Minister of Health and Wellness Michael Darville.
Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
HEALTH Minister Dr Michael Darville suggested officials are considering creating vaccination bubbles for some events, though plans for this have not been finalised as yet.
“We are now in Cabinet finalising the two pieces of regulations under the current Health Management Act which will guide us on how we put new rules in place because we’ve made it very clear that on the 13th of November the emergency orders will fall away and we would have to have legislation in place,” he said during an Office of the Prime Minister’s briefing yesterday.
“Now, this has been brought up because there’s some events that are coming to the country, sporting events, and we know from other parts of the world they can create a bubble and so our team is looking at ways how we can create a similar environment for these types of events.
“It’s not completed and we want to ensure that we do not hinder our tourism sector and our economic growth but we want to ensure that the safety of every Bahamian is paramount in the legislation that we’ll bring forth.”
Bubbles would allow only people who are fully vaccinated to assemble at certain events.
Though The Bahamas government does not currently support mandatory vaccination, some businesses have begun to require staff to be vaccinated.
“We made it very clear that vaccination is a voluntary process in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas at this time and so there are many private sector groups who want to get ahead of the government,” Dr Darville said. “I say to them that they must fall within the parametres of the law. We’ve seen this with many private sector groups and because they want to ensure that their environment is safe, someone who is unvaccinated or untested can compromise your environment and so it’s a very difficult thing to do because we must protect the right of the vaccinated person and we must protect the right of the unvaccinated person.”
This comes as the Ministry of Health reported an additional 23 cases on October 26 and 22 cases on October 27. The country now has 22,351 confirmed cases of the virus. Only 441 of those cases are active.
Hospital cases have dropped to 67 with five people in the intensive care unit.