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Officials 'Expecting Bahamians To Be Disciplined' As Curfews End

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

WITH the country’s state of emergency now over— bringing an end to curfews and lockdowns—Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville said officials are expecting Bahamians to be disciplined during this new period.

New health regulations have been introduced to allow the Ministry of Health and Wellness to guide the nation during the pandemic after the cessation of emergency orders. The state of emergency and associated emergency orders came to an end at 12am on Saturday.

Some have questioned if the government will be minded to reintroduce curfews at some point.

Asked about the matter at a press conference on Friday, Dr Darville said: “We understand the science. We understand what curfews mean. We’re not convinced that curfews (are) a true reflection of the science and of the reduction of the community spread.

“It has a place because when you have a curfew you actually can limit the movement of an individual at a particular time. What we’re saying is that we’re expecting Bahamians to be disciplined. We need to move forward.”

There is some concern that COVID-19 cases will spike with the state of emergency and emergency orders now over.

However, the minister expressed confidence in the steps being taken so far.

“As it stands right now, our numbers are going down and we actually changed the curfew hours (in September) and so I want to speak on what is in place now. As a government, we have the opportunity to use a lot of different techniques and tools if the pandemic gets in a particular position. That’s why we have an advisory committee. The advisory committee with our technical support team will guide us on whatever we need to do to protect lives, families and prevent person-to-person spread,” he said.

He said the government is focused on managing the pandemic through legislation—not a state of emergency.

“... I’m confident we’ve come this far as a result of instituting quite a bit of new policies and testing it and we feel confident that as we stand now with curfew being rolled back a few hours when we got back (in office) and the numbers are going down. It is obvious that Bahamians are executing the necessary public health protocols and I feel confident that with the grace of God we’ll continue (on) this trajectory….”

He said the government has metrics and guidelines from other countries and the Pan American Health Organization to follow if case numbers increase.

“We have metrics and we have guidelines that have come our way from different countries and through PAHO and WHO and things that we need to do when we see numbers going up, things that we can do when we see the numbers going down.

“So there is a lot of literature out there and our technical team, our responsibility is to review.”

He highlighted the difficulty of managing cases in Family Islands and the logistics needed to move those individuals to the capital for advanced healthcare. The clinics are being looked at and there are resources now being put in place to be able to upgrade clinics as well as have isolation facilities on those islands.

“When you look at our steering committee or our consultative committee you’ll see people from all walks of life. We’re contemplating adding a legal person on board and some other individuals…

“….We are preparing. We have metrics…COVID is brand new. We listen to what the Harvard (group) may say or other (groups) and we try to implement the best tools possible to manage the pandemic in our setting.”

As for tertiary healthcare resources, Dr Darville explained: “We have resources at our tertiary healthcare facilities. Maybe not adequate. My job is to find additional resources and bed space. I’m looking at that.

“Unfortunately, brick and mortar, that takes a while. So that’s not a short-term thing for me. I have to find access to additional field hospitals or the possibility for us to be able to do something very quickly as other countries in the Caribbean has done and so I’m looking.”

Comments

Cobalt 2 months ago

Did this man just use “Bahamians” and “Disciplined” in the same sentence??? That’s the textbook example of an oxymoron.

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annmon 2 months ago

His head must be deep in the sand.

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bahamianson 2 months ago

He is setting it up to blame Bahamians if something goes wrong. Actually, he is no better than Minnis when Minnis chadtised Bahamians during the high point of the pandemic. He is talking down to us just like Minnis.

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Cobalt 2 months ago

Nope! I disagree with your sentiments. When it comes to the masses, Bahamian people have proven irrational, unreasonable, unruly and foolish. As the adage goes “stupid is what stupid does. Cautioning Bahamians against foolish behavior doesn’t mean that he’s “talking down” to us. He’s simply saying “please don’t be foolish”. The government wants the economy to return to some sense of normalcy and in order to achieve that COVID numbers must remain low.

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bahamianson 2 months ago

I am agreeing with you, Cobalt. Minnis was telling the Bahamian populace the same thing ,and the PLP made it political. They said that minnis was talking down to the masses.

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Cobalt 2 months ago

Oh sorry. I misunderstood.

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BMW 2 months ago

simply put if you play stupid games you win stupid prizes.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

People are going to party like its 1999 because thats what people EVERYWHERE do and have done after being coupled up. Nothing to do with "Bahamians" and some localized inability to "behave".

