#NASSAU, The Bahamas — July 14, 2020 – Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, COVID-19 Task Force Coordinator and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister explained that an external review conducted by local and international health officials confirmed that the deaths of two individuals previously confirmed to have COVID-19, were not due to the virus.
“The Ministry of Health has amended its COVID-19 dashboard to reflect ‘Non-COVID’ related deaths,” Dr, Dahl-Regis stated during a COVID-19 Update Press Conference, at the Ministry of Health, Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
“This new feature will serve to classify a patient who was diagnosed with COVID-19, but whose death was not caused by the virus.
“The Ministry of Health again offers its heartfelt condolences to all who have lost family members and loved ones to COVID-19.”
She said Health Officials are happy to report that the island of Bimini has been given the all-clear as it relates to COVID-19.
Dr. Dahl-Regis stated that the residents of Bimini should be congratulated for their dedicated commitment and sacrifices to prevent the community spread of COVID-19.
“After experiencing a two-week lockdown, Bimini has had no reported cases for 59 days.
She noted however that after 63 days of reporting no cases, Grand Bahama has had eight new confirmed cases in the space of six days.
COVID-19 Task Force Coordinator said for the majority of these new cases, there is a related travel history, according to the data collected so far by the Surveillance Unit.
She again stressed that with the full re-opening of international borders on the 1st of July, all travellers – domestic and international – are required to complete an electronic Health Visa prior to departing for The Bahamas or a Family Island. The Visa can be found at travel.gov.bs.
Dr. Dahl-Regis explained that Health Visa applications take up to 72 hours to process and should be completed with adequate lead time.
She said international travellers must present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Test with a negative result to enter The Bahamas. The test must be taken no more than 10 days prior to the date of travel. Test results must be uploaded in the Health Visa portal and presented upon arrival.
Dr. Dahl-Regis noted that any person presenting a test older than 10 days will not be allowed entry into The Bahamas. Children under the age of 10 are not required to take a test.
“An automated response will be provided once the application is completed. Individuals approved to travel will receive a green color-coded response, as proof of approval. This confirmation must be presented upon arrival in The Bahamas.”
She said it is recommended that all travellers interested in visiting The Bahamas review requirements applicable to each member of their traveling party at www.bahamas.com/travelupdates before booking a trip. The travel requirements for Bahamians and residents returning home after being away for a period of 72 hours or less, will be amended.
Dr. Dahl-Regis said Bahamians and residents traveling for a period of 72 hours or less will be required to quarantine for 14 days unless they produce a COVID-19 RT-PCR Test with a negative result upon arrival.
“We acknowledge that travellers have experienced difficulties upon arrival at LPIA.
“We are working on strengthening coordination between the ministries of health and tourism, and the departments of immigration and customs to address this matter.” She added, “Government officials are on high alert for cases of suspected forgery, tampering and/or altering of required documents. And are prepared to take action if necessary.”
Press Release, Bahamas Information Services by By Llonella Gilbert