Friday, March 13, 2020

'Only A Matter Of Time' Before Bahamas Identifies Its First Coronavirus Case

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands

Tribune Senior Reporter

IT is only a matter of time before The Bahamas identifies its first case of the coronavirus, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday.

After the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 a pandemic, he said this country has moved beyond focusing on preventing the virus and instead to focusing on identification, isolation and control. Recognising that healthcare workers are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, Dr Sands said the government will increase the death benefit of healthcare workers by 500 percent––an additional $50,000 or so.

He also revealed that staff of the Fleming Street Clinic evacuated the facility yesterday when someone suggested a patient had contracted the virus. Expressing frustration with fake news, he said the person who made the remark––a suspected clinic employee––will be fired if found.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said officials will monitor price gouging amid reports that prices of hand sanitizers have exploded in recent days.

“If we detect any (price gouging), we’ll deal with it appropriately, but we will not tolerate it, absolutely not,” he told reporters after touring the New Providence Ecology Park.

The comments all came as Bahamians ramped up preparations for a disease that has already burdened healthcare systems of countries experiencing outbreaks.  Read more >>