Novel Coronavirus – Update #6

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The Ministry of Health wishes to advise the public that there remains no suspected, reported or confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in The Bahamas. Currently, the 2019-nCoV has spread to at least twenty-seven (27) countries, and now has more than twenty eight thousand (28,000) cases confirmed on Mainland China, with five hundred sixty-five (565) deaths.

To date, fifteen (15) residents have been quarantined. The individuals monitored currently have not experienced symptoms of the virus. The Ministry of Health also wishes to advise that the Novel Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan (NCPRP) was distributed to all relevant stakeholders. Subsequently, several meetings have been convened to familiarize stakeholders with the plan.

On 5th February, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus Operations Committee met and reviewed the step-by-step approach with customs and immigration officers and healthcare providers stationed at the Lynden Pindling International Airport and other ports of entry. Meetings were also held with unions, including doctors, nurses, customs and immigration unions, to discuss union members’ concerns regarding 2019-nCoV and how persons can protect themselves.

Thursday, 6th February, 2020, a meeting was conducted with health care providers from public and private sectors inclusive of doctors, nurses, allied health workers and support staff to discuss the importance of health facility plans, and emphasize isolation procedures and other protocols. The Minister of Health chaired a follow-up meeting to update government agencies on current activities associated with 2019-nCoV, resolve reported loopholes and encourage smooth and effective communication.

The Ministry of Health also engaged the Bahamas Hotel Association to ensure that frontline staff of our tourism industry are informed and provided with the steps to be taken in the event a person presenting has traveled to Mainland China in the past 20 days. The Pinewood Constituency Association in conjunction with the Ministry of Health participated in a Town Hall Meeting on the 6th February, 2020, at the Cleveland Eneas Primary School in Pinewood Gardens to discuss the topic: “What You Need to Know About the Novel Coronavirus.” The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the development of the 2019-nCoV, and provide ongoing updates to the public.

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