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Editorial: Where Do We Go From Here To Beat Covid-19?

THE baton has passed from one government to another, and so, it would seem, has the blame for the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic – if former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is to be believed.

It’s not as simple as that, of course. The government of Dr Minnis had a large part in the handling of the situation. After all, his Health Minister, Renward Wells, was over optimistically talking about herd immunity potentially being achieved by August, before the election. That didn’t happen, and was one of several questionable statements by Mr Wells.

So it would be foolish to pretend that the previous government didn’t play a part in getting us where we are now – the question is whether or not the new government since its arrival has made decisions that are making things better… or worse.

In the immediate aftermath of the election, the new government moved to loosen some of the restrictions that had been in place under the Minnis administration. Curfew moved to midnight, while there have been changes to the travel health visa, which is no longer required for inter-island travel.

Meanwhile, the other much promised measure from Philip “Brave” Davis and his team in Opposition to tackle the pandemic – free COVID testing – has yet to materialise.

The first signs of that began to appear yesterday, with the Ministry of Health and Wellness announcing that the free testing programme will be launched – but only as a pilot – in Family Islands currently experiencing clusters of COVID-19 cases.

Islands such as Andros, Eleuthera and Inagua are currently experiencing a significant spike in cases.

A blitz of testing in areas with high numbers of cases is good, to try to find people affected before they can unwittingly spread it to others, and use quarantine to stop the spread – but this pilot programme is significantly short of the free testing for all promised.

Now it can be said of course that any new government needs to have time to find its feet, but there’s no time to do that in the middle of a pandemic.

More than that, if you’re not ready to implement your plan on reducing the spread of the virus, why lift the restrictions before you’re ready to act?

The outlook is grim at present. Over the weekend, there were another 18 deaths reported. That’s 18 people whose Bahamian families and friends are in mourning today.

Meanwhile, another 113 people are in hospital, 12 of those in intensive care. And if all that weren’t enough, funeral directors are bringing in coffins in bulk because of the high numbers of deaths being experienced in The Bahamas right now. Some funeral directors are saying that the demand for their services is roughly double what it was just months ago.

There is one criticism by Dr Minnis that is fair, and which we hope his successor will act upon. He asked: “Why has the Prime Minister failed to address the country on the measures his administration will take to remedy a variety of matters related to the pandemic?”

That is a fair question to ask. Mr Davis had a plan before coming into office, we were told, and he’s been in office long enough now to be able to lay that plan out to the public. He isn’t to blame for the pandemic starting, or for it reaching our shores – but it’s time to explain what he intends to do from here.

It’s time, in short, to start making good on those election trail promises.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 1 month, 2 weeks ago

"In the immediate aftermath of the election, the new government moved to loosen some of the restrictions that had been in place under the Minnis administration. Curfew moved to midnight, while there have been changes to the travel health visa, which is no longer required for inter-island travel"

Im 100% convinced that curfews have absolutely zero effect on spread. It doesn't make sense to me. Because people been to work all day. Police been arresting people and immigration officers been handling tourusts and detainees.

Travel, age and obesity are your indicators. Thats what the data screams to me. The biggest weapon we have is education. Proper education. Can we find out the local doctors who've treated COVID patients and their results? Can we find out from them what's working? Can we find out from them the patient demographic and how they were exposed?

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thephoenix562 1 month, 1 week ago

So all those people who got infected in Inagua,Andros,etc are old obese people who have been travelling all over the place?I dont think so.

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Cobalt 1 month, 1 week ago

@ThisisOurs….. I’ve tried to explained as clearly as I could the pathophysiology and epidemiology behind COVID-19. As it relates to demographics COVID-19 is multilateral in that it affects all populations. Because it triggers pulmonary complications it also exacerbates pre-existing health conditions (mainly renal, hepatic, cardiac and respiratory insufficiencies). At some point these types of patients usually succumb to some variation of organ failure. And while this may seem dreadful, it’s nothing unusual when combating a respiratory pathogen. As healthcare workers we maintain a systematic approach focused on treating fluid and electrolyte imbalances, treating respiratory alterations while reducing infection rates among patients. Treatment options are usually confined to antivirals, corticosteroids, synthetic antibodies, and anticoagulants. Hoverer, effectiveness varies between individuals.

The truth of the matter is The Bahamas lost the battle to COVID-19 years ago. Simply put “our country never constructed an adequate healthcare system”. The only solution to slowing the incidence rate of COVID-19 in the Bahamas right now is to do what nobody wants to do……. and that’s to lock the country down for a period of time again. Not a very favorable choice I must agree….. but necessary.

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User1234 1 month, 1 week ago

Locking down has done very little to solve any countries problem. We are past that point now. It damages mental health, the economy and creates a backlog of other health issues.

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

Say Whaaat?  Do wear your earmuffs. The Tribune is the Whisperer of post election Redism and everything like that, — Yes?

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carltonr61 1 month, 1 week ago

Were it not for them giving the grim pathetic losers legitimacy creating political revelance his party would have ended his political life. They fear the young Turks like Pintard,and are keeping them muffled. The tribune should the very least give an example of a nation that has succeeded covid policy. At March 2021 pre vaccination we have followed global trends into post vaccination of massive deaths. The Tribune has yet to address global trends post vaccination or it could have given the former government great world view that would soon reach our shores as we are threading on grounds already trodden by post vaccinated nations. Phyzer' owner explained why his ME ancestral homeland was heralded overwhelmingly with his vaccine that has resulted on mixed reviews some anxiety with the need constant boosting.While they still grabber as news worthy impending and predictable deaths, the Tribune has yet to address medical issues outside vaccine use, lockdowns and restrictions, favoring the former. They made oversight errors in sticking with a script that proves wrong globally. The globe is in battle with Brave a part of it but other nations are talking of this seasonal respiratory illness period added with covid, reset to Credit Card in the middle of grim deaths and food shortages. The Brave PLP is wisely trying to dig our failed economy out of economic ruin. There were Covid casualties during our amidst two years fall and sure to be casualties as we strain to balance saving lives. According to data the vaccinated during shedding are passing covid to the obese and vulnerable. Just check Israel scientific data posted here by one of Tribune astute bloggers. But we cannot stay buried forever in minnis' death grip and suffering as expoised by The Tribune. The PLP should not be damned if they do and damned if they don't. Vital sectors of our nation is showing life as we struggle with hope and prayers.

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

Change our treatments regime. Look at what other Third World countries are successfully doing and try get healthier. Too many of our ppl are obese

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