Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis on Saturday issued an order permitting the opening of gas stations, private dialysis facilities and several doctors’ offices during the country’s “complete shutdown”.
Newly exempted medical facilities, according to the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 2) (Amendment) (No.5) Order, 2020, include: private renal dialysis facilities; pediatricians for the purpose of child vaccinations; obstetricians for ante-natal and natal care; and oncologists for imaging diagnostic services, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
“Where physical interaction is a necessity, there must be a strict adherence to sanitation protocols, utilizations of personal protection equipment for the protection of medical staff and the patient, and physical distancing,” the order notes.
In another order — the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 2) (Amendment) (No.5) Order, 2020 — issued the same day, the prime minister permitted the opening of gas stations from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m.
He “prohibited” all works for construction and repair “of any sort” in The Bahamas.
Prior to this order, Minnis had exempted construction companies carrying out Hurricane Dorian relief reconstruction and restoration efforts on Grand Bahama and Abaco.
However, in the most recent order, the prime minister removed that exemption.
He also noted no regional or international commercial will be permit to berth at any Bahamian port without written permission from The Bahamas Maritime Authority.
On Friday, Minnis ordered the closure of every business and facility in The Bahamas with the exception of hospitals, law enforcement agencies and hotels with guests.
The move, which he described as “a complete shutdown,” is expected to expire today.
It was the latest step taken by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, where there have already been 28 confirmed cases and five deaths.