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Updated: Nationwide Lockdown From Wednesday 9pm Till Next Tuesday

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

ANOTHER nationwide lockdown will begin at 9pm on Wednesday and last until 5am next Tuesday as the country fights the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced in the House of Assembly on Monday.

“We will experience five days of pain, but a lifetime of resolution,” he said.

He said such strong measures are needed because some people did not listen to warnings to take the COVID-19 threat seriously. Health officials, he said, need time to identify super-spreaders of the virus who may be asymptomatic.

He also warned that the increase in unemployment as a result of economic fallout from the disease will be “tremendous and greater than most of us have seen in our lifetime.”

Dr Minnis acknowledged the five-day lockdown could be especially painful for poor people who may not have a stock of food supplies.

“Growing up in the inner city,” he said, “our grocery shopping pattern was somewhat different from the average person. One day (we would) go to the supermarket and buy one onion and one tomato, may also buy one can of corned beef and a bag of rice. That might last for a day. The following day we may return and buy one onion, a loaf of Purity bread, a pound or two of sausage and one can of tomato paste. That would last one day again. The point I’m driving here is it’s very difficult for the poor individual who is accustomed to shopping just one day at a time and (has) no form of storage or savings. “(However) this is essential because there is what we call a ‘super-spreader.’

“The lockdown means you may not leave the confines of your property for any reason, unless there is an emergency or unless you are working in an entity which will be specifically named, or identified by the function being performed, in the lockdown order,” he added.

Dr Minnis said the 24-hour curfew with exemptions for some essential services and activities will resume on April 14 and continue for the remainder of April. However, the complete shutdown will happen every weekend for the rest of this month.

Exempted groups from the complete lockdown include essential workers at hospitals, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the media, security services, hotels with guests, emergency units of core publicly and privately owned public utilities that provide electricity, water and telecommunication services and a “strictly limited number of excepted undertakings, such as international import/export trade,” he said.

He also encouraged residents to wear non-medical masks in public, stressing that only frontline medical workers should wear “health masks”. He urged retail stores or people with stocks of medical masks to contact the Ministry of Health to donate them, “as the sale of any medical masks to the general public will at some time be prohibited."

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Tribune.

Comments

tell_it_like_it_is 9 months, 2 weeks ago

So now, grocery stores will be crazy again! Minnis, you have no clue!!!! SMH
His orders are causing more panic and causing more crowds to gather!!!!!

Shoppers are not adhering to social distancing at all. I'm sorry to say but Minnis is helping to spread this virus. Tribune/ZNS/EW news please video tape (and send to Minnis) the chaos that will be caused Mon-Wed of this week, cause Minnis really doesn't get it.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Stop being the Minnis kiss arse dip shiite that you are. What good is the cure if it ends up being much worse than the problem itself because of the unnecessary panicking of the public by our seemingly incompetent and foolish elected officials?

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Proudloud... You are entitled to your opinion!
I just hope you aren't one of those who end up with Covid because of having to stand in a long line with people coughing around you less than 3 feet away!!!

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joeblow 9 months, 2 weeks ago

... Minnis does not get it. The streets of Nassau and grocery stores look like people getting ready for a hurricane. Whoever made this decision is a dimwit!

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Rinks 9 months, 2 weeks ago

PM you are doing more harm to us by making these last minute announcements. Now all the stores will be packed and no social distancing.PANIC BUYING!!!!! the PM is CLUELESS!!!!!!!!

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Dawes 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Super spreaders going to be busy the next two days in the supermarkets. Imagine if one of the cashiers or packer boys have it. Plenty going to get it now. WHy have they not implemented a serious testing regime. AS it is we just test when people go in to hospital which means that there are plenty who haven't got that far and got better but are not counted. Also 5 days won't help if the symptoms can take up to 14 days to show. If they serious about these shut downs being necessary they need to shut down for 3 weeks, but before they do make sure every family has the necessary means to purchase 3 weeks of food (no not those in the gated communities but the areas where people live day to day and will need serious help). Until then this is all a waste of time.

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moncurcool 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Would like to know how they will identify these super spreaders.

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rowdie 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank God we have a doctor as our Prime Minister. He will help Bahamians from killing themselves.