If you dont want people to party the solution is simple, keep them couped up or prepare proper controls to prevent it. Since people partied last year November as well with declining COVID numbers, Id focus more on the borders, its new strains "entering" the ciuntry that will get us

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ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

Im not saying not to remove the curfew, I think they should be removed. Im saying dont deceive yourself about the reaction and have a plan (nom-harassing) to monitor

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JanetG 2 months ago

Everyone has to try their hand and hopefully put a face on it. We know our chickens well. Lol

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sheeprunner12 2 months ago

We expected this nonsense from the PLP. They just wanted brownie points over the FNM. What if the ppl just go wild and pay NO attention to this law? Then what?

Darville is a real joker ....... Big talker, no substance

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ted4bz 2 months ago

This is unrealistic, many countries getting stricter and going into more stricter measures of covid-19 and we are getting out? I do not think so. However, the PLP has always been smoother than the FNM. If there is a plan to introduce more stricter measures reducing the chance of losing supporters, well, you do it like this, you allow the people to do it for you. You allow them to trap themselves into what’s in store and blame them for what is to be unleash upon them. They know the masses will not act in any responsible and discipline way. But this is a way to cushion the blow and get them to blame themselves for the punishment that is coming, because more restrictions are coming.

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ted4bz 2 months ago

This is also setting up the people to be less prepared. Sad trickery!

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tribanon 2 months ago

WITH the country’s state of emergency ending at midnight—bringing an end to curfews— Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville said officials are expecting Bahamians to be disciplined during this new period.

LMAO. No one needs more disciplining than Darville himself. As I've been saying all along, all of us need to keep a real close eye on everything this scoundrel does. And he's well known to use deflection and distraction to try keep the public's eye off of his 'dastardly doings' and conflict of interest deals behind the scenes.

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ohdrap4 2 months ago

As it relates to social gatherings, no more than 20 people can gather at a facility or private residence once all attendees have been fully vaccinated or have taken

Who gonna count? Lol.

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ohdrap4 2 months ago

According to the orders, where a resident of a household displays symptoms, the head of the household or his nearest relative or someone in charge of the home, shall “as soon he becomes aware or suspects” COVID-19 to inform a medical practitioner.

WHERE IS THE CONCENTRATION CAMP? THE CORONA HOTEL?

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FrustratedBusinessman 2 months ago

Curfews were over on a de facto basis anyways. Having one from 12-5am is pointless, unless you are trying to stop the goons from stealing anything in the wee hours of the morning.

Curfews were easily the most non-sensical part of the Minnis administration's response to COVID.

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tribanon 2 months ago

Unwanted, unjust and unconstitutional laws passed by elected legislators who have betrayed the trust of the people who elected them usually result in government not being taken seriously and promote a general state of lawlessness.

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John 2 months ago

THE FOURTH WAVE IS RAGING in Russia, Europe and parts of the USA. Despite this, the US opened its borders to many of the countries that are affected. And some countries are seeing high numbers of cases amongst the vaccinated and those who have taken a third booster shot. And even though hospitalizations and deaths may not be significant amongst these groups, the potential to spread the virus is great because of the absence of symptoms. Of course some of these people can enter The Bahamas through the US. And there are reports that the numbers of new cases on fully vaccinated cruise ships is increasing. So what plans does this country have to deal with the fourth wave? Wait until the numbers increase significantly and the health care system becomes overwhelmed again? Most experts don’t expect the fourth wave to be as intense, deadly or long lasting as the Delta wave, but it’s impact will be determined by the level of preparedness it meets a population in. And if you are caught with your guard down…ok then

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jamesg30 2 months ago

John, when you cannot convince people to get vaccinated, I agree with you. This problem is never going away. We know that. But the intensity of the surges is all based upon who is vaccinated and who is not. I have been reading all kinds of posts for months related to people's conspiracy riddled ideas about the vaccine. Unfortunately, unless the goverment mandates everyone get vaccinated? This little country of ours is going to have many ongoing problems. I am on the same page as you and the U.S. has its group of anti-vaxers that are idiots and adding to the inability of that country to get some level of stabilization.

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tribanon 2 months ago

Why don't you two get together and jab each other? That would make you both very happy.

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licks2 2 months ago

Without an emergency order based on Chapter 43 there can be no curtailing of constitutional powers to because of an emergency!! For example, nobody can tell to wear a face mask if I do not want to. . .or tell me who I can associate with. . .the constitution says that I can associate with whom I wish. . .not whom I am told to associate with!!

There can be no curfew, quarinteen etc. either!! According to my constitution no other person except a judge can "confine" me to any facility!!

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