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Darville says Haitian migrants had nothing to do with Inagua outbreak

The COVID-19 outbreak in Inagua had nothing to do with the recent detention of hundreds of Haitian migrants on the island, according to Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville.

He said the outbreak is believed to be linked to a resident who traveled to New Providence before returning to the island.

“I’ve heard the fact that a loved one went to Nassau to do some personal business and come back,” Darville said yesterday.

“These kinds of infections, it may be very difficult to actually pinpoint, but I can tell you this much: it is a case of an individual [or individuals] who was in Nassau that came back to Inagua and subsequently came in contact with loved ones and we developed a cluster of infections of COVID-19.”

As of October 8, according to the Ministry of Health, there were 23 active cases in Inagua and 34 people were in quarantine.

Five people from the island, which has a population of roughly 900, had to be airlifted to New Providence for care, and two people who contracted COVID on Inagua have died in recent days.

Two additional people from Inagua died after contracting the virus in New Providence.

Darville said yesterday that the situation on the island is being monitored “very closely”.

“Over the weekend, there [were] some concerns of the possibility of quarantine not being maintained and the fact that there is an ongoing immigration matter on the island where some of the police officers who are responsible for quarantine [are] focusing on that situation,” he said.

“A team was sent in yesterday, which is three doctors and a nurse, and an assessment is being done again. My assessment this morning has indicated that it appears to still be a cluster of infections but further work needs to be done to get the exact situation that’s on the island in hand.”

More than 1,000 Haitian migrants were recently detained on the island after illegally entering The Bahamas.

The minister said that the COVID outbreak in Inagua has nothing to do with that matter.

“We believe that it is associated with an imported case from one of the local residents on the island that has caused the cluster and we want to make sure that there is no community or person-to-person spread,” he said.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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