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moncurcool 9 months, 2 weeks ago

So while the PM gives advance notice, he creates a panic with this extended lockdown. It is liker he is trying to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks and if it does us that. And not taking the time to se if one solution works before another. Someone truly needs to send him SOCIAL MEDIA video of the lines at grocery stores now. ... .. . .

And if you are locking down every from Wednesday to next Tuesday, how in the world can you put in a food schedule by name begging today. Seriously????

,

Where is Hubert A. Ingrham when you need a crisis managed?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

That last question of yours is surely the joke of the day.....but then again he couldn't possibly be any worse than Minnis.

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proudloudandfnm 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Good work Doc. Keep it up. This is a tough situation but you are doing an excellent job. Thank you....

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TalRussell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Hello, Elizabeth's Loyal Opposition!
Who could've, would've imagined a day would come when colony's elected representatives would be making it an jailable offense for any member PopoulacesOrdinary to do some shopping with Comrade Grocer Rupert - without bearing proof identification?
The red shirts opposition, went constitutional bananas ballistic the time when the PLP government were but thinking about requiring PopoulacesOrdinary be issued with an official must carry at all times when walking around government issued identification card. Nod once for yeah, twice for no?

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Clamshell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Nod once or twice if you think the phrase “PopoulacesOrdinary” is not only misspelled — like a true D- student — and makes no sense whatsoever.

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Clamshell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Your grammar is no better in French ... 🤣😎

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

This is the height of lunacy! Minnis seems to have become a madman on a very dangerous power trip. He's actually going to be causing more harm and loss of life than the Red China Virus itself, especially among the poor elderly who don't stand a chance against the pushy, rowdy and panicked crowds at the foods stores over the next three days. And in all likelihood the foodstores will have great difficulty in keeping their shelves adequately stocked during all of the Minnis-caused mayhem over the next three days.

I fear too that out of desperation Minnis may now be listening to misinformation and mal-advice coming to his ears from local Red China representatives of the highly secretive and ruthless Xi Jinping led communist regime. This is the last thing we need!

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DDK 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Word has it they want to kill the traditionally biggest holiday weekend of the year........

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Could Minnis possibly be afraid of the Bahamian people worshipping a God other than himself?

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Getting suspicious how Minnis has become so Religious all of a sudden. Everything keeps getting tighter and tighter. Hopefully this is the last lap

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DDK 9 months, 2 weeks ago

This mindless nonsense must stop before we have a) many illnesses born of panic over crowding, b) a totally collapsed economy, c) anarchy!

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DDK 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Back to the holiday weekend, is it possible they are thinking of crowd control??? Just wondering...

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ThisIsOurs 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I heard the people rioted in Kemp road yesterday. I didn't see any video so I don't know the definition of "riot". But they are causing the panic they say they're trying to avoid. Will groceries be available by Wednesday after the Monday and Tuesday people start a new round of panic buying? Not a question of whether they will be in the storehouse, will the food stores have time to restock? Roberts already said they caused chaos with the weekend shutdown

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joeblow 9 months, 2 weeks ago

@DDK... no, we need restricted movement and self distancing, but not in the doses Minnis is giving it. He should have given people time to prepare without creating panic and shut down everything for 30 days leaving grocery stores open with police presence to ensure rules were being followed. That would have been the cure. This drip, drip approach will accomplish nothing because if someone picked up this virus in a grocery store today, it can be in incubation for up to nine days or so while they spread it without having any symptoms. And those with symptoms can have them for 2 weeks or more. The approach he is taking makes no sense!

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ThisIsOurs 9 months, 2 weeks ago

"Minnis said the lockdown is necessary to help health experts identify "super spreaders" of COVID-19, "

How, without widespread testing? Some persons are asymptomatic carriers. I'm...I don't know how to express it...I hope what they're doing works because the alternative is months and months of chaos

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

One thing is for sure.....the panic situation being caused by Minnis at the foodstores is going to spread the Red China Virus among all Bahamian communities like a raging out-of-control wild fire. Foolish decisions aimed at mitigating the spread of the Red China Virus will produce very serious unintended consequences.

The other thing that's for sure, is that with each passing day now more and more people are becoming desperate. Minnis needs to think much more about how to sensibly release the explosive amount of pressure being built up in the pressure cooker before it's too late.

