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If You Flew In - Quarantine: Pm Pleads For New Arrivals To Self-Isolate

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis apologised yesterday for the distress people experienced when they arrived in New Providence from Grand Bahama on Tuesday and were unexpectedly quarantined at a government designated facility.

He said health officials were overwhelmed by the number of people who departed Grand Bahama after he announced a two-week lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 on that island, with hundreds of people likely leaving Grand Bahama for New Providence on Tuesday.

The Tribune understands that in addition to three Bahamasair flights carrying a total of 199 people from that island, there were eight Western Air flights that flew to New Providence when normally only four Western Air flights leave Grand Bahama for New Providence each day.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Delon Brennen said officials are comparing their numbers to information from flight manifests.

It is not whether there were flights from Grand Bahama to Family Islands but the likelihood that some Bahamians and residents departed COVID-19 hotspots in recent days but were not quarantined by health officials prompted Dr Minnis to stress to The Tribune yesterday that people who visited Florida and Grand Bahama recently and do not have a negative RT-PCR test result should self-isolate for the 14-day incubation period.

“They should self-quarantine,” he emphasized.

“I’m not here to blame anyone and no one should be blamed,” he added during his communication in the House of Assembly. “The virus is here, it’s not going anywhere and we must deal with it and we must always try and remain in front of it.

“Yesterday I made an announcement that we were locking the borders in terms of flights and crafts coming from Grand Bahama to other parts of The Bahamas. I’ve been advised that immediately after such an order, there were boats literally lined up at Grand Bahama, especially at the east end that were moving throughout the family of islands and also attempting to move to New Providence. As a result of that, we were forced with health concurrence to give orders to the Port Authority to ensure that no movement of vessels from Grand Bahama at this particular time to the other Family Islands and New Providence (occurred).

“I’ve also been informed that there was excess passenger load of individuals who wanted to come to New Providence and as a result of that the health system was essentially overwhelmed. The concern the health professionals had at that time was that individuals, and because of the excess numbers of individuals being brought to the capital, many of them would’ve been lost in the system and subsequently migrate and permeate into the society, throughout the communities and some could have possibly been positive which could’ve placed health (officials) in a difficult situation in terms of tracking and monitoring.

“As a result of that, the matter was discussed with health (officials) and an immediate decisions was made to try and obtain as many accommodations as possible and all individuals traveling from Grand Bahama would’ve been taken to such facility as a temporary quarantine measure so that health could’ve done their work in terms of determining where individuals had to be located, making determination to ensure no individuals had been infected. This was all to prevent any form of infection moving out within the community.”

The people who arrived at LPIA from Grand Bahama complained of going hours without food and water. They said there was little communication to them about what was happening.

One woman, Julia Mellor, said she was appalled at the circumstances they faced as she described the flight delays and waiting around for answers. While at the Breezes hotel, she said people were crammed together and social distancing protocols were not enforced.

“I feel like my human rights to information and basic necessities such as food and water have been violated,” she said. “I feel frustrated and disappointed.”

Dr Minnis acknowledged the distress the situation caused.

“Obviously this would’ve caused great distress and duress and inconvenience for many Bahamians because they would not have known that such a measure had been taken,” the Killarney MP said. “But I want to assure them that such a measure was taken to ensure the safety not only of themselves but to ensure the safety and survival of the entire Bahamas.

“Therefore for the inconvenience I would like to apologise to those Bahamians who were definitely inconvenienced. Some may have had accommodations waiting for them and they too would’ve been placed in such temporary facilities until proper health investigation was completed. This was done in the interest of those individuals and in the interest of society to ensure there were no spread within our society. It is important to note that if we are not proactive and if we were at any point in time to fall behind, then we can run into grave, serious situations in that our medical personnel would eventually become burnt out and that unable to function and that sector could run into the possibility of meltdown and subsequent problems that I would’ve discussed previously. We could have had episodes of rampant infections. We would not see it today, we would have continued moving around happily, socialising, some not following orders, others following orders and we wouldn’t have seen it today.

“However, 14 days from today we would see results of today. Therefore the movement was to avoid what could be seen 14 days from today after the incubation period is completed and we could’ve had severe spread throughout New Providence and the Family Islands. Therefore I urge Bahamians that if they truly love their Bahamas that they must continue to follow the health orders, they must continue to wear masks, proper sanitation, social distancing, avoid parties, avoid socialising, avoid large gatherings because if they don’t we won’t see the effects until 14 days from today. What we do today, our discipline, or performance, our not socialising and our usage of sanitation today, how we act today we will see the results in 14 days.”

He added: “There are many out there who feel they could’ve done a better job. In 2022, the Bahamian populace will make that determination and whatever their outcome is, we’ll accept.”

Comments

stillwaters 1 week, 5 days ago

Grand Bahamians are really unruly .....and with people telling then they are not to be blamed for the infection in their island, they are now really emboldened.

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stillwaters 1 week, 5 days ago

Yep....and typical trolling from you

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tribanon 1 week, 5 days ago

I’m not here to blame anyone and no one should be blamed,” he {Minnis} added during his communication in the House of Assembly.

