Why PM Minnis Hits Pause on 7-Day Full Lockdown Until Further Notice
The Bahamas is in the midst of a COVID-19 battle, one the country has never experienced.
The deadly virus has tested the government’s ability to balance the economy and health of the nation. Government has made a few unplanned decisions that have rattled public’s confidence in the administration.
The recent 7-day full lockdown with the closure of essential services, is one such decision that has stirred public outrage, which has contributed to a reversal of that order.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis made adjustments to the New Providence 7-day lockdown. Dr. Minnis announced that food stores, water depots, pharmacies, gas stations and hardware stores will open Wednesday 19th, from 6am to 9pm, until further notice. Food wholesalers and manufacturers are also allowed to open.
He said, “After I spoke Monday night, Bahamians from all walks of life raised concerns with me.
“There is broad understanding of the need to lock down New Providence in order to control and slow the spread of COVID-19; however, it is also clear that families and businesses need more time to prepare.
“I hear you. I understand you and know that in many cases we must make adjustments in the short-term to strengthen in the long run,” Dr. Minnis said.
A public stance of disapproval
Tuesday morning began with demonstrators of Operation Sovereign Bahamas, who met at Windsor Park in preparation to march towards Down Town, Nassau, before they were intercepted by law enforcement officers.
The group of nearly 50 protesters condemned the most recent lockdown as many Bahamians did not properly prepare with food items before its immediate implementation.
Members of Parliament stood with constituents
Minister of National Security and MP for Mt. Moriah Marvin Dames swamped with concerns from constituents, promised to address the competent authority concerning their needs.
In a Facebook post, Dames said he read the complaints from individuals on the recent lockdown and its effects on their households.
“I am aware of how difficult it has been for most Bahamians and their families.
“One thing is true, we are not perfect beings. But the test of a true man or women is to recognize what is best for himself/herself and for those he/ she loves.
“I have noted all of your concerns and will be addressing those most vital concerns with the Competent Authority,” he said.
In addition, MP for Bain and Grant’s Town Travis Robinson said he spoke to the Dr. Minnis to address his constituents’ “frustrations and disappointments” with the recent lockdown.
“Your basic needs of food and water were on top of my list during my conversation with him.
“I am pleased that he was very receptive of my conversation with him…I am satisfied with the pending outcome,” Robinson said.
Preparation for impending bad weather
Dr. Minnis said the lockdown could affect Bahamians’ ability to prepare for a weather system approaching the Bahamas on the weekend.
He said on Tuesday, the Department of Meteorology and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) met with Cabinet to brief ministers on a weather system which is on a current path to the Bahamas by Sunday.
“This is to allow residents who were unable to secure sufficient food, medicine and water to access essential items, and to make the necessary preparations as we monitor the weather system,” Dr. Minnis said.