Free Rapid Antigen Tests for Bahamians

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The Bahamas: To control the spread of the new COVID variant, Omicron, the Bahamas government announced amendments in guidelines. Health authorities will provide free Rapid Antigen Tests for asymptomatic residents at multiple centres throughout New Providence. 

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville made the announcement. He noted this decision had been taken to ensure public safety as this is the fourth COVID-19 wave that emerged in the Bahamas. 

Following are the new COVID measures: 

  • The hiring of additional medical personnel; 
  • Sourcing of new COVID-19 drugs;
  • Acquisition of Grosvenor Close Nursing Building for an Infectious Diseases 
  • and getting into partnership with the private sector labs. 

In addition, free medical-grade masks at vaccination centres will also be disseminated to the individuals. 

The health minister cited, “As your new minister, I have been working closely with health professionals in my Ministry over the past 3 months; preparing for the possibility of new waves of the virus & to address better of the challenges we faced during the difficult COVID-19 third wave”. 

“By way of Health Services Rules, we have tightened testing at our borders to reduce the importation of new cases; while refusing to give approvals to mass gatherings throughout the country that can easily become super spreader events as the COVID-19 cases continue to rise,” following the above statement, he highlights. 

He added the healthcare system lacks a shortage of nurses, doctors and support staff.

“Your government will embark upon the distribution of free medical grade masks at vaccination sites starting this week in New Providence. We know from the science that persons who have been vaccinated are less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19,” he added.

COVID stats of the island: 

Since the pandemic emerged in the Bahamas, it recorded a total of 24,476 confirmed cases of the COVID19 virus. In total, 717 Bahamians lost their lives to the contagious virus to date. 

In terms of vaccination, 157,041 of the targeted adults are partially vaccinated (with one dose). This number counts for 39.9% of the total population. 

In total, 147,365 individuals are fully immunised, which is 37.5% of the total adult population. Meanwhile, 1.8% of Bahamians received their booster shots till now.