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Majority of new RBDF recruits test positive for COVID-19

Roughly 85 percent of a recent group of Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) recruits undergoing basic training tested positive for COVID-19, RBDF Commodore Raymond King said yesterday.

The group, which was set to graduate on August 28, contains 56 people, King said.

As a result of the exposure, training was discontinued, the RBDF said in a separate statement.

“The Royal Bahamas Defence Force acknowledges the quick spread of COVID-19 amongst its latest intake of recruits undergoing basic training,” the RBDF said.

“As such, the defense force wishes to advise that new entry training has been discontinued at this time, to allow the proper management and treatment of those testing positive for the virus and to keep non-COVID-19-positive recruits in isolation.”

The RBDF said the the recruits are all asymptomatic and are on a vitamin and electrolyte regimen to boost their immunity and clear the virus from their system. The group is also in quarantine.

“Moreover, they have been briefed on protocols to follow should they or their fellow recruits exhibit any symptoms,” the RBDF said.

The statement added, “Steps have been taken to sanitize the training facility, lodging, classrooms and other common spaces occupied or utilized by the recruits and training staff.

“The recruits will continue to be quarantined/isolated onboard HMBS Coral Harbour and monitored closely by the force medical officer, registered nurses and emergency medical technicians team.”

The recruits and instructors are being screened twice daily, the statement added. 

“The remaining three weeks of training will ensue once a medical all-clear is given for these persons,” it concluded. 

COVID-19 cases in The Bahamas, particularly on New Providence, surged in recent weeks. 

Between March and July, there were 104 cases of the virus. Since July 8, there were over 2,000 cases reported. 

The virus has touched nearly every sector in the country, from the uniformed branches to health workers. 

Last Monday, the Ministry of Health said 11 positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed within the defense force during the second wave on New Providence.

Thirty contacts were identified as a result of those cases.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018. Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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