0

Minnis Tweaks Emergency Rules But High Numbers Of Cases Keep Up The Pressure

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced a slight relaxation in COVID-19 rules yesterday, but warned that Bahamians must get used to cycles that involve tightening and loosening of restrictions because the pandemic will be “with us well into next year”.

His press conference came days before the country welcomes visitors and returning residents without requiring that they quarantine for 14 days.

And while some restrictions have been slightly loosened, Dr Minnis could not provide a timeframe for when the country’s state of emergency — currently extended until November 30 — will come to an end.

Dr Minnis announced that all beaches and parks in New Providence and Abaco will open starting on Monday.

“Groups are limited to five individuals and the COVID-19 enforcement unit will heavily monitor beaches and parks,” he said.

He said beginning Friday, an 8pm to 5am weekday curfew will apply to New Providence, Abaco and to Grand Bahama.

Weddings and funerals on Grand Bahama will be limited to ten people, not including officiants and mortuary workers, and starting Saturday, exercise will be permitted in the immediate neighbourhood on weekends from 5am to 9am on New Providence and Abaco.

Health officials are expected to give more information about protocols for the reopening of tourism before Sunday.

Dr Minnis said residents should have sufficient funds to cover the cost of their tests and other COVID-19 expenses that may arise when they travel abroad.

He said food stores may now open from 6am to 7pm in Abaco on Saturdays.

Dr Minnis noted that countries around the world are experiencing a public health emergency that is again worsening, including European countries that fared well earlier in the pandemic.

He said: “The pandemic is far from over. Sadly, the northern hemisphere is likely heading into the worst period of the pandemic.

“With Fall already here and winter coming, colder countries face a very challenging winter.

“More individuals will be indoors in these places. The virus spreads easier indoors where there is poor ventilation,” he said.

“COVID-19 cases are soaring in countries around the world, including in the Americas.

“Experts are saying that the next few months will be a ‘dark winter.’

“In fact, the global COVID-19 public health emergency is worsening around the world.

“There will be many more hospitalisations and deaths in a number of European nations. We must also get used to the cycles of tightening and loosening restrictions.

“Until there is an effective vaccine and the overwhelming majority of Bahamians are vaccinated, we will have cycles where cases go up and cases go down.

“This will occur because the virus spreads easily, especially when we do not wear masks or go to social events, including family gatherings, where the virus may quickly and easily spread.

“When cases go up on a particular island, we will have to increase restrictions if necessary.

“But if cases are low on other islands, they will remain open, with less restrictions. “It is important that we understand that these cycles of tightening and loosening of restrictions are part of life in the pandemic.”

For her part, Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, health consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister, said two COVID-19 deaths were recorded yesterday for a total of 136.

Sixty-seven new COVID cases were recorded on Tuesday, she added, bringing the total to 6,549, with 94 people hospitalised, including 12 in Grand Bahama.

Dr Dahl-Regis said during the pandemic, there have been 100 airlifts across the country, the largest numbers involving Eleuthera, Exuma, Abaco and Grand Bahama.

She said there are 50 COVID-19 patients who are moderately ill at Princess Margaret Hospital, with no coronavirus patients at the hospital’s ICU at this time.

Dr Dahl-Regis said officials anticipate an increase in the number of new COVID-19 tests as the country reopens, adding: “We can still slow the transmission of the virus.”

She said data suggests the country has passed the peak of the virus during the second wave.

Yesterday, Dr Minnis also said due to increased COVID-19 activity in mainland Eleuthera and surrounding communities of Spanish Wells and Harbour Island, the Ministry of Health will dispatch a team to assess the situation, as was previously done for Bimini.

Comments

ISpeakFacts 5 months, 2 weeks ago

She said data suggests the country has passed the peak of the virus during the second wave.

This is the same garbage that came out of Adolf Minnis' smelly mouth several weeks ago, and then we all know what happened! No one should believe anything coming out of this woman's or any other member of the MOH's mouth, she and the rest of them have been absolutely clueless and useless during this entire pandemic!

2

newcitizen 5 months, 2 weeks ago

They have no idea whether there is a peak. They are doing no testing. The fact that you have to pay for a test in this country means no one gets tested unless they are sick at the hospital. Their test rate is coming back at 30%+ positive. They have no actual data to of what's happening. They are completely unable to even understand the problem. And yet these are the people who are determining our health and well being.

