Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced wider shutdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including a five-day lockdown beginning on Wednesday at 9 p.m. and a complete shutdown every weekend in April.
The five-day lockdown will end on Tuesday at 5 a.m.
Minnis said the weekend lockdowns will start on Fridays at 9pm and end on Mondays at 5am.
He said health officials believe these measures are absolutely necessary given the fact that there are asymptomatic carriers in The Bahamas.
The prime minister said during the lockdown periods, people should not leave their homes unless they are going out to buy an essential item or if they have been designated as an essential work.
Additionally, he said people can only exercise in their own yards or in their neighborhoods.
Minnis said it is critical to curve the spread of this virus given the devastating impact it has had on the society.
“We are losing loved ones,” he said as he addressed the House of Assembly.
“Some are experiencing ill health and some are critically ill. Families and friends are confronting the deaths of loved ones. We are feeling the loss of those who have contributed so much to our society for so many years.”
He said one of the most unfortunate results of the orders has been the postponement of several funerals over the weekend.
“I know this is extremely painful, but I want to assure the families and the country that this difficult decision was meant to save lives,” Minnis continued.
So far, there have been 29 cases of the virus in The Bahamas.
Five people have died as a result.
The latest victim was prominent Bahamian physician Dr. Judson Eneas, who died on Saturday night.
Minnis said the best medicine to stop this virus is physical distancing.
“That is why I began the curfew and lockdown measures,” he said.