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Health Chief’S Answer On Why Islands Stay Shut: ‘I Honestly Don’T Know’

Dr Delon Brennen

Dr Delon Brennen

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

ts-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

DEPUTY Chief Medical Officer Dr Delon Brennen said he does not know why some Family Islands without COVID-19 cases have not been allowed to resume normal commercial activity, saying that is not a Ministry of Health level decision.

Meanwhile Carlton Bowleg says he is in talks with government officials to hopefully ease COVID-19 restrictions in the Berry Islands. Mr Bowleg, North Andros and Berry Islands MP, believes it may be an oversight that Berry Islands is still under strict measures.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis declared that Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros could resume normal commercial activity, joining other Family Islands that were given the greenlight earlier this month. The Berry Islands, Exuma, Eleuthera and San Salvador were not included on that list.

All Family Islands, as well as New Providence, are still under weekend lockdown and weekday curfew.

On Sunday, a representative from the Office of the Prime Minister said the government is being guided by medical professionals in making their guidelines.

Yesterday Dr Brennen was asked why islands like the Berry Islands, with no COVID-19 cases, were not considered when restrictions for the other islands were lifted.

“I honestly do not know,” Dr Brennen said. “I think that’s a Cabinet and Office of the Prime Minister level decision. That is not a Ministry of Health level decision.”

When reminded that the Prime Minister has often said he relies on the country’s COVID-19’s task force for advice on these matters, Dr Brennen said: “This decision is not on us. Well, from a health perspective I am not sure what those reasons are, but there are so many things that come into those decisions that are not health related so I think it would be better to ask those who make the decisions as to what went into the decision making as opposed to just health.”

For his part, Mr Bowleg hopes commercial activity can soon resume in the Berry Islands.

“The Berry Islands are doing very well when it comes to adhering to the rules of curfew,” Mr Bowleg said yesterday. “On the other hand, I think it’s just an (oversight) and I am in talks with the prime minister and with the authorities and I am sure the necessary adjustment will be made. There is no reason, in my opinion, why an adjustment shouldn’t be made very soon because there are no cases there and the people are adhering to the authority’s rules.

“Basically for commercial purposes I don’t see any reason why those islands are not open, unless it has something to do with tourists and Coco Cay, and that is not online right now. I am doing what I can to speak on their behalf and make sure that was an oversight and it will be taken care of very surely.”

Residents of cleared Family Islands can also travel to other approved islands without the need for a COVID-19 travel card.

Messages left for Berry Islands Island Administrator Joseph Ferguson were not returned up to press time.

The Berry Islands has a population of roughly 900 people and it covers about 30 square miles of the northwestern part of The Bahamas.

Comments

happyfly 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Well I can tell you one thing. If I was the MP of somewhere in Eleuthera or Exuma right now, I would not be taking NO for an answer from the PM. Your political survival is being thrown down the toilet by a man who is obviously so out of his depth and flailing around with CV19 hysteria that he does not have the slightest grasp of the human suffering that the lockdown is causing. We have been in total lockdown for nearly three months folks. If this so-called doctor had any idea at all what was what, he would know that if zero people have symptoms by now, then it is perfectly safe to assume that the disease is not present. It is scientifically impossible for a small community to harbor CV19 for 10 weeks and nobody knows about it

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K4C 1 month, 2 weeks ago

and the result of a new election would accomplish the same old same old as before the FNM were re-elected

The Bahamas has a penchant to do the same over and over again

to quote a world famous orator Yogi Berra said...................It’s like déjà vu all over again

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happyfly 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Yep - the economy will be so bad that the PLP will get voted back in by default and Brave Davis will do another dodgy PLP deal with the Chinese to bail our economy out and finally let them foreign fishing boats in whether we like it or not. At least our heroic Papa Doc made himself proud for saving all those lives, is just a shame he doesn't give a rat a... about the rest of us healthy folks making a living

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DWW 1 month, 2 weeks ago

prejudice anyone? i hear its good with honey but not rum cake.

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The_Oracle 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Oh my, this Dr. will be the next one under the political bus. His Crime? Honesty.

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Porcupine 1 month, 2 weeks ago

In times of universal deceit, tellingthe truth is a revoltionary act.

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yari 1 month, 2 weeks ago

If the Tribune could report that they asked the same question of the Office of the Prime Minister and got no response or an unsatisfactory one that would be newsworthy. This is just them trying to create problems since we don't know what other considerations affected the decision not to re-open those islands at this time.

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geostorm 1 month, 2 weeks ago

@yari, I have to agree. There has to be other reasons why those islands are still locked down. I don't see why people are up in arms over Dr. Brennan's statement. The decision to reopen is based on the medical data as well as other factors that Dr. Brennan is obviously not privy to.

The Bahamas is not the only country opening in phases. People really need to get a grip and stop making everything political.

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avidreader 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The time to start really worrying is after the budget presentation in the House next Wednesday, May 27th. When the reality of the destruction inflicted upon the local economy becomes widely recognised there will be great concern for public safety and order. Such concerns could drive the powers into another frenzy of measures to attempt to control a frustrated public. Such repressive measures will only add to the problems.

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Economist 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The PM is being petty. I understand he is upset that some people have broken the curfew and has decieded to abuse the Emergency Powers Act to punnish everyone.

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TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Ain't goin' be long now before start hears cash reward ad spots being aired on the colony of 700 out islands and cays radio stations that soundalikes.
Talking pessimistic about the Imperialists' red coats authoritarianism rule, not allowed. If anyone is aware such talk, plans {or] actions - report it to the Royal Constabulary.
If the above-mentioned acts occur, the Imperialists 35 Red Coat MP's could potentially be exposed to something even worse than COVID-19, and even more yet - being turfed from their House of Assembly seats and, even more yet again
Likes we have encouraged Long Islanders to snitch, we are encouraging the thousands broke, out of paycheques PopoulacesOrdinary At Largre to call the special confidential Miami and Toronto squeal telephone numbers to report family members, co-workers, and neighbours who spread pessimistic stories about the Imperialists' red coats authoritarianism rule.
Just couldn't have written this without the involuntary contribution of the Red Coats comrade MP for Long Island. Just,
couldn't** Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?

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TigerB 1 month, 2 weeks ago

There is always a way to fix it... go and open up your island without permission. No island has to stay close, even though they are under the emergency order. I see persons breaking curfew because they feel they should be a lockdown, and they have all the reasons, good ones, of cause they would be consequences. I am sure the PM would address this one for sure in his next address, I don't understand it either, but until he fix it... well you know the rest.

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hrysippus 1 month, 2 weeks ago

How refreshing to get a straightforward and honest answer from one of the twenty thousand state employed workers whose salaries and pensions we have to pay for with our tax dollars. I could only wish that the other nineteen thousand nine hundred and ninety nine ,or so, had the same level of courage and integrity.

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TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

First went crown minister Brent, then Dr. Duanem but won't stop at just the two Loretta loyalists. Could the AG, be on the hitlist?
.Ma Comrade Hrysip, not so refreshing not have gotten a quick, straighter, less chicken and more honest resignation letter from one of the former health minister's crown colleague thought to be more integrity aligned, the crown's substantively responsible for the colony's aviation matters which included the landing of that private jet-propelled plane with six foreigner passengers bearing gifts of swabs onboard. Just can't make this up. Just, can't. Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?

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John 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Anyone gats any coconut water for sale? It’s only $700 in fines. Brain dead and bored Police and heartless judges who put on the people more than they can bear. Your judgment too is coming.

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SP 1 month, 2 weeks ago

What about the 3 legged drunken donkey?

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John 1 month, 2 weeks ago

When The treasury needs money and people need work and to free themselves of being curfews and lockdown like slaves and charged like criminals, the PM chooses to keep a good part of the nation lockdown.

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joeblow 1 month, 2 weeks ago

… but still the overwhelming majority of voters in a Tribune poll thought the government was doing a good job managing this crisis. Bahamians have such low expectations, are cognitively disconnected from what normal should be and have such short memories that in the not too distant future a T shirt, promise of a job and a few cold Kaliks will be enough for them to forget the hell they endured at this time and they will rush to vote for another slate of incompetent candidates. Religion is not the opiate of the people, gambling, alcohol and sex are... the brainless love them!

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The_Oracle 1 month, 2 weeks ago

One thing for sure, They seem Dogged towards their own demise! I understand the initial over reaction, lord knows we couldn't have handled very many cases, but anyone even remotely studying what has worked and what has not, globally, would see the folly of remaining fixed in your course. And yes, it does appear that spite is a part of the Competent Authoritarianism.

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