‘Follow protocols to keep numbers low’


Tribune Chief Reporter


A TOP infectious disease expert has cautioned that if The Bahamas is to maintain low case numbers, COVID-19 precautions and protocols must be followed, including avoiding large gatherings this holiday season.

Dr Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme at the Ministry of Health, said whether the country maintains the current picture, which includes a low positivity rate, comes down to personal responsibility.

With the Yuletide season upon us, more people have been visiting popular shopping areas. Over the weekend, videos circulated of people gathered at various places and in these instances, there was little social distancing.

“In general, if we want to keep cases low in the country, we have to do our part and that includes following the public health precautions and those precautions are in the realm of personal responsibility,” Dr Forbes told The Tribune yesterday.

“They include things like mask wearing, avoiding crowds, keeping your social distance — six feet apart — get vaccinated and keeping numbers low at gatherings. Outdoors is definitely better than indoors so that’s what we’ll have to do if we want to keep the cases low and manageable.”

Her comments came on the heels of health officials officially launching a vaccine booster shot campaign.

Dr Forbes said she was told over these past few days “the booster programme went well and was well subscribed”.

The Ministry of Health said over the weekend that people 18 and older can today begin receiving booster shots. Last week, the booster shots were only available for people 60 and older.

People eligible for a third jab are those who took the second dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca at least six months ago or received the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

“A booster shot will increase your body’s ability to protect you against COVID-19,” the ministry said in a press statement on Saturday.

People who want to receive a booster shot can make an appointment at vax.gov.bs. Officials said walk-ins are also welcomed.

This comes as officials reported 26 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.

There were 11 new cases recorded Saturday: six in New Providence and five in Grand Bahama.

On Friday, 15 new cases were reported: 14 in New Providence while there was one case recorded for Grand Bahama. Eighteen new cases were recorded on Thursday.

The country now has 22,907 confirmed cases of COVID-19, however only 357 of those are active.

Seven hundred and eight people have died from COVID-19 while 17 people are in the hospital with the virus.

Last week, Health Minister Dr Michael Darville said officials are concerned that the country’s four percent COVID-19 positivity rate has given people a false sense of security that vaccines are not needed and health protocols do not need to be followed.


M0J0 8 months ago

I would like to see how they will find and excuse for the recent rise. Note it was confirmed most of the new cases have history of travel in the last to weeks, least we forget only vaccinated can travel to the USA.


Economist 8 months ago

"Note it was confirmed most of the new cases have history of travel in the last to weeks, least we forget only vaccinated can travel to the USA".

Where do you get this from? Certainly not the Ministry of Health, your social media perhaps. Ministry of Health report for 9th through 11th December had 44 new cases with 17 travel related.

So, no, most of the cases DID NOT have a travel history. .


joeblow 8 months ago

... if covid numbers are falling and there are still many "unvaccinated" persons, isn't it time to have a discussion about whether or not we have achieved herd immunity by natural immunity? This just doesn't seem to come up with these "experts".


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