Coronavirus: Threat level to The Bahamas “very high”

Coronavirus: Threat level to The Bahamas “very high”

Misinformation has potential to “undermine public health response”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Health officials said yesterday the threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching The Bahamas’ shores is “very high”, as the potentially deadly virus’ global spread borders on a pandemic.

As of Monday, there were no suspected, reported or confirmed cases of the virus in The Bahamas.

“Given that residents of The Bahamas travel widely, and we have many arrivals to our shores from international destinations, coupled with cases now being reported in the Caribbean region, we must anticipate the reality that COVID-19 may appear in our community,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pearl McMillan said during a press conference at the Ministry of Health.

She said if a case or cases present in The Bahamas, one of the critical public safety measures is social distancing.

“That was one of the key things that was highlighted as to why they were able to actually contain the outbreak in China,” McMillan said.

“The earlier you do that, the less likely you are to have an outbreak.

“If persons are sick, we need them to please stay home and distance themselves from contact with others.

“With the common cold and the flu, and other things that presents similarly to COVID-19, once you are having those symptoms you need to practice those measures in order to decrease the likelihood of spreading — not only the common cold or the flu — but, if it (COVID-19) is introduced into our community, we would like to have those practices ongoing already, so we are not putting ourselves at greater risk…”

The risk level for an outbreak in the Caribbean was elevated to “very high” last Thursday.

The virus reached the region over a week ago when the Dominican Republic reported its first case.

Since then, there have been a total of nine cases across the region, including DR, Saint Bart and French Guiana, though no deaths have been reported in the Caribbean.

McMillan said the region has been proactive and deliberate in developing its response and ensuring it is “harmonized” with international agencies.

“We stand ready to activate the Health Disaster Plan should it become necessary, as an essential support function of the National Emergency Management Agency plan,” she said.

Coronavirus is an infectious disease that spreads between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected persons coughs or sneezes/or contact with a contaminated surface.

Older adults and persons those with underlying health issues could be at increased risk for more severe disease, according to McMillan, who said while this is concerning, preparedness is the best protection.

McMillan added healthcare facilities have been engaged to ensure facility-level plans are in place; training activities for frontline healthcare staff are ongoing; an area has been identified for those requiring hospital care, inclusive of isolation capacity; another area has been identified outside of high-flow patients and staff for people representing respiratory symptoms to be assessed — all in an effort to reduce transmission risk in the event a case or cases present in The Bahamas.

Officials again urged against non-essential travel and advised anyone experiencing difficulty breathing, fever or bouts of coughing following travel to seek medical attention after contacting a doctor or emergency room.

Encouraging

Meanwhile, Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization representative Dr. Esther de Gourville said a WHO assessment in China found the outbreak passed its peak in late January, and there has been a steady decline of reported cases and deaths — all which is “encouraging news”.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Qinguo made a similar assessment last week.

According to de Gourville the outbreak in China is “being brought under control”, noting that as of March 8 China reported only 46 new cases and 27 new deaths, while over 62,000 people who contracted the virus had recovered.

Globally, the virus has infected more than 113,000 and killed over 3,900.

54 comments

Rescheduling is a smart decision….we are planning a 10 day trip to the Bahamas April 14, if we can reschedule we’d be very happy!

I would not head to Bahamas, they are never up front on diseases and community impact. Their entire business is based on tourism, so why would they publicly announce any CV19 patients. People in the hotels are aware of several potential cases that exist but are too afraid to say anything. I wouldn’t doubt the Bahamas, with all the tourists, has already had a spread of CV19 and are not reporting it because this is their busy season!

I have a trip planned in April to the BarMar..Nassau Bahamas…. will they post any cases of CV19?

We had are very first cruise planned for April 4 to the Bahamas. I have no insurance so we are now out of that money. Royal Caribbean will not refund. But, you live and you learn. 🙁

Check their website, they have a “Cruise with Confidence” plan in place for any cruise planned to sail before July this year that will credit you for another cruise until December 2021.

I have a Bahama cruise planned for April 9th. Carnival is giving us the option to either move forward or change our date. I’m at a loss of what to do. I hope this all dies down before I have to make this difficult decision. I am healthy, and don’t predict this virus to harm me, but also don’t want to spread it.

I had to postpone my cruise to a later date ( haven’t decided yet). I heard that Princess cruises cancelled their cruises for the next 2 months. Perhaps you should hold out and see if they cancel your cruise, then you should be entitled to a full refund.

I’m typing this from Atlantis… no one seems too concerned about it… maybe not intelligently, but haven’t seen any sick people so far.

j bay, thanks for your note. my family and i head there sunday am from NC. can you give any general update on how populated things are at atlantis? just curious. that is where we are staying. i don’t have to have a lot of people there to have fun. just want to make sure that nothing there is intentionally being shut down (excursions, etc.) based on fewer people than normal being there right now.

I have a trip planned to the Atlantis on April 13th. Me and my family have concerns about the plane ride an dthe resort. Glad to hear everything looks good down there. I really want to go.

Well I live in the Bahamas and can vouch that I have no hear even a rumor of the virus being here and the tourism industry and the Bahama press are not in alliance so until u have creditable evidence I would like if u you don’t call Bahamians liars off of you own Opinion thanks

I see a lot of folks postponing a few weeks out. Mathematically speaking you are going from risk to higher risk. This is not getting any better in the next several weeks and most likely will get way way worse.

My cruise line Will extend it out to 9/2021 but for a large fee! We are over 65 and have COPD and asthma! We have already paid enough money! I think they should just do it! Ee all didn’t ask for this!

Im planning on going to Bahamas the 31 March and im not going to change my plans. Im just going to wear gloves with a good strong sanitizer in my pocket. The virus live longest on steel like door knobs…elevators..all steal ..best is to be safe. Not changing my plans.

