Wednesday, October 14, 2020

PAHO/WHO: The Bahamas COVID-19 outbreak risks national and intl. public health

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) representative in The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Dr. Esther Mary de Gourville.

Sloan Smith
Eyewitness News

Social, economic, political, and cultural differences compromise the country’s ability to respond to the pandemic

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – PAHO/WHO Representative in The Bahamas Dr. Esther de Gourville yesterday said the current COVID-19 outbreak in The Bahamas presents a risk to both “national and international public health”.

Dr. Gourville urged all stakeholders to take an “all of society” and unified approach to addressing the outbreak in the country, in a statement that followed a series of meetings with high-level government and health officials.

She explained that during meetings with stakeholders she outlined trends in the COVID-19 local outbreak that show an expansion of the outbreak from 3 to 14 islands in The Bahamas by October and an approximately 40-fold rise in cases and eight-fold rise in deaths since July 2020.

Additional trends include infection and deaths reported among health care workers; a shift in the age distribution of cases and deceased persons with more cases and deaths now being reported among persons aged between 20 and 40; and a recent trend of at least 1 COVID-19 death per day. 

Dr. Gourville also pointed to the increasingly overwhelmed health care services; and the escalating health costs to expand human resources for clinical, contact tracing, and data management capacities, along with social support for unemployed people and vulnerable groups.  Read more >>