A top public health expert at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned that the pretesting of incoming travellers to countries in the region is not a foolproof measure to curtail COVID-19.
Dr Sylvain Aldighieri, deputy director of emergency management at PAHO, was referring to the decision made by some countries requesting that visitors present a negative Covid-19 test before entry is allowed.
Dr Aldighieri reportedly said at a recent PAHO virtual press briefing that “the pre-travel testing could create a false sense of security. As an example, a traveler from a location with widespread transmission could be infected between the time the sample was taken and when the person boards the flight, and a negative test could also occur in the early stages of the infection”.
Many Caribbean countries have established pretesting requirements for persons traveling to the islands from the Unites States and further afield.
Despite the risks posed by reopening borders to international travel, stakeholders in the tourism sector have argued that it is necessary to avoid the industry from collapsing therefore the risk is unavoidable. However Bahamas have decided that the risk is not worth it and in a move which came as a surprise to many have announced restrictions on international flights from the United States.
Despite the concerns of the Bahamas and the misgivings of PAHO experts the Turks and Caicos Islands is moving ahead with its July 22nd, 2020 reopening.
For some this is scary-lets talk bout dat!