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‘DON’T GO THERE’: U.S. puts Bahamas back on top level alert as cases rise

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter 

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has told Americans to avoid travel to The Bahamas, citing a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.

Yesterday, the United States’ chief public health agency increased the country’s health notice from level three to level four.

The nation had remained at level three since late January, after previously being listed at level four by the CDC last year due to virus infections. 

“Travellers should avoid all travel to The Bahamas,” the CDC advisory read. “Because of the current situation in The Bahamas, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to The Bahamas.

“If you must travel to The Bahamas, get fully vaccinated before travel. All travellers should wear a mask, stay six feet from others, avoid crowds and wash their hands.”

According to international media reports, the US State Department said yesterday it planned to boost its “Do Not Travel” guidance to about 80 percent of countries worldwide, citing “unprecedented risk to travellers” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The State Department already listed 34 out of about 200 countries as “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” including places like Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Mozambique, Russia and Tanzania. Getting to 80 percent would imply adding nearly 130 countries, according to reports. The Bahamas currently has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory from the US State Dept. 

Over the last several days, there have been 158 new cases, according to information released by the Ministry of Health, lending to concerns by officials that a third COVID-19 wave is underway.

There were 55 new COVID-19 cases in the country, including nine in Abaco, on Sunday, April 18. Officials said Abaco’s number reflected a testing exercise on April 1 at an Abaco based construction company.

A further breakdown of Sunday’s cases showed 21 in New Providence, 12 in Grand Bahama, one in Eleuthera, four in Andros and eight cases with locations pending.

On Saturday April 16 there were 40 new cases, on Friday, 62 cases were recorded and on Thursday 41 new cases recorded.

Additionally, there were 30 on Wednesday, 58 on Tuesday, 45 on Monday and 21 last Sunday for a total of 297 last week.

The week prior saw 189 infections.

With total COVID-19 cases nearing the 10,000 mark, the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Nikkiah Forbes believes The Bahamas is now facing its third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Total COVID-19 cases now stand at 9,791.

Dr Forbes, a COVID-19 task force member, said the nation could still get a handle on the situation if Bahamians continue to follow all of the health measures among other things.

She also noted vaccinations, COVID-19 testing and isolation strategies will be key in helping to tackle this wave of the pandemic but said all measures will “have to be done in combination”.

She said: “The public health measures are very effective, but the key is for that to work is everybody has to follow them…The other way that the COVID outbreak could be stopped is a full robust vaccination programme but that takes time and we have to get a very large proportion of the population immunised and that takes time so there’s two parts—prevention like the vaccine and public health measures—and then there’s control measures.

“(This includes) having public health platforms that identifies the cases early and early means it has to be done very early like within a day or two and put those cases in isolation and find the high-risk contact and put them in quarantine and do follow up testing and it can work, but all those things have to be done in combination.”

The country’s death toll is 194. 

Comments

Bonefishpete 1 year, 3 months ago

Damn just made plans for Mozambique. Now what. Antarctic still open?

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JokeyJack 1 year, 3 months ago

At least they've come up with a new method of dealing with the problem. I see here they are saying to social distance, wash hands, and wear a mask. It's worth a try. I hadn't heard about the mask idea before. I will go out and buy one of them today. The social distancing has been working for me automatically since people don't come to close to me when they detect my body odor. Ive been washing my hands as instructed, but not the rest of my body. They didn't tell me to do that. 14 months now, i have skin rashes and am very smelly & my teeth are nasty. I wish they would expand the washing advice. I will try the mask though. Would it prevent me spreading bad breath?

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carltonr61 1 year, 3 months ago

"become immunized" Did she just misspoke. As far CDC and WHO are concerned no Covid vaccine offers immunity. Bahamians are taking the vaccine with this very deliberate misconception that they cannot get sick once vaccinated. So they are the ones not wearing masks unaware according to CDC they can spread the virus and could still pick up Covid 19. Bahamians are also kept out of the loop that a booster vaccine will be required by December. The vaccine only allows one to suffer less if invected. Studies are ongoing now at Oxford on how "breakout" is possible. Also New Zealand just suffered a setback as members of an Airline flying with all members vaccinated strategy came down with Covid. WHO totally ruled against Covid Passport this week.

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Proguing 1 year, 3 months ago

Biden really does not like the Bahamas

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Clamshell 1 year, 3 months ago

There is no evidence the Joe Biden is personally managing travel directives to/from the Bahamas. That’s nuts. Equally ludicrous are the links above to SputnikNews, which is a Russian-government propaganda outlet. Only a total moron would believe that Putin-drivel. Check y’selves, y’all.

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MrsQ 1 year, 3 months ago

Absolutely. The idea that Joe Biden or any American president spends any time worrying about the Bahamas is laughable. There are much bigger fish to fry on the world stage.

