NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Health officials could recommend a lockdown for specific parts of New Providence if the number of cases continues to increase and become concentrated in a particular area or areas, according to Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Pearl McMillian.
McMillian, who was responding to questions from the media during a Ministry of Health virtual press conference, was asked about a possible recommendation for additional lockdowns or area-specific lockdowns given the steady rise in cases spread across the New Providence.
“As we monitor the new cases and their location, where they are, if it is there is a particular surge in a particular side of the island or among a particular community, of course, consideration can be given to lockdown of that particular area,” McMillian said.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, but certainly I know a number of countries in the CARICOM region [which] would have done it and they’ve had some success with it.
“We will continue to monitor the cases and where they are happening, and make recommendations along the lines of public health measures, be they very restrictive or lesser measures.”
As of yesterday, New Providence had 2,036 COVID-19 cases.
Total cases in the country now stand at 3,008.
Last week, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told reporters he does not foresee any future lockdowns.
The Bahamas has undergone sporadic lockdowns, curfews and other restrictive measures since mid-March.
As the country reopened to international commercial carriers in July, there was a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, which propelled the government to reimplement strict emergency measures.
But those measures have since been somewhat eased, and a wide range of businesses have reopened with health guidelines.
Yesterday, McMillian said that while there may be no foreseeable lockdowns, the public must adjust to the new normal and continue to follow public health protocols in order to curb the spread of the virus.
“I think the public needs to begin to get in the mode of COVID-19 being with us and start to begin to do things that are not necessarily the gatherings and those types of things that are known to cause increases in cases,” she said.
“Continue to do the public health measures, wearing your mask, physically distancing and avoid gatherings so we can exist with COVID-19 as best we can and avoid having to move to the point of partial.
“The [prime minister] said we won’t have full lockdowns so let us continue to do what is required to keep us safe as we exist with COVID-19, which is going to be with us for a while.”