Another month of emergency measures.
That’s what’s expected to be announced by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis today in the House of Assembly. We know the drill by now. We know what’s needed. And now we know we need to stay the course a little longer.
The signs were already there that the closure would be extended. Last week, advisor Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis talked of the number of cases expected by mid-May, and a day with five new cases over the weekend showed that things have not slowed up sufficiently yet. Add to that the ramped up testing that is just starting to take place and a relaxation of emergency measures wasn’t likely yet.
It’s a time when we need cool heads – so PLP leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis announcing that he’s at boiling point is not helpful. So much for not making this about politics. He says we have lost six weeks and we are “losing the battle” yet talks of the imposition on our lives brought on by the emergency measures. That doesn’t bode well for how he would have led the battle.
Our current situation was also not helped by the situation with one case that led to the exposure of 200 healthcare workers last week in both Princess Margaret Hospital and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre. Add to that the patients who were confirmed with the virus or who had to be isolated as a result and it was a sizeable impact from a single incident. Without that, might we have been closer to easing up? It certainly might have pushed things further back.
Dr Dahl-Regis also suggested that this might be the week we get a better idea of when we can predict cases will have reached a peak in The Bahamas. A peak will not mean an end to the battle, but it will take us closer.
No one likes these measures. No one likes being stuck indoors waiting to be allowed out again and to get back to normal. But if we are to beat this virus, we must keep going. Stop too soon and all the good work will have been for nothing. That really would be a way to lose six weeks.
Hit and run victim's family deserves answers
There is something very unusual about the manner in which a hit and run investigation has been conducted.
Last November, Luann Joaquim got out of a taxi to walk to her home, right by a police station, when she was hit by a car. She died two days later in hospital – but it is what happened in the immediate aftermath that is concerning.
The car in the incident sped on without stopping. Another motorist saw and gave chase but was stopped himself by police for speeding. However, that motorist is almost certain the car he was pursuing turned into the police barracks.
Family members have asked the police for answers – but received little cooperation. When family pointed out there were at least ten CCTV cameras and building cameras that the speeding car would have passed, an officer by the name of Cash told them the force did not have the manpower or funds to have someone sit and go through the footage.
Can you imagine? Video footage of a hit and run killer might be right there, and the family given such a snub.
We have a new Commissioner of Police since then, Paul Rolle, and last week he suspended two officers after videos circulated of a liquor store open contrary to regulations. That’s a good start in contrast to his predecessor not suspending officers during investigations despite more serious allegations.
Time, then, for him to bring that new approach to an allegation of such a dismissive response to a hit and run death, especially with a claim of the car going into police premises. To his credit, Commissioner Rolle has promised to find out more. The family deserves answers – not just over what happened but about why they were snubbed. We shall hold him to his word.