1

themessenger 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Coronavirus is raging out of control all across Europe and the United States. Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Britain are all implementing either further lockdowns or severe restrictions on restaurants, bars, and assemblies yet Bahamians refuse to accept what our government and health authorities are telling us as the truth?
I suppose you also think that the governments and health organizations of the above-mentioned countries are all clueless as well? People like you are not only delusional, you're dangerous!

5

ISpeakFacts 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Please tell me how this health team isn't useless, they haven't done anything right since the start of the pandemic! In fact the current health team hasn't done anything prior to the pandemic!

3

Dawes 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Those countries have told their people the criteria for when lockdowns come and when they will end. Over here we are at the whim of one man who appears to make things up just before he speaks. Who knows maybe he flips a coin to make his decisions. In addition many of his decisions are not based on any facts on the ground but on how he must feel (why is Abaco still closed like Nassau, when other areas are worse). Finally the most important thing is this man has done nothing over the last 7 months except hope it away, so we will have lock down after lockdown, whilst in Europe they are opening all the extra hospital beds they will need.

2

Itsbananas 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Europe enjoyed 4-5 months of no or almost no covid restrictions this summer...yes things have gotten worse again but things were normal for a long time in between. Unlike in the bahamas where it was "normal" for a few weeks before everything got locked down again. But even now, tourists/residents who would want to come arent able to because of course the health visa system isnt properly updated and rejects everyone with a test thats 6 or 7 days old as of november 1. Good luck to you all!

0

Chucky 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The “competent “authority says up north they be in trouble because winter coming and

“More individuals will be indoors in these places. The virus spreads easier indoors where there is poor ventilation,” he said.

But you all dumb mother flucking Bahamians , I want you all indoors as much as possible, all weekend too!

Covid 19 enforcement unit Will be out in force!!!!!

This guys is just like Hitler!!!!!

Minnis is a dangerous and deluded individual, drunk on power, has no idea or intention of fixing or making anything better.

The psychopath is opening the borders to foreigners and locking up citizens !

What more is there to say.

Minnis, just like Hitler, must go! There is no place in this modern world where a person like either, should be allowed to be in n a position of power!

3

JokeyJack 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The entire world is now a Chinese "Re-Education" Camp. Wonder if people think about that when they "dash by the Chinese for a few things" ?

Businesses and some govt offices have been shutting down when ONE person becomes a Covid case. How come that ain't happened to no food store yet?

1

tribanon 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Minnis readily admits its going to be a "dark winter" in the northern hemisphere where most of our tourists have traditionally come from.

He went on to say, “With Fall already here and winter coming, colder countries face a very challenging winter. More individuals will be indoors in these places. The virus spreads easier indoors where there is poor ventilation.”

Yet Minnis and D'Aguilar have somehow very foolishly decided our country can start welcoming visitors and returning residents on November 1 without requiring that they quarantine for 14 days. And they've made this most foolish and stupid decision notwithstanding that our healthcare system remains totally overwhelmed from their last most stupid and foolish decision. That last fateful decision of theirs resulted in the premature reopening of our borders on July 1, at a time when much of the US, especially Florida, was ablaze with a major surge in community spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus.

We had the curve flattened before July 1, but these two blithering idiots (Minnis and D'Aguilar) just couldn't resist letting the Covid-19 virus return to our shores with a vengeance, resulting in the loss of many Bahamian lives. Now it's deja vu all over again. How on earth can Minnis and D'Aguilar justify doing away with the 14-day quarantine period for visitors and returning residents while readily admitting the northern hemishphere is already experiencing a serious resurgence of Covid-19 and will be facing a most challenging "dark winter" compounded by the flu season?!

And then to add insult to his most injurious decisions, Minnis has the nerve to state that Bahamians must get used to cycles that involve tightening and loosening of restrictions because the pandemic will be “with us well into next year”. I must ask again: How much longer are Bahamians prepared to stomach a police state with Minnis as self-annointed dictator with the backing of the very sinister and evil Xi Jinping led communist regime?!

1

whogothere 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Tourists /travelers are the safest individuals to be around right now -who else in the country is getting tested three times in a row...it’s us they got worry about...I ve said from July...tourist were never the problem, just stilupid loopholeS for 72 hour travel...

