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No additional COVID restrictions for now

The government does not intend to impose any additional COVID-related restrictions right now, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville said yesterday.

“We feel that at this particular time we are okay to the point that we do not need to bring restrictions back to where they were,” Darville said.

“But I can say this much: we are watching it extremely closely and in the event that we feel that we need to execute more measures, we will.

“But one of the things that is important is to improve surveillance and that is something the minister of national security and myself are looking very closely at because, you know, you release restrictions and you expect people to function and to abide by the public health measures and when you look, people are doing what they want to do.”

Darville said he and Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe have come up with a strategy to improve the police’s capability. 

He noted that The Bahamas’ economy, which was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Dorian, needs to open.

“We need to be able to live with COVID, control COVID and to be able to get on with life,” Darville said.

“This administration is determined to ensure that we have COVID cases under control. If you look at the cases and you look at the reporting, the numbers are going down but we do have a problem at the tertiary healthcare level because we feel that individuals who are positive may be coming to the institution a little bit too late.

“We need to try and initiate therapies before they begin to decompensate and start to have severe respiratory symptoms.”

The Bahamas has been struggling with an unprecedented surge in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths in its third wave.

However, within a day of being elected, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis relaxed curfews on multiple islands, including New Providence, moving all of them to midnight.

Since then, new COVID cases have not increased, though positivity rates still remain high.

Former Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said the situation at hospitals is just as dire as it was weeks ago.

He said last week that drastic restrictions need to be considered.

Responding to Sands yesterday, Darville said, “I’m listening to what the former minister is saying and we’re taking it into consideration.”

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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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