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‘Extending Powers Is Right’

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Rupert Roberts

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net 

SUPER Value owner Rupert Roberts yesterday voiced his support for the government’s intention to extend the country’s Emergency Powers Orders to December 28.

“There’s things (the government) may have to do. This is the most serious thing that’s ever happened to this country and the world and our leaders have to do whatever they do to protect us,” said Mr Roberts.

“I really don’t’ have a problem with that if it’s a selection for the country’s representatives making the decision,” he told The Tribune.

However, he said, he will not support another full lockdown should the government take that course of action again.

“I do disagree with the lockdowns,” he said.

“While employees are at work with their employers, their employers are keeping them safe, making them wear masks and disinfecting hands, doing social distancing so they have to work, they work their 45 or 48 hours a week.

“They’re not catching it in the supermarkets. They’re getting it socially, so when they’re with us we keep them safe and when they go home we have to take care of their daily works and so on and between work and their responsibilities, that wears them out and they have to go to bed.”

He added: “But when you lockdown, then that extra time they get, they say ‘oh, good times roll’, they go clubbing and gathering and I think this is where the spread is coming from, so lockdowns are doing the opposite of what they think. I know lockdowns are spreading it. Lockdowns are not flattening the curve, they spread it.”

Lockdowns have often been used by the Minnis administration amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a tool to curb community spread, with health officials insisting the measures as being effective.

The COVID-19 Emergency Powers Orders, which gives Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis - the Competent Authority - sweeping powers during the state of emergency like the ability to impose a lockdown, ends on November 30.

However, on Wednesday, Dr Minnis gave notice in the House of Assembly of his intention to extend the country’s state of emergency until December 28.

The move came as a surprise as many expected the orders to end this month, especially after Dr Minnis said last month the discontinuation of COVID-19 Emergency Powers Orders would depend on an improvement of virus-related cases.

While several Family Islands have recently seen a spike of new infections, the COVID-19 situation on New Providence and Abaco has significantly improved.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health reported 25 new COVID-19 cases, with nine on New Providence, ten on Grand Bahama, three on Abaco, two on Berry Islands and one in Bimini. The new tally pushes the country’s total to 7,348.

The decline in COVID-19 cases, particularly in New Providence, has led some observers to believe that there is no need to extend the emergency orders.

Comments

tribanon 2 weeks ago

Pinder will continue blowing sunshine up Minnis's arse as long as Minnis does not interfere with the outrageous pricing of the groceries and other products that Pinder sells to us in his food stores.

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B_I_D___ 2 weeks ago

Unfortunately, he has to extend the powers...people have to realize though that this does not mean he will be ENFORCING the powers. He does need to maintain the ability to put emergency measures in place IF NEED BE. He'd be a fool to let them expire. People need to focus more on what he does with them, then the granting of powers.

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whogothere 2 weeks ago

Why? What government action culminating in the decrease in case in Nassau? Or any where in the Bahamas? End of August he was ready to the DF in the bay to lockdown NP hard. people rioted. The next day it was an about turn now lockdown marginal curfew. 1.5 month later cases crashed without change in policy. Nothing under the emergency powers brought about reduction cases. The virus burnt out plain and simple. You don’t need emergency powers for that.

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pablojay 2 weeks ago

Tribanon is so blinded by negativity with anything concerning the government ,that he does not even recognise Rupert Roberts, calling him Pinder.

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tribanon 2 weeks ago

LOL. Clearly I had my fresh fish supplier on my mind this morning....this was the second Friday this month he made no delivery even though I'm now paying him nearly double the price I was paying last year!!!

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Amused 2 weeks ago

Mr Roberts they are catching it in supermarkets so stop the bold face lies. Isn't the supermarket a social place? Anyways couple of the super values had covid cases yet none were shut down

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whogothere 2 weeks ago

Of all the industries the food stores have benefited the most. Why would they want the crisis to end. Millions of dollars have been spent by food by food banks, support families whose breadwinners are unemployed, pandemic has been kind to Mr Roberts...why stop the gravy train now..

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