All persons who were quarantined as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in China have been released, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday.
He gave the update as a part of his contribution to the mid-year budget debate in the House of Assembly.
“I am pleased to advise that, as of today, all persons who were quarantined, have been released, all asymptomatic and now returning to normal activities,” he said.
The virus, recently named COVID-19, originated in Wuhan, China, late last year, and has now spread across more than 28 countries.
As of yesterday morning, more than 71,000 people worldwide have been infected and 1,170 people have died.
According to the World Health Organization, most of the cases are confined to mainland China and there have been only three deaths elsewhere.
Almost 11,000 people previously infected have fully recovered, Sands said.
Last week, Sands said that the government has spent roughly $80,000 so far to quarantine Bahamians returning from China.
He said that money was used to fund accommodations, food, security and transportation.
Sands said his ministry continues to work with local stakeholders on the matter.
“As of today, there are not and have not been any suspected, reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas,” he said.
He added, “We remain vigilant.”
Sands said a task force, comprised of several Cabinet ministers, along with the commissioner of police, defense force commodore, director of immigration, and others, have been meeting weekly since the end of January to discuss COVID-19 and to review the ministry’s preparedness and response plans.