WHO Declares the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern


Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Pearl McMillan (centre) said that up to time of the Ministry of Health press conference, January 30, 2020, there had been no suspected, reported or confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in The Bahamas. Also pictured are Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands and PAHO Representative to The Bahamas, Dr. Esther de Gourville. (BIS Photo/Llonella Gilbert)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

From: Bahamas Information Services

January 31, 2020


Dr. McMillan said, “The Ministry of Health has been following the guidance of international partners, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ensuring that our borders, health agencies and all stakeholders are prepared to respond in the event we are faced with a case.


“This situation is evolving, and today, after the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee, the WHO has declared the new corona virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”


The CMO explained that following the level three travel advisory issued by the United States CDC concerning the recent Coronavirus outbreak in China, along with travel restrictions in France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Jamaica and other sovereign nations, the Government of The Bahamas has implemented a travel ban, restricting all travel from China to The Bahamas.


“Effectively immediately, any non-resident regardless of nationality who has visited China in the last 20 days will be denied entry into the country.


“All residents returning to The Bahamas will be strictly quarantined and monitored for development of symptoms for the duration of the incubation period with a maximum of 14 days.”


Dr. McMillan stated that the WHO’s current recommendation is against all non-essential travel for persons to China at this time.

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