Davis warns unvaccinated are at serious risk, but maintains no further social restrictions needed
Free testing expanded from 400 to 1K per day
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Every Bahamian and resident in The Bahamas is likely to be exposed to the omicron coronavirus variant multiple times in the coming weeks, according to Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis.
“Omicron is so transmissible that nearly all of us are likely to face multiple exposures to the virus in the coming weeks, and the question for every Bahamian is ‘how ready will your body be to fight off the virus’,” Davis said during a national address on Sunday.
“If you are vaccinated, and especially if you are vaccinated and boosted, you have given yourself an excellent chance at experiencing the virus merely as an inconvenience rather than as a life-threatening disease.
“I am encouraged to see many Bahamians continue to sign up to be vaccinated.
“By now approximately four billion people worldwide have been fully vaccinated.
“The COVID vaccines have saved millions of lives and is one of modern science’s most extraordinary achievements.
“If you are not vaccinated, you are at serious risk.”
Davis warned that the virus continues to impact healthcare professionals, making its spread everyone’s business.
If you are young and willing to take your chances with omicron, are you also willing to take that chance with your grammy, if you should pass that virus onto her?
– Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis
“We all need a functioning healthcare system — when our child gets appendicitis, when our neighbor needs cancer surgery, when our aunt needs treatment for a heart condition, when our teenager gets in a car accident,” he said.
“I’m urging Bahamians to make decisions in the coming weeks with an understanding that all of us are in this together.
”If you are young and willing to take your chances with omicron, are you also willing to take that chance with your grammy, if you should pass that virus onto her?
“We need to do our best to protect each other.”
Notwithstanding hundreds of new infections in recent days and hospitalizations reaching 110 as of Monday, the prime minister told the media during a tour of Cybil Strachan Primary School yesterday that additional restrictions such as curfews and lockdowns are not needed, but the government expects the public to act with a sense of personal responsibility.
Since January 1, there have been nearly 3,700 new COVID-19 cases in the nation and hospitalizations have more than tripled.
Davis told the public that being outdoors is safer than being indoors and time must be limited, where possible, inside.
He urged vaccinated individuals to get their booster shots, and for those who have yet to receive the jab to do so as soon as possible.
He also said for those who experience cold or flu symptoms or know they have been exposed to someone who has COVID, to get tested and not go to work or gather with others.
The government, in partnership with the private sector, launched its COVID-19 free testing pilot program on New Providence on Saturday, with a capacity to perform 400 tests per day.
The capped figure was the result of budgetary allowances, according to Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Clint Watson, though full costing remains unknown.
During his national address, the prime minister announced that the 400 slots were filled quickly for testing. He said the government expanded free testing to 800 on Monday and will offer 1,000 tests per day beginning today.
“We will also, of course, be expanding free testing nationwide,” he said, adding that the government has begun its distribution of free medical-grade masks at clinics and vaccination sites on New Providence.