AG: We have to open the economy

As The Bahamas moves into phase five of the reopening of its economy, Attorney General Carl Bethel yesterday warned young people to continue to take COVID-19 seriously and do what they must to protect themselves.

Bethel said despite the challenges, the country must reopen.

“We have to open the economy,” he said.

“[It’s] damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

“But you’ll be dead if you don’t open your economy because it’s simply impossible to sustain life without economic activity.

“And you’ll be dead if you don’t protect yourself from COVID.”

The country will reopen its borders to tourists on July 1. Other restrictions placed on businesses and gatherings are also being relaxed.

Bethel warned that Bahamians must remain vigilant.

“I just want to urge young Bahamians who think they are superman and superwoman, for the Lord’s sake, watch what’s happening,” he said.

“Sixty percent of the new infections in our nearest neighbor, from coast to coast, are people under 30 because young people think they are superman and superwoman. You’re not superman and you’re not superwoman.

“Young persons, you must obey and protect yourselves. Wear your masks. Sanitize. I know nobody could tell me nothing when I was 21. So, I’m begging you. I am not and I do not presume to give orders to young people because they’re young, wild and run free. I’ve been there.”

Bethel added, “Protect yourself. The virus does not respect age. It does not respect what you think about how strong and immune you are. Sixty percent, six out of 10 of all new infections now, are occurring in young persons under 30. So, I can only say do your best and protect yourself.”

He continued, “You can’t party hearty in the disco right now.”

The government moved quickly to implement stringent curfew and lockdown measures, including the closure of the borders, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

While the country enters its final phase of the planned reopening, there have been 104 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with the most recent case confirmed on June 14.

Ten cases are still active and 83 people recovered. Eleven people in the country died of COVID-19.

Bethel said the government is faced with a difficult decision, as the economy must reopen but the threat of COVID-19 remains a significant one.

‘Protect yourselves’

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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