- COVID-19 cases climb to 60
- Employers and store owners to face fines over face masks
- Economic recovery committee to advise on safe and gradual reopening of the economy
NASSAU, BAHAMAS —Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said while data projections indicate restrictive measures are working, the country must continue to take their “full course of medicine”.
Minnis announced two new COVID-19 cases during a press conference today, bringing the total number of cases to 60.
He sent a strong warning to both criminals and those abusing curfew for frivolous reasons will be strongly prosecuted and fined.
“If we come complacent and too relaxed the number of those affected can go up considerably,” he said.
“Physicians always tell patients to take their full course of medication. We have to continue to follow advise of health professionals.”
Minnis advised every resident will be required to carry around a valid ID when they go out in public, adding employers of essential workers should register their employees with the police.
The prime minister said the shopping schedule will resume this upcoming week, with the first two hours reserved for seniors and persons with disabilities.
He said employers will be fined if they do not ensure their employees wear masks, while store owners will also be responsible for ensuring shoppers are not allowed to enter without a mask.
Minnis said he was alarmed at the number of people out on the road during the 24-hour curfew, adding the measures would be prolonged if not followed.
The prime minister said the country’s collective action will determine the crisis timeline.
“In some areas it was hard to tell that the country was under curfew at all,” he said.
Minnis said officials are trying to balance essential measures to carefully reopen some areas of the economy.
“The main priority is to save and protect lives, this is an ongoing process that will take time,” he said.
“We will have to make adjustments as we proceed. We are carefully monitoring what other countries and jurisdiction are doing. We continue to be open to suggestions and ideas.”
In the past few weeks, Minnis said the National Insurance Board has processed and approved more than 18,000 applications, and paid out more than $9m total.
Minnis also noted he would convene an economic recovery committee to advise the government on safe and gradual reopening of the economy, with its members to be announced after Cabinet review.