PM Says Wear Mask in Public
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The government has enabled mask production for public use
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis encouraged the wearing of mask in public to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus in the country.
In the House of Assembly on Monday, he said, “As a personal defense measure, particularly against transmission by people who may not show any symptoms, members of the public are highly encouraged to wear non-medical masks in public.”
Dr. Minnis stressed however, that those who are not frontline medical personnel should refrain from purchasing or wearing health masks, as they are reserved for health workers on the frontline.
Dr. Minnis also urged retail stores, or persons, who have any stocks or supplies, of any medically approved surgical or face masks for sale, to contact the Ministry of Health immediately, in order to sell them to Public Health, as the sale of any medical masks to the general public will at some time be prohibited.
He said, “I urge the Ministry of Health and all hospitals to label their masks to identify those needed for frontline health workers. This ensures adequate supplies of masks are available for health workers and avoid the shortage being experienced in some places abroad. This will also prevent a run on health masks.”
Dr. Minnis said the government has enabled the production of cotton masks in New Providence to ensure the availability of masks for the general public, through various companies, including Bahama Handprints and Carey’s Fabric and Uniform.
He said these masks will be washable and re-usable.
Dr. Minnis added that the Small Business Development Centre has been directed to provide funding to tailors and seamstresses so that sufficient masks are also available throughout the Family Islands, to encourage and enable the large-scale production of cotton masks in the Family Islands.
He said the production of masks will present an economic opportunity for business people and entrepreneurs.
“Going forward, The Bahamas will have to begin to manufacture a number of items for domestic needs. This will provide economic opportunities and jobs for Bahamians, Dr. Minnis said.