Thursday, March 23, 2023


How Dr Minnis Made a Right About Turn and Won the Hearts of the Lockdown Opponents

The country expected a full lockdown, but Prime Minister Hubert Minnis did an about-turn and surprised many.

On Monday evening, Dr. Minnis announced that New Providence was no longer considered for a complete lockdown. This announcement drew the shock and satisfaction of many who expected a complete lockdown this week following the reversal of the order last week Tuesday.

Dr. Minnis at the Ministry of Health’s press conference on Monday afternoon said, “I am happy to tell you that the health team sees positive trends developing regarding the situation in New Providence. At this time a hard lockdown is no longer recommended for New Providence.”

He said last week’s decision was based on the data available and health officials’ recommendations at that time.

Now, health officials have changed their recommendations.

Why is a ‘full lockdown’ not considered anymore?

Many of the confirmed Covid-19 cases were duplicated, presenting a false sense of alarm in the number of confirmed cases in the country.

Sunday’s dashboard reflected 1504 active cases, but after review, the number was adjusted to 1113 active cases. This shows a 391 difference in cases.

What caused the duplication?
Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis at the MOH COVID-19 update

Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis said a large number of cases and the significant backlog were not documented on an electronic platform, which improved its data management.

With the implementation of electronics, health officials were able to monitor the progress and revised the number of backlogged cases.

Dr. Dahl-Regis said health officials then presented the government with the corrected analysis of the cases with revised recommendations.

What are people saying?

Many Bahamians are praising Dr. Minnis for the decision to not implement a full lockdown for New Providence. They took to social media to applaud the government’s decision. People’s responses were an extreme contrast to last week’s reaction to the full lockdown, as Dr. Minnis said he was “called everything but a child of God.”

Eugene Patton said, “I am thankful for the work of the Prime Minister so far in these rough and difficult times. Furthermore, the PM made the right decision to free some of the restrictions.”

Adrianne Brennen said, “Thank you so much prime minister, for a job that was done well.”

Tracy Thompson said, “Minnis you roc.”

What does it mean for the population?

The infectious virus has not gone away, even though the government has not implemented the full lockdown. Thirty-six cases were reported on Sunday and 14 cases reported on Monday. The COVID-19 total is still high.

As people are now given the opportunity to move around with little restriction, cases will appear and there may be a far greater burden of death and illness. If they do not practice social distancing, wash their hands, and wear a mask, the numbers will increase exponentially.

People must be mindful that the extent of the virus or the number of COVID-19 cases is not known. Practice the social measures, and assume that everyone has the virus.

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.

A 10-day weather forecast for New Providence. Nassau Weather Center