However, he also noted this could change as officials continue to closely monitor the situation.
In recent weeks, more than a dozen countries, including the US, UK and other European nations, have announced new testing measures for passengers from China as the nation battles an outbreak of COVID-19.
A new Omicron variant, called XBB, has created some cause for concern.
“Well, as far as we know, we have not gotten any report that the new variant is here,” Dr Darville said before going to a Cabinet meeting yesterday. “I suspect like when the Omicron variant arrived in The Bahamas, the confirmation took a few weeks and few months to determine. But, for us at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, our job is to be ready for any situation. We are operating as if it is in the country, even though we may not have a verification at this time.”
“We are watching what’s going on internationally,” Dr Darville added. “We’re looking at our borders. We’re looking at the United States. We’re looking at what’s happening in China, and our EOC (Emergency Operation Centre) and our technical team is very much in tune with the cases.”
Dr Darville reminded that COVID will likely be with us for a long time, adding that while officials are concerned about numbers rising, they also must be mindful that the country’s economy is still rebounding.
“As far as the hospital is concerned, as of yesterday (Monday), we have 18 cases of COVID-19 in hospital and one case in the ICU,” he added. “We made it very clear in our rules, our COVID rules that we must protect our tertiary institutions, particularly our clinics, and the Princess Margaret Hospital and the Rand Memorial Hospital.”
“This is all a part of our strategy to try to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. One of the things I’d like to say is that COVID-19 never really went away” and reminded “At the hospitals, we have been dealing with situations associated with COVID and I’m pleased to report that we are able to handle the situation as it is today”.