If anyone was expecting major changes from Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, they were soon disappointed.
The changes that were announced didn’t move the needle far – which considering the country is back open for business from Sunday is disconcerting.
Of course, the number of new cases of COVID-19 keep coming, so the curfews and lockdowns haven’t done their job as yet. Still, the banner moment of reopening comes with a whimper rather than a bang.
The changes that have been introduced are minor – and feel like moving around the deckchairs rather than anything of great substance. There’s no revolution here – just a prescription for more of the same medicine.
There are also concerns about the rapid antigen kits being touted as our pathway back to normality and for use in testing tourist arrivals here. The concern is that they are not useful in detecting the disease in those who are carrying the virus but not showing symptoms. As Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis noted yesterday, that can be up to 40 percent of carriers.
Worse news still comes from beyond our shores – with Europe and the US experiencing their own second wave surge in cases.
If it sounds like a gloomy picture, that’s because it is – but there is a glimmer of hope. The number of cases may not have reached the point where we can lift the lockdowns, but according to Dr Dahl-Regis we have passed the peak of the second wave here.
Credit to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis for facing up and speaking to the press, a rarity of late, but it does feel as if there is little new here, at a time when recommendations are being made for a way forward, such as from former Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands.
With warnings of a “dark winter” ahead, it does feel as if we’re sailing into the storm and hoping for the best. Any further steps towards preparing for the worst would be wise.
In brighter news, Albany is planning to develop the former South Ocean resort and its surrounding area, a move that will bring 100 jobs at first and treble that number as it moves forward.
The move makes a lot of sense given Albany’s proximity, and breathes life into a site that has been closed for 16 years.
Included in the deal is the whole of the South Ocean site, and development will include relocating the South-West Bay Road and South Ocean Boulevard.
We would perhaps sound one note of caution that we hope the development doesn’t end up sealing itself off completely from the rest of New Providence. This is an opportunity to create a new jewel on the island, and we hope that jewel isn’t hidden away.
All the same, we wish Albany well in its plans, and praise them for initiative at a time when an economic boost is very much needed.