At no time in our country's history have we had a greater need for a leader capable of making well thought through difficult decisions while at the same time doing what's necessary to instill calm and gain the confidence of the Bahamian people.

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TalRussell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade Grocer Rupert, reports since PM'a in-acting his shop by letter law that jars peanut butters are fast vanishing off shelves at speed toilet-papers. Nod once for yeah, twice for no?

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mckenziecpa 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I am with most of the census, that these measures seems more destructive and strategic. I think having everyone wear a mask may be more effective. I don't go now where now a days with a mask and gloves. This shut down is crazy and what's worse, the leader seem in a panic mode himself, he is not portraying no confidence.

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hj 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Sunday they announced a schedule for grocery stores for the whole week. Monday they give 2 days notice for everything to shut down. Maybe tomorrow or by next Monday they will say something different. Do you expect people not to panic? Really sir do you know what are you doing?

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TalRussell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe the colony's comrade prime minster, just wants clear streets of all vehicular motorised traffic, and pedestrians to allow for his side riders motorcade scoot him off faster to his scheduled tennis matches...and don't say it can't be true cause not only are there photo op pictures as evidence but he's a self-admitted confessor to committing social distancing breaches during virus crisis. Can you imagine being the lawyer hired defend loose-lips PM, for breaching social distancing. Nod once for yeah, twice for no?

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watcher 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I was down for Friday shopping, but now I'm like everyone else - in a worried state of mind because I have to plan meals for family so far ahead that it's doing my head in. Also - bottled water will have be bought tomorrow or Wednesday, so I will be adding to the people out on the streets when I didn't have to. I just hope that the Good Doctor has another plan for when the shops and businesses are open next week.

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joeblow 9 months, 2 weeks ago

… the plan will be lockdown for another five days while the death toll rises!.

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I don’t buy Minnis idea of a super spreader. New York, Italy, Spain and a few other countries are reporting the number of new cases and the number of deaths have flattened over the past few days. Meaning unless there is a second wave of Corona (which has not been proven in China) the worst is behind them. And since we are a week to 10 days behind New York, our light IS at the end of the tunnel, provided we remain viligant, err on the side of caution and follow the directions. Pray and fast and this too, will pass

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

If you listen to how they giggle and carry on in the House today and locking up homeless people. Are y’all serious

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truetruebahamian 9 months, 2 weeks ago

There are persons who ust travel to feed animals. Six days without food for horses is not feasible.

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TalRussell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

This is no ordinary English citizen. The good health PM 55 years young is vital the running our motherland!
England's prime minister comrade Boris has now been transferred intensive care after testing positive virus 10 days ago. Condition unknown but has worsen considerably over past hours? There is no formal deputy prime minister in England so his temporary successor being sworn-in.
The Queen has be informed!**

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Clamshell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Bzzzzt. Wrong. If the prime minister becomes incapacitated, the foreign minister or home minister fills in, then a further line of succession is in the hands of parliament and the monarch.The Brits are not new at this parliament thing, y’know? They’ve been doing it for about 800 years.

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joeblow 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Competent, decisive rational leadership could have gotten us through this crisis without adding to the levels of stress covid- 19 would have brought on its own. The irrational, illogical decision making of the cabinet is doing far more to damage lives than this virus!!

If the governments intention was to find a way to spread this virus quickly among the population, then their decisions over the past three days that drove crowds of people into food stores did just that. Now let's sit back and watch the consequences of their ill fated decisions in the health of the citizens of this country over the next three weeks! They will have innocent blood on their hands!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Ditto that....truly sad case of lethal stupidity.

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Godson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

an important and yet crucial fact to note is that if the COVID-19 virus is not already here in Long Island, the only vulnerable means by which it can come into Long Island is through the weekly mail boat services coming in to Long Island from Nassau. The crew members would have interacted with their families and communities in Nassau, albeit, to a limited extent.

I suggested to the Government, the Island's M.P. and the relevant Ministry to arrange to have the crew members of the mail boats tested for the COVID-19 virus before embarking on voyages to the Family Islands, in particular, Long Island.

Whether they would listen and take heed would be a serious matter for them if there is a consequential outbreak. Like the P.M. said, "hard head bird don't make good soup".

