QC urges govt. to invest in widespread COVID testing, not sidewalks

QC urges govt. to invest in widespread COVID testing, not sidewalks
Wayne Munroe, QC.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A well-known Queen’s Counsel has suggested that the government commit to more widespread testing in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Attorney Wayne Munroe, QC, argued that rather than building sidewalks, the government should use financial resources to carry out widespread testing at designated testing centres across New Providence.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is expected to speak to the COVID-19 issue in Parliament today, having consulted with health consultants in light of rising incidents of COVID-19 infections in New Providence.

Munroe said: “We have been on lockdown for every public holiday since March. You have an exposure and people go and quarantine for 14 days instead of the government testing everyone to see who is infected and who isn’t infected.

“As they have done in the US it would make more sense to set up testing centres and try to test at least 60 percent of persons on New Providence.

“Why aren’t they doing that? We know they have money because they are building a lot of sidewalks. We should be trying to test as many persons on New Providence as we can.”

Munroe added: “If you look at how other people are locking down, it bears no similarity to what we are doing. We seem to be on a mission to destroy this economy.

“Very few other people are taking measures as we have. What we have done hasn’t stopped the second wave.”

As of yesterday, a total of 22,559 tests had been performed, according to the COVID-19 dashboard.

During his national address on Sunday Minnis hinted that increased restrictions may be on the horizon for New Providence following strategy talks with health consultants this week.

He urged residents in New Providence to recommit to following the COVID-19 guidelines fully, noting recent data indicates one in every 100 Nassauvians is infected with the virus.

The prime minister also pointed to reports and videos of large Junkanoo rushouts, socializing and large gatherings, adding it was clear that many people have let their guard down and are not taking the pandemic seriously.