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tribanon 1 year, 3 months ago

That's what Minnis thought too until he was summonsed to Mar-a-Lago in 2019 by Trump and Bolton for a 'polite' diplomatic tongue lashing along with the leaders of Jamaica and Haiti. The US remains most unhappy with the very cozy relationships The Bahamas, Jamaica and Haiti seem to developing with representatives of, and enterprises controled by, the very sinister and ruthlessly evil Xi Jinping regime in Communist China.

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Proguing 1 year, 3 months ago

So why does he want to impose a 21% corporate tax in the Bahamas, if we are such as small fry?

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Bobsyeruncle 1 year, 3 months ago

Not just The Bahamas, but any country where US based companies have an offshore presence

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John 1 year, 3 months ago

Three quick points: 1. In basically every area where there has been mass vaccinations, the Covid numbers have gone up. 2. A spokesman from CDC tried to explain this away by saying, whenever someone who is not vaccinated comes in close contact with someone who is vaccinated, the non vaccinated person will eventually test positive for the virus. She went on to say the body hides traces of the virus and even though the non vaccinated person will show no symptoms, they will test positive... due to being in contact with a vaccinated person. This one is still over the top and can only mean vaccines will eventually be mandatory. No longer a choice. 3. The CDC says they will be moving in to poor or impoverished countries to ensure the vaccine is made available. Their rationale is that ‘you can’t beat a virus of pandemic if a large segment of the population is not vaccinated. And, according to them. Poor people in densely populated areas pose a higher risk of becoming infected. So is that again to conclude that people in India, Africa, Mexico, Haiti or Brazil for example, will have no choice on whether they are vaccinated? Maybe even The Bahamas? This is scary stuff.

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Clamshell 1 year, 3 months ago

OK ... but we have not seen any evidence of any push to make vaccinations mandatory in either the U.S. or the Bahamas. In the U.S., that would be literally impossible, legally. They’ve never made vaccinations for polio, rubella, flu, etc. mandatory, Never.

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JokeyJack 1 year, 3 months ago

Clamshell - with ALL the things they have already made mandatory : schools open/closed, mask wearing, putting some kind of gel on your hands when you enter any business establishment, wearing masks outdoors in the open air a thousand feet away from anyone else, testing before flights (and after flights too in Canada) - with all of that you are now going to sit there and suggest that there is SOMETHING that they cannot make mandatory???? I noticed your comment above about Sputnik news also. Maybe you can explain to us why there has been a worldwide SHUTDOWN of news from St. Vincent (volcano) since the 11th of this month? Whatsapp is preventing the usual limit of sharing to five people for any info/videos coming out of St. Vincent and now only allowing you to share to ONE person at a time. You seem to believe that the world is a bed of roses and nobody in power is doing anything wrong - meanwhile we see restriction after restriction and lockdown after lockdown and rule after rule. Would you care to share whatever healthy herbs you ingest? Other people might want to smile in Hell along with you.

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Clamshell 1 year, 3 months ago

Few of us are, like you, teenagers who rely on Whatsapp for our news. You are living proof of the reality that the internet is a terrific vehicle for proving why amateur humorists are amateurs.

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DWW 1 year, 3 months ago

Do you need some extra furl? I usually get the hotel size from NHRS on Mackey

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MrsQ 1 year, 3 months ago

With regard to the COVID rates going up in spite of vaccinations, correlation does not equal causation. In the U.S. and in many of the countries where vaccinations are occurring, other COVID protocols such as mask mandates and restricting crowds have been relaxed, which of course will lead to an increase in the infection rate. When people stop wearing masks and social distancing before herd immunity is reached, an increase in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths is to be expected. In order to achieve herd immunity, 70-80% of a country's population must be fully vaccinated. Just as an example, as of right now, the number of fully vaccinated Americans is about 25%. Until that number triples, COVID protocols should remain in place to stop the rise in infection rates.

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JokeyJack 1 year, 3 months ago

MrsQ - you don't have to worry about "herd immunity", you've obviously already achieved "herd conformity."

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sea__ape 1 year, 3 months ago

Missy Q Sometimes the proof is in pudding.. that is to say if walks like cat, talks like cat and purrs likely hood is it's a cat. It's documented that vaccines temporarily lower immune system and likewise create significant congregations of crowds..spell super spread events...I'll give you a point for pandemic fatigue but if you think mask compliance has anything to with this please write those letters to Santa now - people ain't wearing those things properly unless mr covid ambassador walks by...(even if they did much anyway) if we need 70% to 80% for the HI how on earth did everything magically drop of in November/December....threshold is much lower but around the world irrespective of restrictive measures we've waves - I 'll give you a hint as to why - begins with 'season' and ends with 'ality' or alternatively testing capacity and incentives to get tested but likely a mix of the two. It's a milk shake out there but spring break, mass vaccinations and well let's face it - it's getting hot and people are cranking those a/cs round about now..throw in travel testing and more discretionary income and well here comes the "third wave".

