Thursday, October 29, 2020

Davis Finally Meets With PAHO and WHO. Here Are His Concerns

Opposition leader Philip Davis said he met with Pan American Health and World Health Organization representatives on Monday, after turning down an invitation by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis to meet last week Tuesday, before the implementation of the 24-hour lockdown.

Davis concluded that after the meeting on Monday, he realized that “the situation in our country is extremely serious,” as it was revealed that 600 Bahamians tested positive for COVID-19 in one week.

He said PAHO confirmed that the Bahamas is behind Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados in securing therapeutic medicines for patients with COVID.

“This is another reason why our country is performing much worse than our peers in the region. Indeed, we continue to rank at the bottom of countries globally when it comes to our country’s response to COVID,” he said.

Davis outlined a number of concerns:

  • The health care system is near collapse. The government has not added enough personnel nor expanded our hospital capacity sufficiently. Our doctors and nurses are exhausted and need reinforcements.
  • The government made a series of policy errors when opening our borders on July 1st, and we continue to pay for their mistakes – mistakes they still have not corrected.
  • Our country still does not have enough testing.  After all this time, after all these lockdowns, after all the sacrifices made by Bahamians, this government still is not carrying out enough testing to contain COVID.  That our positivity rate is over 20% is proof. WHO requires a positivity rate under 5% to consider the outbreak under control.  A high positivity rate is evidence that many cases are being missed.
  • The government has failed to hire and train enough contact tracers. Many people who test positive are reporting to me that no one has reached out to them for a list of people they saw in the days when they were most infectious.

Davis highlighted that the United States has issued a travel advisory to its citizens not to travel to the Bahamas and said PAHO indicated that other nations were considering similar advisories

As the government implements lockdowns to curtail the increasing number of cases, Davis said, “We urge the government to change course.”

A 24-hour weekend curfew is in effect for New Providence and Abaco, and effective Tuesday 13th, a 7 pm to 5 am curfew will take effect Monday through Friday for New Providence and Abaco.

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