Saturday, February 27, 2021

Most House Members Vote for Emergency Order Extension to May 23

The majority of the members in the House of Assembly voted in favor of the continuation of the Emergency Order to May 23.

Members wrapped up the debate at 10:45 on Wednesday night to debate the extension.

Seventeen members voted ‘yes,’ to the extension, seven voted ‘no’ and fourteen members were absent for the vote.

Why it matters

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on Monday presented a resolution to extend the state of emergency in the country as the pandemic is still ongoing and continues to challenge the country’s health facilities.

He acknowledges, however, that the COVID-19 numbers are now low compared to recent times when double digits were recorded.

The big picture

Countries around the world are fighting variants of the disease and health officials are trying to secure vaccines to combat the virus. The Bahamas has not accessed the vaccine but has secured them for 20 percent of the population for when they become available.

PM Minnis’ Case for Emergency Order Extension

“Let me be very clear with this point: The pandemic is not over. Though there is light on the horizon, because vaccines are slowly starting to reach more countries, we still have a long way to go before we get back to normal. The Bahamas has had many months of low COVID-19 numbers. Our health guidelines are working; the emergency measures are working, and the Bahamian people are complying with the rules.

“With new strains circulating, it is quite possible for us to have additional waves before our population is vaccinated. We cannot, under any circumstances, let our guard down. The more we abide by the measures, the more we prevent a greater resurgence of the virus. We cannot become complacent and think the pandemic is over just because we have had a few good months.

Parliamentarians voting against the resolution

  • Opposition members–Philip Davis, Chester Cooper, Glennys Hanna-Martin, Picewell Forbes, and Vaughn Miller
  • Former Minister of Health Duane Sands
  • Independent MP for Centerville Reece Chipman

Worth noting

The Senate will now vote on the extension.

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