In a plea to Bahamians and residents ahead of the holiday season, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis urged people to avoid large gatherings indoors, to get vaccinated, and remain vigilant.
“Starting today with Thanksgiving, gatherings are likely to be larger, and [I’m] wanting to remind our people that the pandemic is alive and it is well,” Davis said during a weekly press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.
“Although we are satisfied with the progress we have been making, to date, in lowering the positivity rate, I’m still urging our people to stay safe. Where possible, avoid large gatherings.
“Continue to wear your masks, particularly if you are indoors, in close quarters and, if possible, if you’re going to have gatherings, kindly have them on the outside. The weather is great and fine. We have beautiful weather.”
If individuals decide to host gatherings indoors, they should ensure that the place is properly ventilated, according to the prime minister.
Davis also encouraged the public to get vaccinated.
“It’s not mandatory but we have an abundance now of vaccinations and I encourage each and every one of you, and those under the sound of my voice and, I invite you, as the media, to continue to encourage our people to get vaccinated,” he said.
“It is no doubt the safest bet and the safest tool to avoid getting sicker if you contract the virus and minimize the risk of you dying if you catch the virus.”
The Bahamas has confirmed 22,696 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
In recent weeks, daily cases have been fewer than 20. For the first time in months, fewer than 20 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized in The Bahamas.
Just two months ago, daily cases, on some days, exceed 100, and hospitalizations were in the triple digits.
Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, the director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme, indicated earlier this week that the third wave of COVID-19 infections, which began around March 2021, is “basically” at an end.
She echoed the sentiments of the prime minister and urged Bahamians to not let their guards down this holiday season.
“… Our cases were at a low last year this time, too,” Forbes said.
“So, you have to consider, are there things that are impacting the curve, like our behavior?”
She added, “We have to be mindful that if we are traveling … there could be an uptick in COVID-19 cases both here and in the US. We have to be careful. Travel is an independent risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.”