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Cooper offering free Exuma Covid testing; govt copies idea

Amid a worrying spike in Covid-19 cases on Exuma, any resident who has exhibited symptoms of the virus or has been exposed to a covid case will be able to get tested for Covid-19 free of charge on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Exumas and Ragged Island Member of Parliament Chester Cooper is offering the free and confidential testing to his constituents at St. Andrew’s Community Centre in George Town, Exuma for two days from 10am to 1pm.

Cooper announced last week that he would be offering free rapid testing to Exuma residents to ensure everyone knows their COVID status.

Weekday curfews and full weekend lockdowns were imposed on the island, which has reported a total of 83 Covid-19 cases.

Cooper, who has long called on the government to offer free testing nationwide to get a more accurate picture of infected persons, said he is happy to “lead the way” with free testing on Exuma.

Days after Cooper announced free two-day testing, the government announced it would also be offering free Covid-19 testing on Exuma on Tuesday at the Exuma Health Centre from 10am - 3pm.

Interestingly, for months, the government has shot down calls for free testing of those Bahamians who may be infected but cannot afford to pay for COVID-19 testing. However, it made the decision to take free testing to the same island Cooper has arranged for rapid covid testing on.

Is the government being disingenuous or can residents of the other islands also expect to get tested for Covid-19 free of charge in the coming days and weeks?

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