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DWW 1 year, 3 months ago

over 50% of US adults have received teh first dose. catch up mate

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TalRussell 1 year, 3 months ago

Well, doesn't it border on total loss all your marbles case of certifiable insanity, when the comrade tourism minister Dioniso James, along with the Realm'sAirliner's chief cohort Tommy T., is fast at work begging for filling the seats of the planes with cruise ships passengers in transit be boarding the waiting cruise liners is docked in what is fast transforming over to a foreigner controlled Nassau Port..., all whilst on April 19. 2021, The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) and the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) issued an order to remind the public that only cases such as medical emergency likes acute injury or illness that poses an immediate risk to a person's life or long-term health, sometimes referred to as a situation risking "life or limb" is encouraged** to utilize the Emergency Department at the Rand Memorial Hospital.

.

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WETHEPEOPLE 1 year, 3 months ago

Everyone should relax a bit. The U.S has 80% of the world on either a level 3 or level 4, so get over it. They have the luxury of printing money with their HP printer, where as most of the countries on their list dont have that option. So either we can strangle ourselves to please big daddy, or get on with life.

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TalRussell 1 year, 3 months ago

@Comrade WethePeople, you just don't get it, do you? Already the Three Billion exhausted so far is all borrowed monies and held hostage at higher interest rates. yes?

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WETHEPEOPLE 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree, but at some point people have to realise none of this is making any sense. If vaccines cant protect u from getting covid, then whats the sense in talking herd immunity. Herd immunity hasnt worked against the common cold after all this time. Why would it be expected to work now. We are chasing a finish line that dosent even exist and at the peril of bankrupting our own contry and contributing to our own demise as a nation.

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Clamshell 1 year, 3 months ago

Herd immunity worked against polio, yellow fever, measles ...

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Emilio26 1 year, 3 months ago

WETHEPEOPLE since the US put The Bahamas on the no go list then why don't we open up to the European market instead?

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WETHEPEOPLE 1 year, 3 months ago

It would be even better if our economic survival didnt depend on either market, but instead the innovation of the Bahamian people. But i may just be a dreamer

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tom1912 1 year, 3 months ago

It's unlikely you will get many european visitors apart from the wealthy and tax exiles, as the cost of living in the Bahamas is far too high never mind the hotel costs, food cost are excessive too much imported and then the flight costs. You will get just Cruise visitors who spend all their money on the ships!

For the cost of a flight and reasonable hotel in Nassau for 7 days is much much more than a 14 day trip with touring included to Australasia.

It's amazing that the return BA flight that goes to the Cayman Island which stops over at Nassau cost considerable more if you want to actually want end you journey in Nassau!

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carltonr61 1 year, 3 months ago

Herd conformity. Man. That is going global where I give my opinion. I like that.

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John 1 year, 3 months ago

A company that manufactures the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is asked to pause production again amidst safety concerns after a tour of the plant. ALSO manufacturer’s of another vaccine discusses the possibility of patients having to take a third dose of the vaccine. But Dr Anthony Fauci says that decision will be made by the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drugs Administration, not by individual manufacturers.

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DWW 1 year, 3 months ago

Man, there is a lot of tin furl in this place! I love how our 'super-smart' Bahamians here have figured out how to conquer the mighty microscopic bug. I didn't know we had so many microbiology experts in this country. Why are we not leading infectious disease research worldwide? Oh Wait... Right!

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DWW 1 year, 3 months ago

No one has to take the vaccine. But everyone will get the disease. Whether you want to get Covid by vaccine or by someone else's saliva is up to you and you alone. There are no nefarious gov't plots to brain wash you, we already brain washed ourselves. There is just a tiny microscopic bug that will cause you great inconvenience and discomfort and occasionally death. The CHOICE IS YOURS on which way you want to get antibodies to the virus.

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DWW 1 year, 3 months ago

As soon as 50% of the Bahamaian people have either had a) Covid 19 disease or b) Covid vaccine, then we can start to relax and get back to normal. lets have a covid party for all those who don't want the vaccine. If it is as inconsequential as people say, then we should put all the deniers in a big room together, they can all share microbiome and get sick. I just hope most get the mild version and not the serious one. happy germ spreading

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carltonr61 1 year, 3 months ago

At least 200,000 Bahamians had a strange flu 2019 October to mid 2020 mid February. I sure did in early December 2019. Joint pains then sudden chills, ear ache, slight chest congestion burning throat, light headedness but only bad bad for a few hours. Wife never got a thing. Her time came after a trip to Florida late January 2020. The usual meds worked. It skipped me.

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carltonr61 1 year, 3 months ago

Youl must research and read whether CDC is funded by big pharma, who got pissed off because our Labour leaders and DNA challenged the power of their poodle here by saying no to manditory vaccines. Just follow the money.

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