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Pm Suggests More Restrictions On Movement Could Come

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis suggested on Friday that more restrictions to movement under the emergency powers order could be coming.

His remarks came during a meeting at the Ministry of Health with officials to thank them for efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and before a tenth case of the virus was announced.

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands and Chief Medical Officer Dr Pearl McMillan were in attendance.

In that meeting, Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, health consultant to the Office of the Prime Minister, said officials were hoping for less movement in the country.

“Prime Minister, Minister Sands and everyone, if we could only get fewer people moving around, that is the issue,” she said.

Responding, Dr Minnis said: “Well you would have that very soon.

“I am certain that they are waiting for what I am going to say on Monday, be it in Parliament or national address, but I would address that nationally because under no circumstances will we place the nation at risk.

“What needs to be done will be done and one thing the Bahamian public has to appreciate is the decisions the government makes, the decisions I make are based on accuracy and analysis. It’s not based on emotion, not based how I feel, not based on politics. It’s strictly data and accuracy.”

Dr Minnis also assured officials that government would provide whatever resources officials needed to carry out their work.

Dr Dahl-Regis furthered that it was the position of officials that it was not time to open up the country for full business.

“No, I appreciate that. I appreciate the advice I had received from you all this morning with respect to planes traveling from one country to another and wanting to land here. I think the entire Bahamas has to understand that when I make those decisions - plane not being able to land here - it’s not my decision, that decision is based on the facts y’all provide and the possible outcome so those decisions are based strictly on information gathering and the data that you have collected and what’s the possible scenario if such facility were to be able to land on our shores,” Dr Minnis added.

The prime minister went on to express optimism that the country would successfully fight against COVID-19 and have the same results as it seeks to rebound economically,

The meeting ended with Dr Minnis asking the officials whether he could take his grandson to play basketball.

“Now I know that’s contact but it’s only he and I and we’re living together so I would not consider that as too much of a contact risk. So is it a risk?”

Dr Dahl-Regis said this was assuming both Dr Minnis and his grandson were negative for the virus.

“Your assumption is correct,” Dr Minnis quipped.

Comments

Economist 6 months ago

I have been staying at home as you asked. Haven't been to the food store since the 19th but by the tone of your statement I need to panic a go try but out the food store now as it sounds that you are going to make that a major exercise of "begging and pleading justification" to go.

This is going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I thought that the police were out there to stop people who were not supposed to be out.

So because you can't control 1,000 people you are going to punish all 400,000?

That's not leadership.

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ThisIsOurs 6 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. These herky jerky don't panic theres enough for everyone, oops we need more draconian measures so you can't assess what we told you was there yesterday are panic enducers. Pretty soon, maybe already, noone will believe a single word he says. Then you'll see panic.

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huhwhat 5 months, 4 weeks ago

The only thing this flu is doing is showing how incompetent leadership is in this country. and he wants to stop the world because 14 people are sick with a seasonal illness!! This insanity has to come to an end, sooner the better.

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bahamianson 6 months ago

Yes it is. Stop complaining for every detail. The police needs to go in Carmichael and deal with the people there.they seem to not know what is going on in our country.

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paperbahamian 6 months ago

Please use some common sense before going into a panic! If the PM issues more orders it may tighten things up further but he's fully aware that people have to eat and will make provisions for that. His primary goal is to protect all residents and if the current rules are not working then he has to clamp down. Blame those who are breaking the rules not the PM.

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wngriff 6 months ago

I just listened to a voice note that was forwarded to my family chat group, the man said that on Monday he believes that the PM will announce to shut down all business, including the food stores for 30 days. The man encourages everyone to go buy their groceries now and after Monday it will be too late.. That worried me at first and then I thought about it for a second, there is no way possible for the PM to shut down the food stores. We need to eat and survive. I don't have the money nor a place to store all this food for me and my family for 30 days. Our freezer on our fridge don't have the space,, there is no way to purchase a month worth of milk and produce, it will spoil or rotten!! The food stores do have measures in place for social distancing.

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wngriff 6 months ago

I just saw a statement from the Office of the PM forwarded to another WhatsApp group, saying that voice note was false. One thing I hate about social media, WhatsApp in particular, are voice notes and false news.

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ThisIsOurs 6 months ago

I'm going panic shopping then I'll wait to see if he shuts everything down. fool me once

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moncurcool 6 months ago

The problem is as economist says that 1000 people are being used to put the other 400,000 under stress. If they want to stop movement then why are they at the ministry having a meeting? Why not do the meeting by zoom? Leaders lead by example. Don't tell me stay put and you out moving around for a meeting that could be done virtually.