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DDK 9 months, 2 weeks ago

No matter how you cut it, this Administration is several tins short of a six-pack. It and it's leader are frightening the beejeesits out of me 😟

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DEDDIE 9 months, 2 weeks ago

An approach that would produce better results is to make it mandatory that everyone wear a mask or cloth over their mouth and nose. If someone cough or sneezes the primary cloth or mask should catch any droplets that the cough or masks produces. If droplets do escape the secondary mask or cloth would provide additional protection. This approach treats everyone as though they are a potential super spreader.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Right you are, but in a country like ours the government would have had to procure and distribute the facial masks or coverings free of charge. That would have taken our elected buffoons and incompetent senior officials in our civil workforce more than a year to get organized and even then they would have somehow failed on the execution of the task.

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Entrepreneur 9 months, 2 weeks ago

All very best wishes and deepest intentions for Boris's full recovery. the UK needs their Boris...!

As for the new restrictions here, with great respect to Parliament and the Government, this may well not have been the most ideal strategy, as it will have increased concentration of people and may therefore increase transmission risks and infections.

Spatial viral loads are a very important point / concept and I am not sure people understand this well enough. Suffice to say in creasing the density of people is not a good idea.

However, every Bahamian has their destiny in their own hands to a large extent - stay away from others to the very best of your ability and practise excellent hygiene and keep your immune system strong... (i.e. lay off the alcohol, and carbs - eat well, exercise and keep your stress down as best you can..!)

Testing in high density areas would also be a very, very - and fairly obviously - good idea.

God bless... (especially Boris)

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Agin I repeat: this virus will pass over an entire population and it will infect 80 %. Only some 30% will get sick to some degree and a smaller amount will require hospitalization. Once persons recover from the virus, they become immune to it. Persons who are infected not only become more vulnerable to the disease, and can bey a fatal victim, but they have more potential to spread it. Persons who recover do not spread the disease. And try cannot be reinfected , at least not in the short term. So if they are tested and identified they can be first responders

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RealTalk 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I will support the one week shutdown by PM Minnis on ONE condition and one condition only. Turn ONE WEEK to FOUR WEEKS! Provide a way 2 weeks into the shutdown to have food delivered to people. FOUR WEEKS OR NOTHING! Oh yeah one more condition. PAY THE RBPF, RPDF and HEALTH CARE WORKERS TWICE THEIR MONTHLY PAY DURING THIS TIME! You have my support 100%. We are in this together Bahamas.

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TalRussell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Contrary what you read the UK, does have a set succession plan but it's reserved for its monarch - not its comrade prime minister which is a convention role.. Nod once for convention, twice for constitution?

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ThisIsOurs 9 months, 2 weeks ago

It's the whiplash that's causing the rolling chaos.

No matter what the govt does, any new policy will cause some level of chaos. It's too late for anything else. But that initial panic dies down as people adjust. However what's causing continuous chaos is the whiplash. The country is getting no time to adjust, before you can turn around, the rules change again. What you put in motion to prepare for the restrictions become a null and void...maybe you planned to go to the food store Thursday because you arranged money for later in the week or you had other necessary commitments planned. What happens Monday @11? You and thousands of others are thrown into chaos. Again.

It would be interesting to get a true whistleblower accounting of the actual planning that went into the decisions over thr past 3 weeks. Is collective opinion being saught or are a few like-minded persons making all the decisions resulting in a wide swath of Bahamians being overlooked?

New Zealanders are raking their health minister over the coals for driving 10 miles to take his family to the beach for a walk. If the rules don't affect or apply to you they're never bad decisions.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 1 week ago

Under our Constitutional democracy the declaration of a state of emergency only allows for the temporary curtailment of certain of our individual civil liberties and rights consistent with what's in the best interest of protecting society as a whole. No Bahamas government or PM has the right to indefinitely deprive the Bahamian people and others in our society of their Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties and rights no matter what may have triggered the state of emergency in the first place.

The ancestors of many Bahamians endured a horrific and most demeaning existence as slaves for ruthfully brutal slave masters for many many decades. Under no circumstance will the Bahamian people allow Minnis to re-instate slavery with himself as the self-annointed slave master. That's just not going to happen because most Bahamians would rather die than return to the darkest days of slavery ever again. As the saying goes, we are determined to live free or die, and Minnis had best keep that simple fact in mind.

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