• THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: BAHAMASAIR Chairman Tommy Turnquest said all Mexicans who arrived in the country Thursday to do construction work at the Baker’s Bay resort in Abaco had negative COVID-19 tests from an accredited lab. Their tests, he said, were taken within the required ten day period. He spoke to The Tribune after top health officials expressed uncertainty about the test status of the workers during a Ministry of Health press conference. FULL STORY HERE
FROM EARLIER: MINISTRY of Health officials said they are awaiting COVID-19 negative test results from Mexican nationals who entered the country this week to do construction work at the Baker’s Bay resort in Abaco.
Images of the workers at Lynden Pindling Airport angered some who believe Bahamians should get the jobs amid high unemployment rates.
Officials previously announced that the policy to enter the country mandates that people must produce a COVID-19 negative test result from an accredited lab taken within 10 days of travel. That timeframe will be reduced to seven days starting July 7.
But during a press conference on Thursday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan appeared unsure whether people from South America had even entered the country while Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, the coordinator of the government’s COVID-19 response, said health officials are now investigating if all the Mexicans met qualifications to enter the country.
“Indeed, we had a landing of nationals from South America that came in,” Dr Dahl-Regis said.
“We are investigating this as we speak but I want to give you the assurance that (Ministry of) Health will require that each individual who landed present with a negative PCR test and if it doesn’t meet the qualifications we will do it, we will do the test to be sure that we have no transmission and if there is a positive test we will deal with it. We are told that they have had (a test) and we await receipt of those tests and once we receive them we will determine that they were good, valid, positive or negative.”
• See Friday’s Tribune for more on this story.