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Editorial: Stop This Virus Spreading Within Our Community

TWO hammer blows struck last night – one on our shores, and one across the water in the US.

Four new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in The Bahamas last night, all in New Providence. Only one had travelled recently, to the Dominican Republic. What that means is that they caught it here. That’s called community transmission. It means the virus has been passed from Bahamian to Bahamian. Experts are saying that those four people could have come into contact with as many as 200 people – and they’re trying their best to track who those might have been.

This is why it is so important to stay at home. Each infected person is the first in a chain of dominoes that can topple over, one into another, and the next, and the next, spreading the virus. Staying behind closed doors stops that from reaching other people.

The government is doing what it can – there are already 2,300 testing kits on the island, but do the maths on that. If 200 people who have been in contact with those four people need testing, that’s just under nine percent of the testing kits that will be used on those cases alone.

What is the alternative to this lockdown? Well, sadly, that is where the other hammer struck yesterday.

The United States yesterday became the nation with the most confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world. Ahead of China, despite a smaller population. In just one day yesterday, there were 13,968 new cases. A lack of definite leadership has hurt the US response. Even on Wednesday, the Mississippi governor was not only rejecting a lockdown, but overruling local mayors who wanted to impose stay at home orders.

This is what we are trying to avoid. But the effects of that scale of outbreak in the US is something we will not be able to avoid.

So much of our economy leans on the US that it will be impossible not to feel the impact. On one front, we shall have to be vigilant to ensure a minimum of spread from people when our borders reopen. But on the other front, we must be aware of the huge toll this will cause financially – first to our neighbour, and then by consequence to ourselves.

We cannot control how the US responds to the crisis in their midst. We can control how we respond to our own. If we do not want to follow the rise in numbers, we have to minimise our contact with others. Essential journeys means just that – essential. If you don’t need to go out, don’t go out.

We can only start to respond economically when the virus has been contained and stopped. That is our first task.

Every single Bahamian medical expert is of one voice in this – anyone who thinks they know better than all those doctors is simply wrong.

Stay home. Stay safe. Let’s be the best example to the world, and not follow the worst examples of others.

Comments

SP 7 months ago

Describing President Trump's response to the Covid19 pandemic as a lack of definite leadership that has hurt the US response capability may not be fair when one considers Trump exclaims he has a natural ability for dealing with these things and he thinks he has done a great job so far.

Looking at the actual facts on the ground does, however, make one wonder how and why the good President arrived at these conclusions given the undeniable fact that the U.S. has quickly become the new epicenter for Covid19.

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birdiestrachan 7 months ago

The matters that President Trump boast of the most has come tumbling down on his head and all around him.

The Stock market and the unemployment numbers.

There is a lesson in this for the world.

May the Good Lord have mercy on us all and may we all learn what the lessons are.

God is a good God and he loves us all. bottom line

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paulhummerman 7 months ago

Measures implemented and proposed in the Bahamas are extreme but unfortunately necessary. Life at a temporary standstill is far better than death.

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ThisIsOurs 7 months ago

The one fallacy I see in all the reporting is people projecting that the time of discovery is indicative of a recent infection. Someone infected because people didnt obey the curfew

The truth is we could have had people walking around with headaches, coughing and interacting with colleagues and the general public from way back in January thinking they just had a slight cold. Its possible we could have 5000 people walking around who were infected before the curfew which was only started less than a week ago. Thats both probable and possible.

Under the above scenario the curfew only prevents the 5000 from becoming 100,000 but the 5000 would have been a result of not having a system of wide spread testing from back in January/February. Ten people are currently discovered not because people were on the beach on Saturday...they were infected because we had no system to determine who was infected.

I keep repeating this example, on March 3rd the Minister of Tourism said they were in talks to bring thousands of persons to Nassau from cancelled conventions in Europe. Doesn't that seem crazy now?

. I'm saying this to point out what the thinking was just 3 weeks ago. We were simply late, all of us, me included, that's why we have 10 cases today

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happyfly 7 months ago

nice to see some common sense around here. I am quite sure that we have all already been exposed to the virus for a long time and this shutdown is going to turn out to be the biggest economic disaster brought upon ourselves through sheer ignorance and fear

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Entrepreneur 7 months ago

There is an argument to advance that supports what you say. Last week Oxford University came out with a model that suggests 68% of the UK had the infection by 19th March and 80% of Italy by 9th March. They suggest substantial herd immunity in those 2 countries has already been established.

This is potential cause for great optimism, but it is ONLY a model and not proven by any means yet. That is why this editorial is still correct that we MUST continue to self isolate.

Until the data and antigen tests confirm one way or another, the alternative - much more negative - model put forward by Imperial College, London could still be right. Let us pray that in this global situation Oxford is right and Imperial is wrong. But for now we must stay in place.

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proudloudandfnm 7 months ago

God republicans are morons.... Mudda sic.... Mississippi gov needs to be arrested and charged with criminal negligence. What an idiot...

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crimestoper 7 months ago

Stay out of U.S. politics if you didn't vote

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geostorm 7 months ago

@crimestoper , totally agree. We need to focus on our own problems and how to overcome them.

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