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Minnis: Widespread testing not as necessary in The Bahamas

Prime Minister and Minister of Health Dr. Hubert Minnis claimed yesterday that widespread testing for COVID-19 is not as necessary in The Bahamas as it is in larger countries.

Minnis said contact tracing is “more than adequate”.

“In the Caribbean, we have one of the best public health systems in this part of the world, inclusive of contact tracing,” he said in the House of Assembly.

“As a matter of fact, you mentioned about us not doing sufficient testing, we have been following the WHO (World Health Organization) protocols, which is inclusive of contact tracing because we have such a strong department – public health.

“The United States and other first world countries like India, the UK, because they are so large, it’s very difficult to do contact tracing, because you can imagine 100,000 individuals on a train and one individual exposed that 100,000. Can you imagine trying to do contact tracing there?

“So, it’s very appropriate in their environment where mass testing is most appropriate.

“In our environment, yes I agree with testing, but contact tracing, when you have very adequate, efficient systems and you follow WHO protocols, that is more than adequate.”

There were 101 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas up to yesterday. The latest case, which Minnis announced in the House of Assembly yesterday, came after five days of no new confirmed cases.

Eleven people have died of COVID-19 in the country. As of Thursday, 47 people had recovered, four were hospitalized and 2,050 tests had been completed.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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