Sands: Bahamas Severely Lagging in COVID-19 Testing
During his contribution to debate on the extension of Emergency Power Orders, former Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands highlighted the fact that The Bahamas is severely lagging behind other regional countries in terms of its COVID-19 testing.
According to Dr. Sands, from June 10 the world has seen the number of COVID cases increase from 7.4 million to over 12 million. For the same period, the number of deaths increased from 416,000 to more than 547,000.
Stressing the importance of testing as a core strategy in the fight against COVID 19, Dr. Sands, armed with statistics, alluded to the fact that The Bahamas must step up its testing efforts. Testing is viewed as the basis of public health detective work to shut down this epidemic.
From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized the crucial importance of testing. Testing is not only critically important to the assurance that those infected are treated, isolated or hospitalized, but it is crucial to the bigger public health picture on mitigation efforts, helping healthcare professionals to characterize the prevalence, spread and contagiousness of the disease.
The Bahamas has conducted 2,526 tests.
Compare this to:
Cayman Islands with 25,220 tests equating to 383,668 per million
Bermuda with 12,544 tests equating to 201,436 million
Barbados with 8,411 tests equating to 29,268 per million
Turks and Caicos with 823 tests equating to 21,252 per million.
Testing is crucial to any national effort of stemming the spread of this pandemic. To reduce the spread of this virus, many researchers are advocating that countries need to move to random testing of the population as many persons are asymptomatic and could be a reason for the spread.
Recently, the Director General of the WHO stated “You can’t fight a virus if you don’t know where it is.”
We advocate TESTING! TESTING!