Some Bahamians want borders shut

Some Bahamians yesterday called on the government to close The Bahamas’ borders as the number of global cases of COVID-19 nears 200,000.

“No one should be allowed in,” Thomas Thompson, a 62-year-old janitor, told The Nassau Guardian.

“No, not at this time. Give everything the time to blow over, you know. Everything should be given the time to blow over until you know everything is safe again. These things will pass like everything.”

He added, “We should just follow everybody else and just wait until the time passes over so everybody can be safe.”

Thompson said he wasn’t surprised when the government announced The Bahamas’ first case of COVID-19 on Sunday.

“It’s no surprise to me because everywhere in the world has it,” he said.

“I assume we shouldn’t be the exception. I know we can’t be that lucky.”

Thompson said he is prepared to stay indoors if The Bahamas experiences a serious outbreak.

However, Wally Joseph, 46, unemployed, would not have the same luxury as Thompson to stay indoors.

“I’m disabled,” he said.

“I have a disability so I can’t do that.”

Joseph, who has recently had two brain surgeries, said he’s only partially prepared for an outbreak.

“I have groceries and stuff but I’ll have to see if it lasts,” he said.

He said he is concerned about how COVID-19 can impact him personally.

“I thinking about all of that especially because I don’t have any government help,” Joseph said.

“I don’t even know if they offering help for this thing. I might check them next week and see if they can help. I more worried about how I ga bathe if they tell me stay home.”

Asked to elaborate, he replied, “I use the pump to bathe and if sick people around it, then I can’t use it.”

Joseph continued, “So, we don’t need nobody else to come here (The Bahamas) because we don’t need no more sick people.”

The first confirmed case of the virus in The Bahamas is a 61-year-old resident of New Providence who has no recent travel history.

Officials said they have yet to determine how the patient contracted the virus.

The virus, which can cause pneumonia, originated in Wuhan, China, late last year.

Since then, it has spread to all continents except Antarctica.

As a result, dozens of countries, including Russia, Malaysia and members of the European Union, have closed their borders in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the virus.

However, Mitchell Johnson, 44, believes that such a move would be bad for The Bahamas.

“We don’t need to do that,” he said.

“We just need to enjoy our drink. They say rubbing alcohol and the alcohol what you is consume is slow down the virus so you wouldn’t catch it like that.”

He called on the government to more clearly outline its plan to combat COVID-19.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis addressed the nation on Sunday night, announcing the nationwide closure of public schools for a month and a travel ban to further include Europe, the UK and Ireland.

“The prime minister could have said way more the other day,” he said.

“I don’t feel reassured. He was supposed to be prepared for that.

“He supposed to put things in place for all Bahamians. They say the cruise ships ain’t coming here for 30 days so I don’t know what gonna happen in 30 days if we ain’t get no money and ain’t no money coming in and things like that.

“The country will shut down. I’d be scared and the whole nation will be scared.”

As of yesterday, there were nearly 190,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

At least 7,400 people have died from the virus.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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