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Consultant Physician Staff Association Wants People Tested Before Entering The Country

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Consultant Physician Staff Association wants people abroad to be tested before they enter the Bahamas as countries around the globe are experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases as restrictions are relaxed.

Dr Sabriquet Pinder-Butler, CPSA president, said the organisation wants COVID-free islands and do not want the country labelled unsafe for being unable to contain a resurgence of the virus.

“The Consultant Physician Staff Association supports the phased in approach to the tourism reopening of our country related to the COVID-19 pandemic however, there is grave concern regarding phase 2, starting July 1, 2020 as travellers coming to the Bahamas will no longer be required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test or quarantine,” she wrote in a statement yesterday.

The Minnis administration has not publicly confirmed that a COVID-19 negative test will not be required for entry to the country beginning July 1st, with Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar saying recently that a decision on this has not yet been made. Former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands has also come out against reopening the country to people who don't test negative for the virus.

Dr Pinder-Butler said: “As a world renowned tourist destination, we have visitors from all over the world. The number of cases of COVID-19 differs across the world however, recently there has been a resurgence of cases in Beijing and significant increases of new cases in the United States. The United States has consistently been our largest tourist market hence, we anticipate a potential increase in COVID-19 cases may be inventible as our borders reopen but would wish to mitigate this as much as possible. A surge of cases in the Bahamas can potentially devastate our strained healthcare system and will further add to the economic burden our country faces.”

“The CPSA wishes to recommend continued COVID-19 testing prior to travel to the Bahamas. We further support mandated social distancing, wearing of masks, proper respiratory hygiene and routine hand sanitisation as these combined efforts will assist in minimising the potential cases of coronavirus in country. We also recommend strengthening the capacity for contact tracing and surveillance.”

Comments

joeblow 1 month, 4 weeks ago

If only those in medical community had been more vocal throughout this COVID nightmare, we might have had a more sensible approach to addressing the issues that arose. If I learned one thing, the Dept. of Public Health is ill prepared to deal with any public health crisis. They lack the experience to think critically, plan and execute strategies. Without WHO guidelines, they can do nothing!

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mandela 1 month, 4 weeks ago

If outsiders or tourists are allowed to come in and infect us or possibly cause death by not being tested negative for COVID-19 before entry will amount to treason for the person or persons who would let this be allowed. Are we going to risk the lives of the Bahamas for $$$$$$ when our major contributor to our tourism will be coming from a place which today sees 1000's of new infection daily?

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tribanon 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Minnis (who is supposedly a medical doctor himself) and his loyal little poodle D'Aguilar have no doubt already confirmed to the major hotels, US commercial airlines and foreign owned cruise ship companies that our doors will be wide open for tourists to visit and stay among us starting July 1, with no need for them to undergo China virus testing before entering the Bahamas. And don't expect Minnis or D'Aguilar to feel the least bit compelled or obligated to explain to the Bahamian people why their position is totally at odds with all the medical experts, including those belonging to The Consultant Physician Staff Association.

"Hello Houston, we have a problem!" And the serious life threatening problem lies in Minnis and D' Aguilar's outright display of arrogance towards, and unaccountability to, the Bahamian people.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Enjoying the cool summer breeze on my ranch in Montana with comfort of knowing there's no Red China virus around me for miles and miles. The Tribune refused to renew my contract after 10+ years, but this new fella 'tribanon' sure sounds a lot like me.

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geostorm 1 month, 3 weeks ago

@DDK, it probably is mudda! Changed his/her name and tuned down the rhetoric a bit but, same ole words. I have a feeling its our good ole buddy ......lol

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licks2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Must I always have to be the voice of reason around here. . .this subject is an exercise in futility!! We rowing about people them coming here without testing for COVID19. . .and the big row between them peoples who want come here and their governments is that they don't think their government is right in telling them that they need to "show" COVID19 negative before they are allowed to get on a flight to the Bahamas from a COVID19 hot spot!! Plus while they are on those flights they have to ware masks. . .the plane ventilation system will kill COVID19. . .then they will get temperature checked when they reach here by we peoples dem at the airport!!

This is the same reason why them UK peoples dem are now telling their government they are not making sense by telling tourists they have to quarantine 14 after coming from a country that made them test negative before they get on the plane to travel!!

The current science is that if you get on a plane COVID19 negative and fly 12 hours to the Bahamas in a plane. . .you will not arrive into the Bahamas COVID19 positive!! Their big risk is getting COVID19 infected here!!

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago

masks are not invisible force fields. If you have COVID and you're in the same closed space for 3 hours with others, someone coming off that plane infected and they wint show any symptoms for the 2 weeks that they're on island. The solution is to synchronize testing with trip bookings technologically. I wish I had the speed to do it. Someone will.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Dr Minnis should not be minister of Health. This is not hindsight. I said so from the moment he appointed himself.

The inevitable conflicts between the PM concerned for the economy and the Health Minister who "should" have been fighting for public health were as clear as day. It didn't take very long about 2 weeks ago the Health Minister conceded and said there's no need for testing. This was an earth shattering and inexplicable announcement coming from a health minister.

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jus2cents 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I think we should take baby steps on this, definitely test for July and August! Watch and see what happens, people who really want to come, i.e. homeowners and people who vacation for longer airB&B will do so. Baha Mar, Sandals etc are closed until Oct, and airlines not flying here. So why risk it? Plus it's always quiet here in summer months. That way we keep our reputation as a safe place, and when people are ready to fly they will choose here first

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