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?
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.