As the country prepares to reopen its borders to commercial travel, Consultant Physicians Staff Association (CPSA) President Sabriquet Pinder-Butler yesterday urged the government to closely monitor COVID-19 activity in American states identified as hot spots to avoid a second wave of the virus in The Bahamas.
Pinder-Butler said while she applauds the government’s decision to test locals and visitors, as well as other precautions put in place, there is a growing concern for those coming in the country from states like Florida, which is currently experiencing what has been described as a second wave in cases.
“We have to continue to monitor what is happening with the increase in cases,” she said.
“Certainly, if things continue to escalate in those states, rules may need to be reconsidered.”
Tourists and locals arriving in The Bahamas between July 1 and July 7 must present negative COVID-19 test results no more than 10 days old.
Anyone arriving in The Bahamas after July 7 must present negative COVID-19 test results no more than seven days old.
“At this point in time, in an ideal situation, we would have liked a situation where the turnaround time was quicker,” Pinder-Butler said. “But we also want to be fair to persons who may have difficulty with obtaining those results. So, certainly at this point in time we would accept that this would be one of the things that the government would consider and look at with having the turnaround times at seven days.
“At this particular point in time, if the testing can remain in place and we ensure that contact tracing is there and persons are able to follow the rules that are in place, those things should be sufficient at this particular point in time.”
Pinder-Butler said the CPSA has taken issue with the fact that it has not been re-engaged with the Ministry of Health as yet, saying, “We still have not had that happen.
“That would have been one of the things we would have been disappointed with because a lot of the information that we would have received or that was given by the honorable minister of health or the prime minister that comes out to the public, in many instances the CPSA is also being made aware of those things at the same time.”
There have been 104 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths in The Bahamas, so far.
As the country opened its borders to commercial travel today, Pinder-Butler said the CPSA hopes the restrictions are stressed to tourists.