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Davis: We Need More Clarity On Reopening

PLP leader Philip Davis. (File photo)

PLP leader Philip Davis. (File photo)

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

OPPOSITION leader Brave “Brave” Davis yesterday called Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ recent announcements on the re-opening of the country’s economy a “ball of confusion”, saying more clarity is needed on the country’s travel requirements for visitors after July 1.

This comes after Dr Minnis announced on Thursday that the country has officially begun the transition to Phase Four of the government’s reopening plan.

Under the new phase, restaurants and salons will be allowed to open later this month under certain guidelines.

Dr Minnis said starting next weekend, the weekend lockdown measure will be lifted for the entire country but with the 9pm to 5am curfew still set to remain in place.

Public parks and beaches, he added, also will be allowed to open on other remaining islands with no COVID-19 cases, starting today. This includes Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells, Exuma and San Salvador.

As for New Providence, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and Bimini, Dr Minnis said the closure of public parks and beaches will still remain in effect.

Saying the new measures were not “well thought-out,” Mr Davis told The Tribune yesterday: “We’re still having a lot of confusion as to what one could do or not do and that’s manifested by the number of calls I’m getting from people who say ‘well, what am I able to do?’

“I cannot tentatively answer those questions because it’s all confusing and… there is no clear plan and as I’ve said before we gave them the chance, the Bahamian people gave them the opportunity, we all accepted the lockdown.

“That lockdown was for the purpose of them to develop a plan and give them time to understand what they’re doing and to relieve the pressure on our economic circumstances and to put in protocols for testing, tracing, isolation and treatment.”

But, with insufficient COVID-19 tests in the country, Mr Davis said he is concerned about a further community spread when the country fully re-opens its borders, especially considering the social unrest abroad.

Last week, officials revealed the country’s tourism industry will begin a phased opening on June 15 when boaters, yachters and private pilots will be allowed entry to The Bahamas.

However, in recent weeks, countries worldwide have been plagued with widespread protests over the killing of George Floyd, an African American who died while being detained by police officers in Minnesota.

Speaking on the matter yesterday, Mr Davis said: “You see all the protests, the mass gathering in the United States and that doesn’t all go well for containing the virus. We ought to be concerned how that is going to play before how we can open our borders safely.

“And I think at the end of the day, for some reason, the government seems to be reluctant to obtain test kits. . . because the bottom line is you have to test and you have to contact trace as necessary to ensure that it is contained.

“I just don’t understand what they’re listening to and where their head is at.”

During Thursday’s press conference, Dr Minnis said as it stands now, all returning residents and visitors will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test before entering the country.

However, he noted that officials had not finalised the entry protocols for its targeted July 1 re-opening date as they are still in discussions over the issue.

To this, Mr Davis said: “Don’t you think they should be clear? They should be clear otherwise we don’t have the competent persons, but they should be clear at where they are today. Otherwise, all they seem to be doing in what we call our old language is following fashion.”

Asked yesterday about his suggestions for re-opening the country’s economy amid the pandemic, the Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP replied: “My COVID task force has provided them with a plan to open the economy and it starts off with ensuring that the proper resources are in place, the proper resources meaning personal protective equipment for our first responders.

“It requires us having sufficient test kits and testing on the ground always and not just in New Providence.”

On Thursday, Dr Minnis also announced a further relaxation of hours for already exempted businesses and services in the country, saying starting Monday, all professional services and commercial activity will now be able to resume regular operating hours.

However, he said businesses must be closed by 7pm daily.

Comments

moncurcool 3 months, 3 weeks ago

What in the world Davis talking about? He from pillar to post.

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tetelestai 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Moncurcool, come on, stop playing politics. I am no fan of Brave either, but he is asking legitimate questions. I have absolutely no idea what the PM is trying to do - and I believe that most non-FNM sycophants do not either. This is not political, this is a legitimate question.

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JokeyJack 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Perhaps the opposition Party here, just like the opposition Party in the USA - sees an opportunity to make the ruling Party "look bad" by crippling the economy ? Are they inviting the IMF - is this sort of an informal invitation letter?

We now know who the vulnerable persons are in society and they merely need to take extra precaution until the virus completes its mutation process toward survival. Viruses mutate all the time, and the ones who kill their hosts have a much less chance of transmission (because they die with the host). And so the Darwinian theory applies; those who die before they can reproduce - don't reproduce - and go extinct. The deadlier form of this virus are not immune from this law of nature.

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LawMan98 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Firstly what you have to realize is that the country was in debt before Hurricane Dorian, these two events became a burden on the system from then. Please stop looking at what another country is doing and focus on the facts of home. We don’t know which direction the country is going in. If the boarders open THERE WILL NOT BE TOURIST COMING. No one is traveling now so please don’t allow that to be your only hope.

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Hoda 3 months, 3 weeks ago

"My COVID task force has provided them with a plan to open the economy and it starts off with ensuring that the proper resources are in place, the proper resources meaning personal protective equipment for our first responders. It requires us having sufficient test kits and testing on the ground always and not just in New Providence.”

My god, this man is like a senile old man "talking old story". For someone who has press conference every week he has nothing to say. Thats all your covid task force came up with, we need to go shopping. Or maybe he will reveal his plan when u all finally allow him to be pm of the bahamas.

What i would like him to explain is why some vendors in gb are saying they dont wanna participate in the small homes repair program because the last govt didnt pay them from hurricane matthew.

What i find interesting is who he and parliamentarian colleagues will actually stay in parliament during an important budget debate and listen to. I guess if they dont have anything to attack u about it is important. Seems if u were genuine you would be there asking piercing questions not out to lunch.

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proudloudandfnm 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The Bahamas has just over 100 cases, Nassau has under 100. To date our government has done an excellent job keeping this disease in check. Please don't squander that by re-opening too early. Florida just had its worse 6 days since the pandemic started and Florida insists on opening. If we allow Americans in we will be overwhelmed and people will die.

I know its tough but being broke is way better than being dead. Our death rate is over 13%, there is no cure, there is no treatment and there is no vaccine. Now is not the time to let the Americans back into our country....

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LawMan98 3 months, 3 weeks ago

What are you talking about? Of course the rate is low BECAUSE WE AREN'T TESTING PEOPLE. I assure you that Nassau has roughly about 150,000-200,000 person on the island (including the permit residents) and only tested under 3,000. That alone should worry you, they opened the domestic traveling to the family island that will later impact the entire country. The Government has been lying to the Bahamian people from the start.

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licks2 3 months, 2 weeks ago

How are they lying to us? Check this! Them peoples them can" get on a plane without a test or getting they tempeture checked!! So what that means. . .no one comes here without a COVID19 test!! Yinna call doc Minnis dumb. . .but it seem to me that he making azzes of yinna all the times!! He gee yinna what yinna cried for. . .yet he don't change his position one bit!!! He just bait and switched. . .boom. . .yinna get swing!! Yall does call doc dumb. . .but yinna getting swing by him all the time!! He gat yinna number. . .owa!

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LawMan98 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The government needs to become ONE! Our leaders have no direction in what the country is going in. The money borrowed was needed and still brave is right there is no clarity on what is going on. How can you set out a phase planned and already reach phase 4 less than 2 months. That doesn’t make sense. Us as a nation opening up the boarders won’t save us.

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