Minister of Education Jeff Lloyd said yesterday that there is “palpable grief” in his heart after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis accepted the resignation of Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands.
Lloyd noted, though, that this is an example of the government’s execution of accountability and transparency.
Sands resigned after he allowed six permanent residents, who returned to The Bahamas with COVID-19 test swabs, to return without taking a COVID-19 test and quarantine at home.
Minnis had said that Bahamians stranded abroad would have to quarantine at a government facility under guard. It was later revealed that Bahamians would also have to test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed in the country.
The country’s borders were closed in mid-March to prevent the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.
“I accept responsibility for this breach of protocol,” Sands wrote in his resignation letter.
“I acknowledge that I acted outside the scope of my authority in this matter.”
Outside Cabinet, Lloyd said, “Of course I’m very sad that such a tremendously gifted, talented servant of the people, who has contributed so much to this country over his lifetime and as a member of this Cabinet, that [there’s been] this turn of events.
“Duane Sands was my brother and friend whom I love, respect and admire tremendously for his commitment to this country. I am greatly, and the country is, indebted to him for his contributions. So, there is no question about that.
“Naturally, in these circumstances, there is an understandable and palpable grief, certainly in my heart. And he has been a stalwart of a contributor in this land. I don’t know the circumstances except that which has been shared, and I can only say to him and his family, the absolute best.”
Lloyd noted, “We have been honest. We have been transparent.
“We have been sincere, and as you can see, we have also been accountable. And I can say without any fear of contradiction that not a single political organization in this country can say the same, except the Free National Movement.”