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State of emergency extended to April 30

A resolution to extend the state of emergency to April 30 was passed in the House of Assembly yesterday.

It was later passed in the Senate.

The extension would see the continuance of the 24-hour curfew and partial lockdown implemented last month.

As he tabled the resolution yesterday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis noted that more stringent action is needed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Minnis also announced yesterday that complete shutdowns, which prevent non-essential workers from leaving their homes, will be in effect in The Bahamas every weekend through the end of April.

Governor General C.A. Smith declared a state of public emergency in The Bahamas on March 18, as COVID-19 began to spread in the country.

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said the emergency orders will help to stop potential “super-spreaders” of the virus. He noted that two of the 33 confirmed cases had 140 contacts in total.

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis said the opposition recognizes the need for the extension.

“We remain committed to doing whatever is necessary to protect the Bahamian people,” Davis said.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to those who have already lost loved ones to this pandemic, and we pray for a speedy recovery for those already infected.”

Davis added, “We are all in this together, and we have to find our way forward as a nation, together.”

However, he noted that some in the public believe some of the emergency orders implemented, so far, are unfair.

“Why are many restaurants who have take-away and delivery services banned from operating, but the franchises like KFC, Wendy’s and the pizza restaurants allowed to continue?” he asked.

“Also, many Bahamians want to know why spas and pool cleaners are considered essential services.

“It will be hard to maintain public support if people believe the rules are unfair. People have a right to know why some people and businesses are given special treatment and others are not.”

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