Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks on Friday.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE recent surge of COVID-19 cases prompted Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on Friday to reinstate a weekend lockdown and implement a new 7pm to 5am curfew midweek.
The weekend lockdown is from 10pm on Friday until 5am on Monday.
During that time, you may not leave your residence for any purpose except emergency medical care or to purchase food (unless you are an essential worker).
Grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies will be allowed to operate from 7am-5pm over the weekend.
Dr Minnis said indoor and outdoor dining at all restaurants will be prohibited starting Monday, as will all congregant events like religious services, sporting events, group exercises and social gatherings.
Graveside funerals and weddings will be permitted with a maximum of five people. Salons, barbershops and spas can have one client per service provider in a building at a time and gyms must close. Commercial business activity must be completed by 6pm.
Dr Minnis added that on Tuesday inter-island travel will be discontinued.
“Public health officials are closely monitoring indicators to determine whether more or less stringent measures will be required going forward,” he said.
Officials announced that 42 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded on Friday, 35 on Grand Bahama, five on New Providence and two on the Berry Islands.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan said: “Grand Bahama has become the hotspot or epicenter for COVID-19 in the Bahamas. After having no new cases for some 64 days, Grand Bahama has now exceeded New Providence in the number of confirmed cases.
“July 8, 2020 marked the beginning of our second wave and in just the last three weeks New Providence has seen a 45 percent increase in cases, from 82 to 119; Grand Bahama has seen a 119 percent increase in cases, from 10 to 120; Bimini, including Cat Cay, has seen a 50 percent increase in cases, from 14 to 21.”
She said in the second wave of cases, COVID-19 is more widespread, is affecting more people under 40 and shows faster initial growth.
Grand Bahama, she said, is facing a challenge with bed capacity, with 11 of its 16 beds occupied by hospitalized patients.