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Prime Minister Minnis outlines COVID-19 national response plan

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Schools closed, restricted travel expanded, additional medical resources secured

#Nassau, The Bahamas – Office of the Prime Minister —The Government has announced the closure of all public schools and expanded the list of restricted travel countries to include Europe and the UK as part of the national response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Sunday night in a live televised address to the nation.

Additional medical resources have also been secured. The Government will have access to to the Doctor’s Hospital on Blake Road to use as a facility to treat individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

The Bahamas confirmed its first case of COVID-19, a 61-year-old female, on Sunday 15 March.

The Prime Minister outlined some of the measures the Government is taking in response to COVID-19, including health and medical measures, and economic, financial and other aspects of the crisis.

From Bahamas Ministry of Health

“I have instructed every Government ministry and agency to be in full preparedness mode,” he said. “This is our greatest national priority.”

Prime Minister Minnis said schools will close starting Monday 16 March and will re-open on Tuesday 14 April.

To encourage social distancing and minimize the transmission of COVID-19, all national sporting events have been postponed until further notice and permits for the use of public open spaces have been suspended indefinitely.

Travel restrictions for Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland take effect on Thursday 19 March. This is in addition to restrictions already in place for China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

“This restricted travel list of countries will be continuously monitored and updated as necessary,” said the Prime Minister.

All Bahamian nationals and residents returning to The Bahamas through any point of entry from any of the restricted countries or an area where community infection and spread is present will be quarantined or be placed under self-isolation upon arrival and expected to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health.

Bahamas Health announces first case on Sunday March 15, 2020

Bahamian nationals or residents returning to The Bahamas who have been abroad and believe that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact the Ministry of Health’s hotline or their local health provider.

Non-essential travel for Bahamian nationals and residents is being strongly discouraged.

“This coronavirus crisis represents yet another risk to our economy and the country’s finances and fiscal sustainability plans,” said the Prime Minister. “This will affect Bahamian workers and businesses and will have an impact on the poorer and more vulnerable in our country.”

When the House of Assembly meets on Wednesday, the Minister of Finance will address the economic and fiscal aspects of the crisis and outline a number of measures the Government is taking to deal with the tremendous economic impact, said the Prime Minister.

The Minister of Tourism and Aviation will also give a communication in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

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The Prime Minister said that he will meet and consult with major business entities to get their input on the Government’s national response.

National security measures will also be enhanced in order to maintain necessary law and order, said Prime Minister Minnis.

The Prime Minister assured Bahamians that there will be adequate food at food stores and there is no need to panic-buying.

“We will be strong, confident and vigorous in our national response,” said Prime Minister Minnis. “Our response must be across the board and includes all of us working together to fight COVID-19.”

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Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

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BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

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Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis pledges to govern in the interests of all Bahamians

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#TheBahamas, September 19, 2021 – During his ceremonial swearing-in today as the nation’s fifth Prime Minister, Hon. Philip Davis pledged to govern in the interests of all Bahamians and to consult widely with the Bahamian people.

The best way to make progress as a nation is to bring people together, said Prime Minister Davis, who was presented with his instruments of Office in ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre, on Saturday 18 September 2021.

Prime Minister Davis was officially sworn in as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Friday 17 September 2021 at the Office of the Governor General.

“We will uphold the constitution and the rule of law, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly, so that it’s not one rule for one set of people, and another for another set of people,” said the Prime Minister.

“There is much work to be done; but I know that by working together we can succeed and build the kind of prosperous, independent Bahamas that our founding fathers dreamed for us.”

Prime Minister Davis said that while there are big challenges ahead for The Bahamas, his team has the right vision and policies to take the country forward.

The Prime Minister said the new administration is coming into office at a time when the Bahamian people are hurting as never before.

The country faces many crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy in decline and deeply concerning challenges in education, said Prime Minister Davis.

If everyone works together towards a common purpose, in the common interest and for the common good, great things are possible for The Bahamas and its people, said the Prime Minister.

But no government can do great things on its own, Prime Minister Davis added.

“I am sure that my government can only succeed if we partner with the Bahamian people,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are going to listen, we are going to consult widely and we are going to bring people together.”

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18 September 2021
Office of the Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Contact: opmcommunications@bahamas.gov.bs
Website: opm.gov.bs

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