NASSAU, The Bahamas, Friday March 6, 2020 – The Bahamas Government says it will be turning away visitors who recently travelled from South Korea, Iran and Italy – the countries with the largest number of cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) outside China.
As of this morning, there were 6,284 cases in South Korea, 3,858 cases in Italy, and 3,513 in Iran.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted in a statement yesterday that recent reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that the COVID-19 virus had spread to more than 75 countries. At least 47 of those have 10 cases or less, and some are reporting their first cases.
“Significantly, however, there is a prevalence of cases emerging in a few selected countries. According to the Director-General’s 4th March 2020 Briefing, almost 90 per cent of those cases are from three countries: Iran, South Korea and Italy.
“The data is compelling and out of an abundance of caution, the Government of The Bahamas has decided to implement border control and quarantine measures for persons coming from those countries. Effective immediately any non-resident who has visited South Korea, Iran or Italy in the last 20 days will be denied entry into The Bahamas,” the Ministry said.
Those three join China, for which such measures were implemented on January 30.
Bahamian citizens and residents returning from all four jurisdictions will now be subjected to quarantine measures for a maximum of 14 days. Non-residents currently en route to The Bahamas from these jurisdictions will be subjected to the same protocol for returning citizens and residents.
While there remains no reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, at this time, the government said it is taking extra precaution to protect the safety and health of our residents and visitors, and it said the new advisory is part of the government’s enhanced effort to address this public health threat.
The latest figures from the WTO put the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases outside China at 17,481, with 335 recorded deaths. In China, the confirmed cases and deaths figures have reached 80,711 and 3,045, respectively.