NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said health officials will determine today the impact of New Year’s Day activities on the local transmission of COVID-19, noting that while there were increases following the Thanksgiving and Christmas periods, those increases were “marginal” and “manageable”.
He was responding to questions about the COVID variant first seen in the UK last September.
It has since spread to Colorado, California and Florida as the United States experienced record numbers of cases and deaths last week.
“What they said is the virus is more infectious and not necessarily more devastating in terms of the degree of the illnesses that it may cause,” he told reporters on Eleuthera.
“So, one has to follow the same mitigation processes in terms of facial mask, safe social distancing, avoiding all large crowds and, of course, sanitization.
“I think once we follow that, we would be okay.
“And we will monitor the situation.”
The prime minister said there was an expected uptick in COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving, but the increase was “marginal, but manageable,”
“It did not cause any serious issue,” he said.
“We came out the Christmas [period] — I think we are coming out of that now, the 14th day.
“We expected an increase and its marginal, but manageable.
“I think we’ll probably be watching to see what happens between now and Wednesday because that would be the time we would see the effects of the New Year.
“I think…we expect an increase.
“If that is manageable, again, then I think for all intents and purposes the processes and the protocols that we put in place are working as we’ll continue to monitor the situation and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.”
There were 27 confirmed coronavirus cases over the weekend.
Total cases stand at 8,004 as of Monday.
During a press conference on Friday, Minister of Health Renward Wells said the ministry was concerned about some Bahamians traveling during the Thanksgiving period, which contributed to an increase in cases, though new infections per day have remained in the low double digits.