Prime Minster Dr. Hubert Minnis today apologized to passengers from multiple flights from Grand Bahama who were quarantined without notice last night, insisting that the move was meant to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Minnis, who addressed the controversy in the House of Assembly, said the government made the decision to quarantine those passengers after it was advised that “excess passenger loads of people” were traveling to New Providence from Grand Bahama, which has been deemed a COVID-19 hotspot.
Minnis said health officials were concerned that many of the passengers would be “lost in the system”.
“Some of them could have been positive,” Minnis said.
He said health officials will screen the quarantined passengers. The Nassau Guardian understands that the passengers were quarantined at SuperClubs Breezes.
Acknowledging that the move caused “great stress and duress”, Minnis sought to assure those passengers that the measure was taken to ensure safety.
“I would like to apologize to those Bahamians who were inconvenienced. Some may have had accommodations waiting on them.
“This was done in the interest of those individuals and the interest of the society to ensure that there was no spread,” he said.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force escorted the passengers from the airport to the quarantine facility.
One passenger told The Nassau Guardian this morning that some passengers were not provided with food or water last night.
Minnis did not indicate how many people are in quarantine.
The development comes as COVID-19 cases continue to soar in the country, with Grand Bahama emerging as a hotspot.
There has been an explosion of COVID-19 cases on Grand Bahama. In total, 90 cases have been confirmed since July 8. Sixty-one of those cases were on Grand Bahama.