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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Sep 9, 2021 - 5:56:55 PM


Variants of public health concern
By Ministry of Health
Sep 9, 2021 - 1:51:54 PM

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Today the Ministry of Health received results from the FIOCRUZ Laboratory in Brazil that confirms the presence of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

The National Reference Laboratory submitted ninety-eight (98) SARS-CoV-2 virus-positive samples to the FIOCRUZ Laboratory for genomic sequencing. The samples were collected between 6th May 2021, and 8th August, 2021, from individuals on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Exuma and Bimini.
Genomic sequencing showed the following:

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There are 18 samples still going through the testing process.

The new sequencing results confirm that the Delta variant is the predominant variant in The Bahamas, followed by the Alpha and Gamma variants.

It is noteworthy to mention that the Alpha variant is more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus, and the Delta variant is known to be more transmissible than the Alpha variant.    

Consequently, all major health facilities in New Providence and Grand Bahama are experiencing increased numbers of cases, hospital admissions and deaths due to COVID-19.  

The health care system of both the public and private sectors is now severely challenged and over-burdened, and as a result, non-COVID-19 cases requiring health care are at risk of not being able to access life-saving health care.

Given the predominance of these highly transmissible variants in the country, it is essential to seek medical care early and avoid home remedies that delay accessing medical care. Do not delay seeking medical help if you experience signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Contact your healthcare provider or nearest public health clinic for more information.

Members of the public are strongly urged to avoid gatherings of groups of more than five people, remain physically distant - at least 6ft apart - from others, wear a mask at all times, and wash your hands regularly.

Additionally, we strongly encourage all citizens and residents of The Bahamas to be vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccinations are proven to be safe.  They are known to decrease the severity of illness, hospitalizations, and deaths, if infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and all its variants. To book an appointment visit vax.gov.bs or make a walk-up appointment.

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