NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis confirmed boats carrying food and supplies will be allowed to call on Bimini to ensure food security on the island during the two-week lockdown.
Minnis announced the lockdown last Thursday after two new cases were confirmed, taking the total number of cases on the island to 13.
The prime minister said the measure was “absolutely necessary” to slow and control the community spread as Bimini has become a COVID-19 hotspot.
During a national address today, Minnis assured residents that there will be sufficient food and supplies on the island.
He said a team of 12 volunteers will assist the island administrator with checking-in and assessing residents in need of assistance, as well as managing the island’s food pantry.
Minnis said the Royal Bahamas Police Force has agreed to provide escort service for the administrator and her team as needed.
Groceries and supplies arrived in Bimini over the weekend to re-stock food stores in advance of the lockdown. Shipments to the island had been delayed last week due to inclement weather.
Minnis advised the Department of Social Services distributed 600 food vouchers on Friday, while the government’s National Food Distribution Task Force has also coordinated the delivery of 100 food packages through The Bahamas Feeding Network.
He said additional food packages are expected to be delivered before the end of the lockdown.
The lockdown begins at 9pm tomorrow, May 19, and ends at midnight on May 30.
The entire country is currently under 24-hour curfew, with weekend lockdowns each Friday at 9 pm.
The first recorded case on Bimini was also the country’s first recorded virus-related death.
Kim Johnson-Rolle, the sister of Immigration minister Elsworth Johnson, died in Princess Margaret Hospital shortly after being airlifted from Bimini on March 30.
As he applauded Bimini for its cooperation and discipline during the weekend lockdown, Minnis scolded residents in South Eleuthera.
“I’m extremely disappointed with the behavior of those in South Eleuthera who had engaged in a car motorcade on Friday,” he said.
Minnis announced Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros will now be able to resume commercial activity tomorrow.
Those islands join Inagua, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay.