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Bimini To Go Under Full Lockdown

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

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Bimini administrator's office after lockdown announcement

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Outside the Bimini administrator's office.

UPDATE: After the Prime Minister's announcement, residents gathered at the Bimini administrator's office for food vouchers.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has announced that Bimini will be under a full lockdown starting from Monday.

In an address to the nation, Dr Minnis said the lockdown will begin at 9am on Monday and continue until midnight on May 31.

The Prime Minister said that Bimini has been categorised as a hotspot with two new cases of COVID-19 being confirmed today. The island has had a total of 13 cases confirmed so far – the largest number of confirmed cases outside New Providence.

THE PRIME MINISTER'S SPEECH IN FULL:

Good afternoon.

I am announcing today that after consultation with health and other officials, including officials on Bimini, that Bimini will be placed on a two-week lockdown in order to slow and control the community spread of the COVID-19 virus on this island.

This complete lockdown will take effect beginning, Monday, May 18th at 9p.m. until Saturday, May 30th at 12:00 midnight. This date will be extended to a total of 14 days when Parliament reconvenes.

I note that similar lockdown periods were applied in other countries to help to control the spread of COVID-19.

This measure is absolutely necessary in order to save and to protect the lives of the residents of Bimini.

Epidemiological management of the COVID-19 outbreak in Bimini requires strict adherence to shelter in place to prevent and to control the spread, which will worsen if preventative measures are not taken quickly and adhered to.

Bimini has been classified as a COVID-19 hotspot by health officials.

This lockdown is being carried out to slow and control the spread of the virus on the island.

The first COVID-19-related death was recorded on Bimini.

To date, health officials have confirmed a total of 13 cases of COVID- 19 on Bimini. This includes two additional cases confirmed earlier today.

A total of 102 residents have been swabbed for COVID-19.

Outside of New Providence, Bimini, with a population of approximately 2,000, has the largest number of recorded cases in The Bahamas.

The number of confirmed cases is expected to increase if much of the population continues to fail to practice recommendations for physical distancing, wearing protective face coverings, and frequent, and thorough, hand washing.

During the period of April 29th to May 2nd, members of the Surveillance Team from the Ministry of Health was on Bimini.

The team:

• provided education support for medical personnel;

• assisted with identifying contacts of confirmed cases;

• visited the Government quarantine facility;

• helped to try to enforce infection prevention strategies;

and control conducted testing and hosted a virtual town hall meeting.

On that visit, 37 people were swabbed for COVID-19 and three tested positive.

Residents are urged to make the necessary preparations.

Officials from the central government are collaborating with the Island Administrator for food and water distribution and other considerations unique to Bimini.

The National Food Committee and the Department of Social Services are making arrangements to ensure that food needs will be met before and during the lockdown.

I assure the residents of Bimini that there will be sufficient food and medicine for everyone.

Additional support, security and enforcement of the lockdown will be provided by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Various measures are being taken to ensure the safety of essential workers on the island, including the use of PPEs.

Health officials will respond to any health-related matters about this lockdown.

I want to speak directly to the residents of Bimini, a number of whom have asked the Government to place the island on a lockdown.

A lockdown like this is not something that would have been preferred.

But it is absolutely necessary because things will get much worse on Bimini if we don't take this strong measure now.

I know that a measure like this even further disrupts daily life and economic activity.

But we are in an emergency situation.

We must work now to stop the spread of the virus on Bimini before it gets even more out of control.

Time is of the essence.

I ask the residents of Bimini to cooperate with health and other officials to prepare for the lockdown and to adhere to this measure over the next two weeks.

I thank the residents of Bimini in advance for their cooperation.

The Government of The Bahamas will do all that it can to assist those in need of help during the two-week period.

The lockdown measure will be strictly enforced in order to save lives and to protect the general health of the residents of Bimini.

I thank officials on Bimini and New Providence who are helping to coordinate this lockdown period.

Thank you and good afternoon.

Comments

RealTalk 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I applaud the residents of Bimini for asking for a lockdown. But sir what about New Providence? We did not forget what was said last week Thursday. There are only 5,000 test kits (including the kits the Americans brought in). We know due to the lack of test kits, testing can not be done on a wider scale. It is not wise to leave New Providence open for 5 days when you only have the ability of testing 1% of the population.

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 6 days ago

The crown's newly self-appointed comrade 'minister of health' hasn't yet to avail 'emself to faceoff before the press to answer the so many refused to previously answer to or for questions or to be asked deep questions pertaining to his redshirts administration - becoming increasingly conceived by the PopoulacesOrdinary at-large, as creeping towards transitioning its governance as a law unto themselves - a lawless administration. Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?

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John 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Is this post mortem , after the fact reaction that will have no substantive benefits. If these cases all stem from the first and second cases then that Island is on the tail end of a whirlwind

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TigerB 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I didn't taught that they would use Dr. Sands test hits considering he was ridicule, call to resign, and is still being bash by the masses. They should have thrown those away since they came in illegal...

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Ma Comrade Tiger, not tossed away but donated to Haiti, then have conducted a bailiff's seizure the private jet prop aircraft for auctioning off, followed by the swift signing and executing the deportation off colony orders against, the six?

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BONEFISH 2 weeks, 5 days ago

They were swabs and not test kits.If the government was on the ball,they could purchase test kits from Cayman Islands.

Cayman has done quite a number of tests for COV19. They are way ahead of us in this regard.

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John 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Sounds like this is a case of the patient telling the doctor how to treat them . If for example the matter was that urgent why delay the treatment for Three day’s because of weather?

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ohdrap4 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Because the mailboats did not come in to bring food for 2 weeks. They hope to get food there this weekend so people can shop on Monday.

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Porcupine 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I agree with the necessity to do this. The problem is that the police are able to grant exemptions to anyone who convinces them that they must travel between the Family Islands and Nassau. They do this regularly. Put all the lockdowns in place that you want Dr. Minnis. But when you allow the police to make exceptions based on their superior intelligence, don't you think we have a problem? We have not followed the prescribed precautions. We have only been lucky, not smart. Remove the ability of the police to grant any exceptions to your rules. They have not the authority nor the expertise to do what they are presently doing. I know for a fact that the police in Nassau have granted permission to people from Bimini and Nassau to come to Andros. In one case, they did not even inform the captain of the mail boat, allowing these people to stow away. Not cool. Any reasonable person would fire the police who allowed this. What is considered necessary travel seems to be based on money. Is this possible?

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brianfox963@gmail.com 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Very lousy government .Why doesn't he want to come on and answer questions to the press. Dr Duane Sands was a real man and he should be leader of the FNM party.As long as Minnis and Brent Symonetge is there me none of my family

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brianfox963@gmail.com 2 weeks, 4 days ago

He things he is above answering to the Bahamian people.He disrespect the business community.Turnquest disrespect the poor people

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