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ThisIsOurs 6 months ago

agreed. I thought it was the funniest thing when Carl Bethel did the interview at the guardian and I'm assuming was either looking through a door or window and commenting: why are all these cars out here, look at all these cars. But when he got in his car I'm sure someone was asking why that red plate on the road? People are always willing to put rules on others that they will never abide by themselves. I wonder how many senior officials got special orders of liquor. and was the PM'S grandson tested from the supply of test kits they claim is limited? It's great to know he's negative, but could that kit have been used to test a cashier that thousands of Bahamians will have interactions with and the PM'S grandson go to live with his parents isolating from Minnis who is elderly like every other Bahamian family is being asked to isolate from grandmother's and grandfathers?

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The_Oracle 6 months ago

I'd say the ratio is more like 100,000 defying not just the orders but the underlying sensibility of the orders. Think about that. And yes, the innocent always suffer for the guilty. Tough decisions to be made, and tough consequences if made or unmade.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 months ago

Here we see Minnis's greatest character flaws in full bloom: His outright arrogance and nastiness!

Just look at how many times he used the personal pronoun "I" instead of "We". He's clearly having another one of his very dangerous "I am God-like and your Saviour" episodes.

Minnis really needs to listen to himself. On the one hand he says, "What needs to be done will be done and one thing the Bahamian public has to appreciate is the decisions the government makes, the decisions I make are based on accuracy and analysis." Then in his next breath he says, "....it’s not my decision....". A classic example of someone 'high' on power, but who is unwilling to take responsibility for the exercise of it. He may well be in need of a one-on-one sit down chat with a professional like Dr. Allen.

One has to question whether he's listening to the whisperings in his ears by representatives of Red China. And we all know just how ruthless and inhumane the very secretive Xi Jinping communist regime is in that country. In any event, unlike Red China our economically fragile small nation just doesn't have the resources to keep mass rioting and looting in-check if triggered by overly-restrictive lockdown measures for a prolonged period of time.

Many Bahamians are already at their wits end and there is great risk of things boiling over if Bahamians sense one set of loose rules is for the political elite and their cronies and another set of unduly harsh and punitive rules is for all others. Will the Minnis cure ultimately prove to be worse than the problem itself? Certainly the current draconian isolation measures would have had much greater success had they been done more than two months ago. Oh well, we are where we are thanks to Minnis. Let's hope he enjoyed shooting hoops with his grandson.

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pileit 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Buncha bllsht you runnin on with.

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geostorm 5 months, 4 weeks ago

@wellmudda, go to the back of your yard and catch some fresh air. Stay away from the computer/phone for a few days. It's good for your mental health. You need a lil time out bruh!

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ThisIsOurs 5 months, 4 weeks ago

mudda is on the extreme end, but his premises have some factual basis. It is odd how Minnis talks about himself. I'm the doctor. I am a doctor. Im a doctorŕrr. I look forward to putting on my white coat. I have to save the Bahamas from being like Haiti. Pray for me as I try my best...it's downright odd. He never talks about the team...I lie in the recent statement he finally did mention them, someone must have told him about it, he doesn't talk about a cabinet group decision it's always him saving the country. He had a press conference on a health crisis and never let the health minister speak. beyond odd. Remember this is exactly what 7 of his colleagues thought was serious enough that they took the unprecedented unheard of action of writing the governor general to say please remove him as leader of the opposition he does not consult with us. So while you may not like mudda's extremism there's there, there.

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stillwaters 6 months ago

Wow..........rant much????

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sheeprunner12 6 months ago

This Covid19 dilemma is a Catch22 problem for any country ……… If we have a 24 hour lockdown/curfew and close 90% of businesses without the requisite social services support to assist the 60% of our financially vulnerable population, we will face a national economic collapse …….. and if we leave everything open, then we may face a potential health crisis that our public and private health services and medical supplies reserves cannot handle.

How do we balance this between economic collapse vs health crisis????? ….. Do we risk everyone getting infected and testing for the true infection rate and still allow for economic activity and jobs once they practice responsible public protocols??? Are we socially disciplined enough for that???

TAKE YOUR PICK

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mckenziecpa 6 months ago

Will sheep the answer to your statement will manifest itself this lock down can only last for so long society will eventually adopted we are going to be forced to displane our selves and further a vaccination is around the corner

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happyfly 5 months, 4 weeks ago

The most insane thing with all of this is that the data is showing clearly, that if anyone has a vaguely healthy immune system, their chances of dying from Covid19 are lower than getting run over by a jitney (during curfew). It is extremely noble that the government has forced all of the young and healthy citizens of this country to stay at home to protect the old and the weak but at what point do we step outside and rely on our very own naturally occurring immune system..... instead of placing our entire existence into the hands of a very small group of men that are making up and changing the rules by the hour because they really do not have any idea what to do in the face of a novel crisis.

