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Davis renews call for widespread testing

In the wake of seven additional confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past five days, Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis doubled down on his call for widespread testing across The Bahamas yesterday.

Davis pointed to the increase in COVID-19 cases on Grand Bahama, presenting six of the seven new cases, and questioned the government’s ability to expand its level of testing.

“I keep saying it’s one thing to say we are COVID-19-free but it’s very difficult to verify that if you’re not doing any testing,” Davis said.

“What is key is for us to understand the circumstances in which the virus was contracted by these persons. Without testing, we really can’t speak to the status of the virus in our country.”

According to the daily dashboard put out by the Ministry of Health, just over 2,500 tests have been completed since the start of the pandemic.

Davis expressed concern over the impact the reopening of the country’s borders could have on Family Islands and their capacity to manage any potential cases.

“I was just in my constituency of Rum Cay yesterday and I started to make inquiries of people coming in because of a lot of boaters coming out of Florida,” he said.

“I’m concerned about whether they have sufficient capacity there in the event of any breakout.”

Yesterday, Florida shattered America’s daily record of COVID-19 cases after the state reported over 15,000 new cases pushing its total to nearly 270,000.

There have been 111 confirmed cases of coronavirus in The Bahamas with 11 deaths.

The three most recent cases all came from Grand Bahama with two of them having a history of recent travel.

The opposition leader said given what is occurring in the U.S. daily with another wave of cases, the prime minister, as the minister of health, should be able to give more information on the country’s ability to test at a wider level than it currently is.

“To date, we still don’t know what our testing capacity is,” Davis said.

“How many kits are on the ground.”

In late-May, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis claimed widespread testing for COVID-19 is not as necessary in The Bahamas as it is in larger countries.

He said contact tracing is “more than adequate”.

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