For Minnis to have the gall to utter these words, he must surely be suffering from some kind of Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde split personality disorder. Unfortunately for us the dominant personality in his case seems to be the very evil Mr. Hyde.

Everyone knows full well that Minnis was hell bent on trying to vindictively deflect blame to the Grand Bahamian people for his very own most foolish decision to pre-maturely re-open our borders to travellers from the US, with travellers returning to the Bahamas within 72 hours not even being required to produce a negative Covid-19 test result.

And for Minnis to now say no one should be blamed for the return of Covid-19 to our shores is hogwash because everyone also knows Minnis has no one to blame but himself for his very stupid and most dangerous decision to re-open our borders at a time when much of the US, including all of Florida, is ablaze with out-of-control community spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus.

We all need to be very wary of Minnis's dominant and most evil Mr. Hyde personality. There's no telling what he may vindictively subject all of us to while in one of his power drunk stupors.

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tribanon 1 week, 5 days ago

“Obviously this would’ve caused great distress and duress and inconvenience for many Bahamians because they would not have known that such a measure had been taken,” the Killarney MP said. “But I want to assure them that such a measure was taken to ensure the safety not only of themselves but to ensure the safety and survival of the entire Bahamas.

Bollocks! The evil Mr. Hyde side of Minnis was hell bent on punishing those whom he sought to cast blame on for his own very foolish decision to re-open our borders to travellers from the US. It was Minnis's own stupidity that has allowed the deadly Communist China Virus to return to the Bahamas. And if he truly cared about the safety and survival of the entire Bahamas, he would have never pre-maturely re-opened our borders to travellers from the US, especially at a time when most of the US is experiencing rampant community spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus, especially Florida.

As I've said many times before, there's a nastiness about Minnis that's most unbecoming and alarming. He seems to relish his ability as supreme ruler to treat the vast majority of Bahamians (his plebes) like young unruly children in need of a harsh spanking from him even when he himself is responsible for the very thing he dishes out the punishment for. What a looney-tune the people of Killarney elected in May 2017.

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TalRussell 1 week, 5 days ago

Comrade Jesus said, if anyone is a cause of harm to those living under the insensitivity red coats regime, you've excused the sin being a harsh critic Mr,.Minnis. Amen!
With higher up competent central authority it's hard not abuse to want jump to criticise Mr. Minnis when he had have known his politically appointed chairman The Colony's National Airline Tommy T, was promoting post-July 1, discount seat sale offering the PopoulacesOrdinary at large POAL to fly away off the out islands over to Florida.
Just couldn't make this stuff up. Just,
couldn't.** Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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joeblow 1 week, 5 days ago

The PM was worried about people mixing up together and being unruly BEFORE they opened the border and there were no new cases of COVID-19. Now he is asking those with COVID-19 to use an honor system to stay home and not spread the virus because they don't have a means to track these people. Absolutely ridiculous and negligent management of the problem!

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birdiestrachan 1 week, 5 days ago

He can blame no one but himself. He can not lie his way out of this.

Passengers from Grand Bahama were under arrest. they were in the hands of the police

I use to think, that doc was not to smart. He may just be a very evil man .

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SP 1 week, 4 days ago

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Hindsight is always 20/20. Pointing fingers, casting blame, bitching, whining, armchair quarterbacking, is not productive and will never get us anywhere!
Asking people to self-quarantine is a total non-starter.

People need to stop the infantile stupidity and be adult enough to analyze what went wrong, acknowledge missteps and move forward for the betterment of our country and people.

Alternatively, we can join the fantasy world of uncle Donald Trump with the ridiculous asinine notion that "virus or no virus we must open the economy". Clearly the rapid spread of the CORONAVIRUS is now leading them back to the forced total shut down of Los Angeles, Texas, Florida, and now several other states.

Opening the borders to the U.S. was ill-advised, had a highly predictable outcome and a very, very, bad move, requiring 10-day COVID free tests for visitor entry was and remains another bad move, especially when Barbados and other jurisdictions were already leading the way demanding negative test with-in 72 hours of arrival, not requiring a test for returning residents traveling to the U.S. for less than 72 hours was THE ABSOLUTE worse move possible!

Closing liquor stores during the lockdown period then simultaneously opening liquor stores, bars and clubs were not thought through. Alcohol sales should never have been prohibited to start with, it never worked before legalization and will never work! However, since they screwed that up, alcohol sales should have been a phased opening starting with liquor store roadside sales first, followed by bars and clubs weeks later to allow people to "catch up" in a controlled fashion.

The initial shutdown was only a dress rehearsal to what we now have to deal with. This is the "REAL DEAL". Unfortunately, if PM Minnis doesn't shut down the entire country immediately and get a firm handle on the obvious community spread of this virus, we will end up like Florida, Texas, and California in very short order!

We need to come to the realization that COVID-19 is an unforgiving virus that does not allow coexisting working economies regardless of what the idiot geniuses mirroring the all-powerful, "great orange wizard" in the White House, uncle Donald Trump says.

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