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ThisIsOurs 5 months, 4 weeks ago

While I completely agree with the appearance of herky jerkiness, I dont think this is a good message to put out. "I'm young I een guh die so y'all old people could stay inside. I heading out and I sneezing and touching door handles after like I please. It een guh hurt me anyway" (I'm exaggerating)

A few points:

a 19 year old died in the US just last week I think. I certainly wouldn't want to be the parent who found out my child was 1 in 200,000 to luck out.

Also young people may have a lower rate of becoming seriously ill but everyone has an equal probability of becoming infected and spreading the disease. So part of your responsibility is making sure you don't make grandma or cousin with asthma sick.

The data is also showing that the rate of infection for young people is greater in the US than it was in China.

In addition much of what society accepts as healthy looking in the Bahamas is obesity. Our diet is 10 tablespoons of cholesterol and 200 teaspoons of sugar per day. Who knows what this could put on our fat behind? Plenty "juicy" young people walking round.

But I agree with you they do seem to be making it up as they go. NY Governor Cuomo spoke to that just the other day. He said you can't wait for the virus to do something then respond. You have to anticipate what could happen and have a plan in place to take action if it materializes. We still in catch up mode

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happyfly 5 months, 4 weeks ago

I never said this virus is a good thing. It is a horrible natural disaster. I just don't understand why our leaders are so determined to throw our economic baby out with the bathwater. Besides, surely a healthy debate is not dangerous. The Bahamas is still a democracy ..... right ?

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ThisIsOurs 5 months, 4 weeks ago

"never said this virus is a good thing"

I know, I didn't mean to imply that. I said the "message" that the young should be allowed to head outside was not a good one. Because while the young "may" not die, anybody could be a carrier and infect tens and hundreds of others.

"Besides, surely a healthy debate is not dangerous"

no argument from me, I love debates.

Like I said I agree with you on the absence or the appearance of a proactive approach. It does seem like they're making it up on the fly. But I'm acknowledging that at this point there's nothing else they can do. They can't get more test kits, they can't get more respirators, the US states are scrambling fir those, judge us. They have 60 respirators total and 20 beds. I don't even want to delve into that. The only thing that could have saved us was wide spread testing in February/March. Did we have the resources for that? Dont know. I hope we have less than 20 serious cases at any one point in time. I wish Dr Sands and his team all the best.

But the one thing we cannot do is open that would be disastrous. While your premise is the old and weak would die I see unimaginable consequences for our country. I see our leaders dying, not the ones in parliament or the ones with "Moses generation thinking". I'm talking about the ones with potential young and old. How much knowledge and experience would be gone? The consequences for us ...

Our people are fat, diabetic and hypertensive. Our medical minds, legal minds, lecturers at COB, our literary minds our financial gurus our police force our junkanoo masterminds. For them and grammy I'd stay indoors until we get a couple weeks with no cases. The proactive thing we can do now is plan the opening up. How do we ensure that no illegal immigrants enter the country bringing the virus with them? How do we prepare for flu season? How do we monitor when planes start flying? Id put a separate team together to plan that. Let Dr Sands have one fight on his hands.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 4 weeks ago

They may have 60 respirators total, but keep in mind that these are not ventilators. The manual respirators are not the ventilator machines that facilitate breathing when severe pneumonia sets in on the lower respiratory system.

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baddog 5 months, 4 weeks ago

My forbid the sale of liquor?

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baddog 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Why forbid the sale.if liquor?

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John 5 months, 4 weeks ago

So six people live in a two room dwelling. And no, it may not always be a two bedroom, just two rooms. And do not only is social distancing impossible, but because of close living quarters, they interact, almost intimately with their neighbors. Some 20- 20 people. Then they get up in the morning and go to work. Some at the gas station, some at the food store, some at the wholesaled food or pharmacy warehouses. Some go to the wash house, the bank or the gas station as customers. Imagine if one or two persons in this chain contracts the virus. How many people can become infected in a matter of hours, days or weeks? Essential workers must eventually be required to wear gloves and masks. And as food and supplies run out, people will venture outside their homes in search of these items. Putting measures in place that is too confining or restraining will result in even more violations. And once the violations become too common, the emergency orders become even more ineffective

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Sounds eerily familiar to what I've been saying for quite sometime now. As President Trump succintly put it: "The cure should not be allowed to become worse than the problem itself."

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