NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The US Embassy yesterday pushed back against reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had issued a new travel warning for the country.
On Friday, the CDC posted a level three warning for tourists to avoid nonessential travel to hurricane-ravaged areas in The Bahamas, along with a global notice on measles outbreaks.
The warning prompted opposition calls for Health minister Dr Duane Sands to address concerns over the level of medical services in affected areas.
However, an US Embassy spokesperson clarified yesterday the travel warning is the same notice issued immediately following the passage of Hurricane Dorian in September.
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Global Measles Outbreak Notice on January 3, which triggered an automatic update to the CDC’s Travel Warning for The Bahamas and other countries,” the US spokesperson said.
“We are aware of messages circulating on social media and WhatsApp characterizing this notice as a new Travel Warning. These messages are misleading. Actually, there is no change to the CDC’s September Travel Warning for The Bahamas.
“Remember to read information carefully, and check with reliable sources.”
In a press statement yesterday, Progressive Liberal Party Chairman senator Dr Michael Darville noted assurances made by Sands that the level of medical services provided and supplemented were adequate.
“The CDC report has serious implications for the country’s public health and can damage our tourism product,” Darville said.
“As far as the public is aware our country’s vaccination regimes are current, vigorous and effective and to our knowledge there are no recently reported cases of typhoid, yellow fever or cholera in the country.
He continued: “We therefore seek an explanation from the Ministry of Health as to why the CDC in the United States felt the need to issue a travel advisory which seems to suggest undisclosed public health risks in the areas impacted by the recent hurricane.”