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Bahamas: Forbes: COVID patients facing stigma

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases Programme at the Ministry of Health Dr Nikkiah Forbes said health officials continue to get reports of stigmatization against novel coronavirus patients, including among some who recover and return to work.

Among individuals who tested positive for the virus, some have expressed concerns about being stigmatized, including healthcare workers who contracted the virus after treating COVID-positive patients.

“When there are emerging infections that we know little about, the reactions are sometimes alarm, fear, stigma, discrimination, blaming, shunning people, irrational behavior and it generally makes things a lot worse,” she told Eyewitness News.

“And so, in some regards, we have been getting reports that people who contracted COVID-19, that they did experience some discrimination and stigma, and it’s very sad, and really ought not to happen.

“We know it’s a repository virus, which is very contagious.

“Multiple persons in a population that are susceptible can get infected with COVID-19 and there is no reason why people should be stigmatized and discriminated against.

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