2

rodentos 5 months, 2 weeks ago

what is getting dark are bahamian homes at night, because people cannot afford the power bill

0

joeblow 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This is what happens when you elect leaders who have not proven that they have decision making abilities. I don't expect them to get everything right, but I do expect them to tweak decisions based on outcomes and to continue that process until we get the best outcome, but this effort is failing on all fronts.

This nation has become an embarrassment and a laughing stock to the world! So sad!

1

tribanon 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Younger care free individuals who feel invincible to the deadly Covid-19 virus will likely comprise most of the relatively few North American tourists who dare to risk visiting our country while we are in the midst of a crisis that has totally overwhelmed our public health system. And many of these younger dare-devil winter tourists will undoubtedly be asymptomatic carriers by virtue of travelling our way from the northern US and Canada which are already experiencing a major wide spread resurgence of the deadly Covid-19 virus. Not good!

1

John 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Le's hope this is the third wave and the final wave for this virus. If US numbers start to decline soon, this will be a sure indicator, especially in the middle of the flu season. BUT if the tourism re-opening is not handled properly and persons with different strains are allowed in the country and interact with locals, there will be spikes on top of surges. So instead of seeing a smooth curve either climbing upwards or declining, there will be spikes. And there will be more hospitalizations and possibly deaths. while social distancing is a means of fighting the virus within a population, keeping populations separate on a global scale helps to fight the virus worldwide.

0

Jetflt 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Not to worry. on Nov 4th it will all be over in the US. Trump will win, lockdowns will be over, and it'll be business as usual and if Minnis keeps this country locked down, tourists will simply go someplace else. There is nothing that the Bahamas has to offer that many other destinations in the Caribbean don't have! Nothing!

2

rodentos 5 months, 2 weeks ago

overadvertised, overpiced, very dirty and bad infrastructure, who would mind to come here?!

1

TalRussell 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The only hope left for the colony of someone who may still be convinced use the power thing of their instruments is if the Chief Justice, His Lordship Comrade Sir Brian, be's prepared to strap-on his big instrument thing to penetrate one man's myth that all power rest in emself. Shakehead once for Yeah what letdown so far we once-beloved Queen is turning out be, Twice for Not?

0

John 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Dr Dahl-Regis said That there has been no flattening in the curve in the second wave. But there has been a trending down of the numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, which is even better than a flattened curve. You would prefer the curve to flatten when the numbers of nee cases fall close to zero or under 20 per day at least. But Dr Regis says they expect the numbers to start increasing again when tourism reopens. So is the country doing the same thing all over again and expecting a different result?

0

ThisIsOurs 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"but warned that Bahamians must get used to cycles that involve tightening and loosening of restrictions"

nothing he says makes sense anymore. a month ago he told us we can't keep moving back and forth. before that he told us testing was unnecessary. he couldn't explain why pharmacies had curbside and foodstores were jammed up.

1

TalRussell 5 months, 2 weeks ago

My Comrade Common, obviously you haven't driven by Mr. Minnis's estate, chiefly built courtesy the monies flowing through hands the wealthiest escaping income excess wealth taxation. The Colony's new and fresh government must be obligated to voters close income inequality gap. Will swiftly upon taking office move to perform Condemnation of Eminent Seizures of private and commercial properties, including private Islands, owned and controlled by the wealthiest with Em's luxury estate slated be first to be Eminent domain targeted for a government conversion to a public repurpose. Shakehead** once for Yeah, Twice for Not?

0

John 5 months, 2 weeks ago

You needs to go back to your country of origin . You are a vexatious spirit!!!

0

ThisIsOurs 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I think this is Tal's country. He probably knows more about it and its history than all of us combined

0

John 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Another thing reporters seemed to have missed (or ignored ) in Dr Dahl Regis presentation was her confirmation that after the corona related deaths are discounted in 2020, the net number of deaths occurring in 2020 is still significantly more than deaths in 2019. So if murders are down by 20-30%) what is contributing to the increase in deaths, especially since deaths due to homicides are said to be down by a significant amount?

0

John 5 months, 2 weeks ago

A clear indication that corona deaths are being understated intentionally or otherwise

0

DWW 5 months, 2 weeks ago

this is a 3 YEAR PROBLEM. stop treating it like it will go away next week. stupid medical establishment. what is the medical establishment plan - to shut down and lock everyone away for 3 years? that is not a solution. go do some proper homework and figure out a work around to deal with it while allowing the economy to survive. shutting every business down is not a solution it is a cowards lazy response. get with it.

0

Sign in to comment