A Bahamasair flight carrying Bahamian nationals and residents makes its way along a taxiway towards the airport terminal Friday in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The flight was part of a repatriation exercise the Government implemented to bring nationals and residents home from Florida. (SURGE Media Photo/Tim Aylen)
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said a person who tested positive for COVID-19 was among the 183 residents who returned to the country on Friday, prompting a suspension of repatriation exercises. His revelation during a national address yesterday came as the country went without an additional confirmed COVID-19 case for the fourth consecutive day.
It has been the policy of the government not to let people who test positive for the virus return to the country. It is not clear when officials discovered the positive test of the person or how, but Dr Minnis said the matter will be investigated. The person has not yet been added to the nation’s official COVID-19 count, which was 92 up to press time.
“It was discovered after the aircraft landed that one COVID-19 positive passenger was on the flight to Grand Bahama,” Dr Minnis said. “We are investigating to see how the individual was allowed to board that flight. Three individuals travelled with this passenger. All four of these individuals have been tested again upon arrival and we are awaiting the test results. All passengers wore personal protection equipment which decreases the risk of exposure. All passengers on the flight will remain in quarantine and will continue to be monitored. Pending the investigation and review of this matter, I have advised the airline and was also advised by the health officials to temporarily suspend the repatriation flights which we will resume as soon as health officials advise.”
One hundred and twenty-four of the returnees are in home quarantine and 59 are at a government designated location.
Two planes arrived in the country on Friday. On one flight, 88 people were directly flown to New Providence. On the other, 51 were taken to Grand Bahama and 44 were subsequently flown to New Providence.
The penalty for breaking quarantine is a fine of up to $20,000 or up to five years in prison or both.