We are traveling to Nassau and then over to Cat Island. Has anyone heard of any reported issues in the family/out islands?

I would rethink. We just came from there and stayed at the Atlantis and Baha Mar. there are so many cruise shops that dock there. At least 5 a day. It is a Mecca of travelers there. Just some thoughts 🙂

I am at a neighboring property.
Atlantis is at 75 percent capacity
Spring break is in full swing. Nothing has been closed down here.
Watching TV the USA looks like a war zone. There’s no panic here.

Hello! Anyone at Atlantis?? Today is March 13tb
I am supposed to check in at the hotel with my
7 year old on March 18th. Please tell me what what you see. Crowds , preventative care, cleaning, etc… Greatly appreciate it.

Just came back from ATLANTIS, had an awesome time, never did think about the corona virus till we came back to US and listening to the media😫

Just came back from the Atlantis, everything was fine, had an AWESOME time. Not heard of a single case, did not even think about it till we came back in the US and listening to the media. Just wash hands frequently!

Hey guys, we arrived at Atlantis (2 adults and 6 year ild) on March 10th. I haven’t witnessed anyone looking ill/feverish/with cough or respiratory compromise. Seems to be business as usual here; my impression is that the airport and air travel is likely the riskiest part of vacationing to atlantis at this time

I appreciate everyone’s response. I’m supposed to travel to Atlantis on Tuesday 16th with my 6 & 9 year old and husband who would be considered at risk. Considering canceling. Then I read about the Braemar cruise ship with several infected people fighting with the Bahamian and UK govt to port in Bahamas to let the passengers out. If there are no cases yet – there you go.

We are schedule to go March the 28th i really want to go ..We want get any refunds if we cancel.Im not sure.I feel good about going just not the airport part.

Julie, if the cruise ship docks, I think the passengers go to Atlantis ( if they pay for it)
for an afternoon. Maybe that day you folks can find a quiet spot on the beach for a few hours while the cruise passengers use the water park
Or go into town?
I’m sorry for your dilemma. I’m sure your family wants to take this trip.

Julie
I just re read your text. Now I see.
That would be terrible.
I can’t imagine that would happen.
Hopefully WHO is involved.

Postponing your trip makes absolutely no sense. In a months time CV will have skyrocketed everywhere. GO NOW, before the ports are closed.

DONT GET ON A CRUISE SHIP AT ANY COST.

I just got back from a Carnival Bahamas cruise on Thursday. I felt significantly safer on the boat that since I have gotten off. The tourism industry seems to be going over the top with precautions. We stayed in a hotel in Charleston when we got back and my personal feeling was that the cruise and the establishments we visited in the Bahamas were way more prepared and cautious. I say if you are well and can get the hell out of NC do it.

Also: When in Bahamas, avoid crowds, nightclubs, etc. Enjoy the solitude of the beaches.
When on airplane: Disinfect your entire seat area, tray table seat belts, TV monitor, etc. Carry your own water with you, and don’t take snacks from the flight attendant or get drinks unless you disinfect your hands afterwards. Stay out of airplane bathrooms. Dont touch your face. When waiting at gates, try and distance yourself from others as you wait. Swimming pools will not infect you as they are chlorinated, but the swimmers can, and the changing rooms can to. Good luck.

If a cruise ship has infected passengers they wouldn’t be allowed off the ship – they would have to quarantine. Plus it appears all cruises have been cancelled as of today. “The Points Guy” has great daily travel emails to read with all relevant travel info. Also, if you gave your email to the Atlantis when you booked you should have received by now a detailed email describing their extensive cleaning procedures during this time. Hope you have a nice time.

Where is your proof on making such statements about the Bahamas? Up to yesterday, there are no case of COVID-19 in the Bahamas. We value life over money. We have no reason to cover up and lie, despite us being a Tourist destination. Like you, our health is important to us.

MY FAMILY LEFT ON FRIDAY MARCH 13 TO GO TO THE BAHAMAS I AM WORRIED AND WILL NOT HAVE CONTACT WITH THEM FOR A TWO WEEK PERIOD WHEN THEY GET HOME

I’d like you to contact me via Facebook at @oceanicbluetravels I can give you a complementary taxes only cruise if you like.

I am supposed to go to the bahamas on march 26th. Is there any tavel restrictions yet? Or is it okay for me to come. My family has a house in the bahamas and it is our second home. It would be a shame if we were to not be able to get there.

I heard a rumour that they are not allowing anyone who has been in europe for the last 20 days to enter the bahamas is this true???

I will trust God. Read psalms 91 me and the hubby are sailing April 27-May 1 2020. They stopped all sailings until April 9 2020. So I thank God that does not interfere with our honeymoon/his birthday cruise.

So you think the Bahamians are idiots. I dont know where you get your information but we dont want to die from diseases you people bring here. So watch what you spew from your filthy mouth.

We are very concerned. So far we have only one confirmed case. We are all praying for the best. Nassau is on lockdown just like the U.S. we are not idiots. Only what has to be done work wise is being done.

Well its your decision , im here in my country right now, and to me , i have personally witness the dont care attitude the bahamians are taking towards this covid 19. that being said im one of the smart ones, im staying at home, but these people seems like they are partying more than usual ! they are in crowds everywhere and dont seem to care! So to me thats make it more dangerous , and we do have it here- it was confirmed, but to me they are full of shit , as you know already, if they say 1, times it by 100 or more! . We dont have that much tests and they have not administered the test to much people, so how would they know whats the statistics are,so if u wanna come u can but just bear in mine there is a risk, however we are also afraid,,,as you can be bringing it here!

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