darville said while officials are hopeful about removing remaining mask restrictions, the issue of imported cases from travel and increased cases in the United States have to be monitored and considered first.

“Yesterday the prime minister did say that we are looking at removing the mask mandate and we’re optimistic about it. With that being said over the last two weeks we’ve been watching our numbers, our RT PCR test, and our numbers have doubled - that is of concern.

“Secondly, we’re also noticing in the United States, in states where tourists come to The Bahamas, the numbers have been going up as well and then a judge in South Florida there’s an issue with the removal of the mask mandate in public transportation as well as on aircrafts — that’s another concern,” the minister said yesterday.

“So while we are mindful and wishful to remove the mask mandate, we must take into consideration the scientific factors that could potentiate the possibility of imported cases coming into the country. The EOC along with us at the Ministry of Health and Wellness are watching these various different parameters and hopefully if we are able to see our cases begin to go on a downward trend that would mean that the issue of (the) mask mandate would be taken into consideration sooner than later.”

The minister told The Tribune on Sunday that Ministry of Health and Wellness officials were monitoring the “slight increase” in positive PCR test results. He said concerns about this would be discussed at an EOC meeting this week.

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper predicted last week a further ease to virus restrictions in the days and weeks ahead.

Asked if the EOC was considering relaxing any other restrictions, Dr Darville replied: “At this time, no. I’ve indicated that in the last two weeks we’ve watched our numbers double. That is of concern. We’re analysing those numbers. We’re looking at the numbers as a result of imported cases versus the possibility of community spread.

“So, we would look at it scientifically and we will make decisions based on the science while at the same time mindful that we have an economy to run and we’re watching what’s going on in other parts of the region and we will make those decisions that is in the best interest of the Bahamian people while taking into consideration the economic environment that we’re in.”

As for the possibility of travel restrictions being tightened, he said: “There’s no plan at this particular time. What we’re doing is watching the numbers. We’re looking at imported cases. We’re a tourist country and our policy is to try to ensure our tourism sector thrives which means that we need people to come in to spend money. We’re watching. We cannot make a determination at this particular time, but I can tell you that some of the cases are travel related and it is of concern.”

The summer months are approaching, a period where Bahamians travel for vacation, typically to America. Dr Darville said there is a plan officials intend to put in place as “we begin to see how things unfold” when asked about worries of another wave during the summer period.

“We’re always concerned. We’re watching very closely. This situation is extremely fluid. It’s very difficult to predict but I can tell you cases are now going up in the United States. The majority of our tourists are from the United States. The majority of our students and family who go on summer vacations go to the United States and we have a plan that we intend to put in place as we begin to see how things unfold.”

Click here to read more at The Tribune

News date : 04/27/2022    Category : Covid-19, Health, Tribune Stories

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