Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands. (File photo)
• THE FULL VERSION OF THIS STORY CAN BE READ HERE
UPDATE: Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has accepted the resignation of the Minister of Health, Dr Duane Sands. In a statement, Dr Minnis said: “I have accepted the resignation of Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands effective tomorrow, May 5th, 2020. I thank him for his service to The Bahamas, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. I will make a further statement on this matter tomorrow, including on who will serve as Minister of Health.”
• See Tuesday’s Tribune for more.
FROM EARLIER: Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands has offered his resignation due to the controversy surrounding permanent residents allowed entry to the country from a plane carrying COVID-19 test swabs, according to a letter posted on his Facebook page.
The Tribune has since spoken to the minister, who refused to discuss the matter.
The letter, addressed to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, said:
Dear Prime Minister,
I refer to the unfortunate controversy surrounding the delivery of COIVD-19 test swabs and the landing of permanent residents under what you have termed a breach of protocol regulating the entry to The Bahamas by Bahamian citizens and permanent residents under Emergency (COVID-19) regulations.
I accept responsibility for this breach of protocol. I acknowledge that I acted outside the scope of my authority in this matter.
My actions were guided by my great desire to obtain the much-needed testing swabs which are in short supply both here and internationally and which are key to our efforts to trace the spread of the coronavirus so as to better focus our responses. I acted at all times in good faith.
Nevertheless, I acknowledge that my actions have caused embarrassment for which I express sincere regret.
We continue in the midst of a most serious pandemic when focused attention should be trained only on how best the spread of COVID-19 might be slowed and eventually stopped.
I believe that my continued presence in the cabinet may serve as a distraction from our effort and hence I offer my resignation from your cabinet.
I thank you for the opportunity to serve our great country.
Duane E.L. Sands MD