(PRESS RELEASE) – The Bahamas Ministry of Health is working closely with the all pertinent government agencies throughout the destination to execute The Bahamas National Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19. At this time, there are no reported cases of the coronavirus in The Bahamas.
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not currently recommend any restriction of travel or trade, and The Bahamas continues to welcome visitors to the destination. The Bahamas is one of the few countries conducting COVID-19 testing and is actively employing several measures used globally to screen visitors and residents and to manage the response to individuals of concern in line with international health best practices. Traveller health questionnaires and a screening protocol are used at ports, hotels and rental properties to identify guests who may require surveillance or treatment.
On January 30, 2020, The Bahamas implemented border control and quarantine measures for persons travelling from China as a component of the country’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
All travellers, who are not citizens or residents of The Bahamas, with a history of travel to China within the previous 20 days are to be denied entry.
Citizens and residents with a history of travel to China within the previous 20 days are to be quarantined and monitored closely by the Public Health Department to determine whether possible exposure while in China will result in illness.
Should they become ill, they will be managed per clinical management WHO guidelines for cases of COVID-19.
There are currently only four (4) quarantine cases in The Bahamas.
Currently, no other countries are restricted but the Government of The Bahamas is reviewing this matter on an ongoing basis and will keep the travelling public informed.
A destination-wide education campaign is underway to remind the public of the basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including frequent, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with those exhibiting signs of respiratory illness.
The Bahamas is following the protocol outlined in the International Health Regulations (IHR) and reporting to WHO as appropriate. The WHO currently considers the risk to The Bahamas and Caribbean from the coronavirus to be low, but a key element of the IHR plan is to inform the public of relevant updates regularly.
For more information on 2019-nCoV, please visit these websites:
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Chinese Coronavirus Real-Time dashboard –https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6