While warning that vulnerable people may die from COVID-19 after attending holiday dinners, Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme at the Bahamas Ministry of Health, yesterday advised Bahamians to delay Christmas celebrations to next year.
“We are a warm people,” Forbes told The Nassau Guardian.
“We like to gather. The holidays are very important to us and we like to spend time with family and friends and have gatherings. Unfortunately, this year is different than other years with COVID-19.
“The sad state of affairs and the truth is if you gather for a holiday get together or meal, there won’t be masks on and people will be in close proximity and that will increase the spread of COVID-19. Some people will die because of that, especially the older and more vulnerable people.
“It’s going to be very difficult and sad if that happens. We will not always be here in this situation.”
She said The Bahamas will “hopefully…be in a better situation” next year.
“There can be another time to celebrate in the future and as hard as it is, it would be wise to put it off or delay that until next year because it will save lives especially for the more vulnerable persons,” Forbes said.
The Bahamas has been under a state of emergency since the governor general issued a proclamation on March 18, not long after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the country.
It has reported more than 7,300 COVID-19 cases.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said The Bahamas could have a “good” Christmas if individuals continue to comply with COVID-19 health protocols and measures.