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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Aug 7, 2020 - 9:03:36 PM

MOH Officials Making Valiant Efforts to Halt the Transmission and Spread of COVID-19
By Llonella Gilbert
Aug 7, 2020 - 8:59:54 PM

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NASSAU, The Bahamas – Minister of Health the Hon. Renward Wells assured the public that the Ministry officials are making valiant efforts to halt transmission and spread in communities.

“We have improved communication and coordination among national and subnational, and administrative levels. We have engaged more partners for COVID-19 preparedness and response work for example in contact tracing,” Minister Wells said at a COVID-19 Update press conference at the Ministry of Health, August 7, 2020.

“We have assessed the national situation, identifying potential high outbreak areas and identified partners who can provide support for implementing or facilitating community mitigation activities.”

He noted that the Ministry of Health officials have developed tools to guide COVID-19 infection control for specific community settings (e.g. households, workplaces, community gathering points).

The Health Minister explained that they are developing a Contact Tracing Public Awareness Campaign to encourage cooperation with health officials to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“With that, we have developed easy to understand-and-follow messaging for the general population and targeted population groups.”

He said these messages also enhance personal knowledge as to COVID-19 signs and symptoms, what to do when one feels sick, and how the disease impacts communities.

Minister Wells noted that another important measure is that they have identified and tackled COVID-19 related rumours and misinformation to ensure that factual information is made available to the public.

“Our COVID-19 Enforcement Unit is now up and running. We have acquired more than 20 vehicles to assist that effort and the workforce enhancement continues. They operate from Cable Beach Police Station.”

He explained that Hubbcat is the technology being used to monitor 583 quarantined individuals. “We are making tiered arrangements for COVID-19 management, concentrating on varied degrees of care for inpatients and for more stringent quarantine.

“As I previously appealed to those infected and affected, we need your cooperation with the health professionals to get through this.”

He said supplies are robust and replenishing is keeping pace with the burn rate. “We are aware that PPEs are the first line of defence in this battle and our spending to maintain desired inventory reflects that. Notwithstanding, we appreciate the generosity of our donors.”

Minister Wells stated that last week, the Government of the People’s Republic of China donated a large shipment of 8,000 swabs, 600 protective suits, 1,500 N95 masks, 5,000 medical masks, 600 protective goggles, 600 shoe covers, and 600 gloves.  This was China’s fourth donation.

He added that the Pan American Health Organization also donated three GeneExpert analysers that will markedly reduce the country’s turnaround time for COVID-19 test results.

Minister Wells said, “We have a ways to go to bend and flatten the curve to reflect the positive impact of our efforts; however, with God’s guidance and the help our CMO’s able technical team, we will overcome this current crisis.”

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