NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday that the lockdowns and curfews implemented by the government have been effective in curbing the spread of the coronavirus in New Providence.
The prime minister advised that a metric system will be implemented to guide the operation of industries and the phased opening of islands that remain restricted.
Minnis was touring Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation on Old Trail Road when asked about the concerns of jitney drivers, who for several days have been speaking against the government’s latest emergency orders.
“We are putting together a phased opening, that’s being done not only by us, but we have a National COVID Committee which is comprised of elements of the private sector, chamber of commerce, etc,” the prime minister said.
“We are asking them to look at metrics.
“Therefore we know that once the COVID numbers are at a certain level, then you can move to another phase, nce hospitalization is at a certain level.
“Therefore the bus drivers and everybody can just look at the phase, at the metric, and they know exactly what is being advanced.”
In April, during the first wave of COVID-19 cases, the prime minister announced a measured approach to re-opening the economy in five phases. The timing of the phased re-opening was similarly predicated upon metrics and guidelines by health officials.
Minnis noted that according to the analysis on the government’s mitigation efforts, the lockdowns have been effective.
He pointed to the current 10pm to 5am curfew in which he once again insisted that this is the most active time for social gatherings in The Bahamas.
“So when you take your country into consideration, because that’s our most socialization period, it’s essential to minimize socialization at those hours and therefore we do quite well.”
The prime minister insisted yesterday however that the government can only do so much to help stop the spread of the virus in the country.
“We can only take you to a particular level,” he said.
“So we all have to do it together. It’s not the government, it’s us, we.
“Once you get the message out in terms of the importance of masks, the importance of hygiene and sanitation, etc, I think people will be more cooperative.”
Minnis furthered that similarly not obeying social distancing protocols on gatherings can also take the country backward.
“But once we cooperating and everybody works together and the message goes out, then I think we will come out of this faster. I have no doubt that we will come out but come out faster.”
As of yesterday, the number of cases in the country stood at 2,057.
Of the cases 1,255 are in New Providence, 543 are in Grand Bahama, 67 are in Abaco, 53 are in Bimini, 19 are in Exuma, 15 are in the Berry Islands, eight are in Cat, eight are in Inagua, five are in Eleuthera, four are in Acklins, two are in Crooked Island, and one confirmed case in Andros. An additional 77 confirmed cases have locations pending.