Bahamas News

Bahamas Prime Minister Extends Lock Down and Requisitions Face Masks

#TheBahamas – April 6, 2020 — Bahamians must be weary by now of the lock down and curfews imposed in the effort to protect the Public Health, but ‘cabin fever’ will not stop the Emergency Orders from taking place and morphing as the doctor, prime minister sees it fit. Dr. Hubert Minnis, this morning during the House of Assembly informed of new measures to contain COVID-19, which means almost a month of some sort of Government-ordered restricted movement for residents of The Bahamas.

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The Bahamas has now recorded five deaths due to the coronavirus; with 29 positive cases recorded for the archipelago; it is a fatality rate of over 17 percent. It is an alarming statistic and among the top in the world for deadliest impact of the contagion.

“As of Wednesday April 8, 2020, starting at 9 p.m. a complete lock down will again be implemented effective Wednesday, the 8th of April at 9 p.m. and will end at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, the 14th of April. At the end of the lock down period, the 24-hour curfew will again resume,” said Dr. Hubert Minnis, Bahamas Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister is also requisitioning all medical supplies to augment stocks at health care facilities; these, he said will for now be purchased from suppliers.

“I would, at this moment, urge every retail store or persons who have any stocked or supplies of any medically approved surgical or face masks for sale to contact the Ministry of Health immediately. In order to sell the same to the public health as the sale of any medical masks to the general public will at some time be prohibited.”

The Prime Minister aimed to allay residents’ concerns about having sufficient food and other supplies during this extension to the lock down. On Sunday, a list was distributed, permitting grocery shopping for individuals in alphabetical order.

Bahamas Virtual Cabinet Meeting held over the weekend

“Yesterday, my Office announced that starting today, Monday April 6, 2020, until further notice, a food shopping schedule is in effect for the entire Bahamas. The schedule was agreed after widespread consultation and discussion, including with the National Coordinating Committee. This schedule will regularly allow all residents access to food shopping three times per week. But because of the wider shutdown this particular week, all residents will have the opportunity to shop at least once before the shutdown comes into effect.”

Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis said the schedule is designed to reduce possible exposure and physical interactions, to avert further community spread particularly in Nassau, Bahamas.

It is expected that physical distancing protocols – six feet a part – will be adhered to as residents form shopping queues.

The Prime Minister reminded Bahamians, during his presentation in the House of Assembly, that the country’s medical experts warn that The Bahamas is in “a surge.”

Photos courtesy of the Office of the Bahamas Prime Minister

“We have watched on the news the consequences around the world of waiting too long to act aggressively. Some countries and jurisdictions that did not act fast enough are experiencing hundreds of deaths per day. We are learning from what happened in those places and applying the lessons to The Bahamas.”

Four people have recovered so far in The Bahamas from COVID-19 and 324 individuals are reported as being in quarantine.

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