Bahamas Establishes Laboratory To Test For COVID-19

NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) – The Bahamas yesterday announced the establishment of a laboratory with the capacity to test for the coronavirus (COVID-19), as the Government said it would utilise the resources necessary to help minimise the risk of the virus in the country and ensure the safety of all Bahamians and residents.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillian said that the lab is part of the Ministry of Health’s ongoing COVID-19 preparedness and response plan to ensure optimal readiness and response to the virus that has killed more than 3,000 people mainly in China, South Korea, Japan and the United States, among other countries.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that there were more than 86,983 confirmed cases globally, including in the Caribbean.

While The Bahamas has reported no suspected or confirmed cases of the virus, Dr McMillian said the authorities have put in place various measures to deal with the situation, including the establishment of a task force made up of key personnel from various Government agencies, including customs and immigration, the Port Department, tourism, foreign affairs, the police and the defence forces.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said his Administration would utilise the resources necessary to help minimize the risk of the virus here.

“I want to be clear that when it comes to public health threats, the Government will not take any chances. We take this outbreak very seriously. Public health is an absolute priority,” Minnis said.