Brennen: Balanced approach needed to fight COVID-19

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in The Bahamas rose yesterday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delon Brennen suggested Bahamians need to take a balanced approach to protecting themselves against the highly contagious virus.

While appearing as a guest on “COVID-19 The Impact with Julian Reid” on ZNS yesterday, Brennen described taking “extreme” measures in an attempt to avoid the spread of COVID-19, can actually be harmful, and suggested that achieving a balanced approach is “definitely a challenge” for some communities.

“We go from ignoring it altogether on one spectrum – and we have people who are on that end who are still continuing to have social gatherings and getting together at one person’s house but everyone comes over,” he said.

“They’re having dominos games on the corner, and we see that continuing to occur.

“And then there are others who are taking it to the other extreme where they won’t even talk to people.

“They won’t have anyone come to their home. They are separating in different rooms from family members and then [they’re] wearing masks and hoods and gloves everywhere they go.

“And, unfortunately, it’s that level of believing that that is going to keep you safe that actually endangers more and more people as well.

“So, we do need to make sure that we pay attention to all of the things that we do and we sort of bring people to the middle where you are appropriately protecting yourself and you’re not ignoring the warnings and the policies that have been put in place, but you’re not going so far that you’re doing measures that you think are actually preserving your health, but you’re endangering either your health or others’ health at the same time.”

There are 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas – 16 on New Providence, four on Grand Bahama and 1 on Bimini.

Officials have acknowledged there is community spread of the virus as some of the confirmed cases did not have “relevant” history of travel, and they have warned they expect a surge in cases.

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday that the Ministry of Health is now recommending that people wear masks to help stop the spread of the virus, although it initially had advised against it.

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