Minnis: Health experts “alarmed” at Delta spread
“I want each of you to be safe from the deadly virus”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Insisting that the Delta coronavirus variant has the potential to collapse the healthcare system and cause a “super surges of cases”, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday urged Bahamians to overcome vaccine hesitancy.
During an address at Calvary Deliverance Church on East Street South, Minnis said only by getting vaccinated can Bahamians get protection against the deadly virus.
His appeal comes amid concerns over new variants, including the Delta Plus strain.
He has previously said it is not a matter of if the variant will arrive, but when.
“It is doubly important to get vaccinated with the rapid spread with the Delta variant around the world,” Minnis said.
“The variant spreads more easily than previous versions of the virus.
“It is causing a significant rise in cases in many regions and global public pandemic.
“Our experts are alarmed at how quickly the Delta variant causes super surges of cases.
“We will only stop this pandemic through vaccination.
“We need a large number of Bahamians vaccinated.
“For those of you still considering whether or not to take the shot, take note of how dangerous this Delta variant is.
“It has led to the collapse of hospitals systems in a number of countries.
“We all saw on television what it did to our fellow Commonwealth country of India, which was was gracious to give us our first vaccines.
“I want each of you to be safe from the deadly virus. I strongly recommend that you get vaccinated so that you are protected. If you have questions, ask your doctors for advice.”
According to Minnis, there has been an uptick in vaccinations in recent weeks.
As of July 2, nearly 96,000 doses of AstraZeneca had been administered — 59,731 individuals with one dose and 36,261 individuals who have been fully vaccinated.
A total of 64,642 doses were administered on New Providence, 13,737 on Grand Bahama and 12,613 on the Family Islands.
The National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee said there has been an 86.1 percent rate of individuals receiving their first vaccine and returning for the second jab.
The percentage is higher on the Family Islands, with a 91.2 percent return rate.
The Bahamas is expected to receive another 33,600 doses of AstraZeneca by July 26.
An unspecified number of Pfizer vaccines are also expected to arrive from the US next week.
Yesterday, the prime minister said the government continues to work “diligently” to secure more vaccine doses.
The government recently borrowed 5,000 doses from Antigua and Barbuda.
The prime minister said while The Bahamas is “coming back”, continued recovery is hinged on a greater uptake of the vaccine.
“We want to ensure that Bahamians in all our islands feel the economic recovery that has begun,” he said.
“However, [for] this recovery to continue into the medium and long term, we must continue to get vaccinated.
“Tourists will want to come to countries and feel safe within.
“The more we get vaccinated, the less likely we are to have future outbreaks.”