Three other passengers potentially exposed en route to GB
Return home program suspended, pending investigation
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An investigation has been launched to determine how a COVID-19 positive patient was allowed to return with the group of 183 Bahamians and residents on Friday.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis revealed today that a returning passenger who travelled to Grand Bahama, was found to be infected with the virus.
The COVID-19-positive individual traveled to the island with three other passengers, Minnis said.
“We are investigating to see how the individual was allowed to board that flight,” Minnis said during a national address.
“Three individuals travelled with this passenger.
“All four of these individuals have been tested again upon arrival and we are awaiting the test results.
“All passenger wore PPEs (personal protective equipment) during the flight which decreases the risk of exposure.
“All passengers on the flight will remain in quarantine and will continue to be monitored.
“Of the passengers on the flight, 51 disembarked at Grand Bahama and 44 disembarked at New Providence.
“Health officials will continue to keep the country informed on this matter.
“Pending the investigation and review of this matter, I have advised the airline and was also advised by health officials to temporarily suspend the repatriation flights, which will resume as soon as health officials advise.”
The flights from South Florida last Friday flew Bahamians and residents to New Providence and Grand Bahama.
Of the returning Bahamians, Minnis said 59 residents remain in government quarantine, while another 124 have been allowed to quarantine at home.
Minnis reminded Bahamians seeking to return home that they register with a consul office in their respective country, and must have a molecular COVID-19 test performed with a negative result prior to returning to The Bahamas.
According to the prime minister, The Bahamas is among the first in the region to allow the general return of citizens since closing its borders.
He said the process, which required a balance between protecting the public, had been planned for many weeks.
The government closed its borders in mid-March
It was criticized in many quarters for closing the borders to Bahamians who wished to return home.