PM hints at further restrictions as 10th COVID-19 case confirmed in The Bahamas

A 10th COVID-19 case has been confirmed in The Bahamas, according to Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands.

Sands told The Nassau Guardian the case is on New Providence.

In a press statement this evening, the Ministry of Health said this latest case is a 52-year-old woman with a history of travel to the United States, but no links to the previous cases.

The confirmed case remains stable and at home in isolation, officials said.

“Health officials continue to follow the condition of the other nine (9) COVID-19 positive cases. None of the cases are in hospital, and all are in stable condition,” the statement added.

Nine of the 10 cases confirmed so far are on New Providence and one on Grand Bahama.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis hinted that more restrictions will be announced on Monday in an effort to contain the coronavirus.

The comment came during a meeting with Sands, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Pearl McMillan and former CMO Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis.

During that meeting, Dahl-Regis told the prime minister, “We manage the expectations of the community.

“That is the main thing and we are constantly challenged to allay fears and to educate, and prime minister, Minister Sands and everyone, if we could only get fewer people moving around; that is the issue.”

Minnis replied, “Well, you will have that very soon because I am certain that they are waiting to see what I am going to say on Monday, be it in Parliament or in a national address, but I will address that nationally because under no circumstances will we place the nation at risk.

“What needs to be done will be done. One thing the Bahamian public has to appreciate is that the decisions the government makes, the decisions I make, are based on accuracy and analysis.

“It’s not based on emotion and not based on how I feel and not based on politics. It’s strictly data and accuracy and I think the whole Bahamas understands that and they appreciate you for what you’re doing.”

Last week, Minnis imposed a national curfew — 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. — and ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses across The Bahamas in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the country.

Earlier this week, he imposed a 24-hour curfew, ordered the closure of beaches and prohibited international passengers from entering the country.

The curfew is due to expire on Tuesday, but there are wide expectations that it will be extended.

Today, Dahl-Regis, who works as a consultant in the Ministry of Health, told Minnis, “Our recent posture is that it is not time to open up for full business, but we appreciate that support. Thank you so much.”

The prime minister replied, “…I appreciate the advice I have received from you all this morning with respect to planes travelling from one country to another and wanting to land here.

“I think the entire Bahamas has to understand that when I make those decisions of a plane not being able to land here it’s not my decision.

“That decision is based on the facts y’all provide and the possible outcome, so those decisions are based strictly on information gathering and the information and the data that you’ve collected and what’s the possible scenario if such facility be allowed to land within our shores.”

Earlier this month, Minnis appointed a national committee to lead the country’s fight against COVID-19.

The committee is co-chaired by McMillan and Executive Director of the Organization for Responsible Governance Matt Aubry.

Today, speaking to McMillan and Dahl-Regis, Minnis said, “…Whatever your needs are, these are trying and difficult times and be assured that the government will provide it.

“Whatever you need, we will provide for you.”


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