EDITORIAL: Commissioner claims curfews have no effect on crime

THE biggest issue facing The Bahamas before the election remains the biggest issue facing the nation after the election.

We have had the pomp and ceremony of swearing in new MPs, a new Prime Minister, a host of ministers and the Speech from the Throne – and COVID-19 is still spreading, still infecting people, and sadly still claiming too many lives.

Dr Duane Sands may no longer be in Parliament, but his voice still speaks loudly when it comes to dealing with the pandemic.

The death toll now stands at 605, and the numbers of fatalities have been climbing shockingly.

Or at least it should be shocking – but how the public is reacting to this spike in deaths is one area where Dr Sands is concerned.

“It is almost as if they’ve become numb to it,” he said.

“Literally people are dying in droves. The numbers tell a horrible story.”

Dying in droves. Think on that for a moment.

We have seen ourselves an increase in the number of obituaries received at The Tribune – every week this newspaper is carrying extra pages for our obituaries section at present and there seems little sign of that relenting.

For those who have become numb to the constant rise in deaths, we urge you to read the story of Rosa Bastian and her mother, who both fell ill with COVID and had to be airlifted out of Mangrove Cay on Wednesday last week.

Ms Bastian died on Friday, while being prepared for transfer from a tent at Princess Margaret Hospital to Doctors Hospital.

Her last voice note to friends and family, in a breathless voice, asked for prayers. She said: “I request your prayers… all of you. My mom and I are COVID-19 positive. We’re doing our best, but we could always use some prayers. So please pray for us. Thank you so much.”

It was the last they would hear from her.

Our hospitals remain overwhelmed. As Dr Sands says, “We do not have the critical care nursing capacity to manage what’s happening in the hospital. That is a categorical statement. That’s not an opinion.”

So what do we do? Dr Sands says: “Where we are right now, unless we are prepared to accept a certain level of scheduled deaths, we’re going to need to modify dramatically policy and our behaviour.

“Either we are going to accept that a number of us die because of the number of ventilators that we have, the number of critical care nurses we have, the number of beds that we can’t staff or we’re going to make changes so that we bring the number of new cases of COVID in line with what we’re able to manage safely and adequately.”

Dr Sands is of course a former Health Minister in the previous administration. The man in that role now is Dr Michael Darville who has a different opinion. He says he doesn’t believe additional restrictions are necessary as infection rates are currently “going down”.

This should not be a matter for party politics, of course. This is a battle measured in grim metrics – how many are dying, how many are in intensive care.

Dealing with the pandemic was going to be the biggest challenge for any new government, regardless of who won the election. For the PLP, this was not a disaster of their making, but it is a disaster they have inherited and have to deal with.

We cannot become numb to the mounting deaths of our brothers and sisters. We cannot shrug it off as the price we must pay for reopening the economy.

Every life, such as that of Rosa Bastian, is precious and we have to do what we can to save each one.

Campaign pledges by the PLP, such as free testing for COVID, need to be implemented as a priority if that is how they see us getting through this battle.

Until then, we have to be prepared to sometimes put our foot on the brake again, and introduce restrictions where needed if it will help our overwhelmed health system.

The new government has the biggest job to do that could possibly be asked of it. Our lives are very much in their hands. We must do nothing less than all that is necessary.


Cobalt 11 months, 3 weeks ago

What an idiotic statement by Michael Darville. COVID numbers are not on the decline. To the contrary, COVID numbers as well as COVID related deaths are actually on the increase. It’s clear to me that the PLP’s only recourse is to deny the existence of the COVID crisis while simultaneously selling stupid, gullible Bahamians on a pipe-dream. Impractical promises coupled with delusional expectations sown in lies. The PLP criticized the Minnis government for their handling of the pandemic knowing that they themselves had no solutions. They politicized the COVID-19 crisis and now that they are in the driver seat their only action seems to be mitigating the severity of the crisis. The PLP sold ignorant, unreasonable, illogical, non-thinking Bahamians on unattainable assurances and hyperbole. And trust me Mr. Darville, this will come back to bite you no matter how much rubbish you talk.


carltonr61 11 months, 3 weeks ago

According to data covid goes with stages and few doctors are using or recommending earlier intervention or pre intervention. The sands policy only dealt with the last stages near death or critical. The new government policy may rely on an earlier intervention policy that has saved millions of hospitalizations and deaths. Even vaccine maker phyzer is introducing a first response pill of Protease Inhibitors. Just one covid intervenvention by a one eye man at the pre death stage for going on two years with grim results as a constant should not be a wise move to follow by Danville.sands policy is nothing new with death the only result. Ivermectin Protease Inhibitor deals with covid in its infancy the only grim option used by sands has a known grim result.


sheeprunner12 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The PLP fought the FNM on every Covid policy that was implemented ......... Now they are in the chair, so fix it.

People are not numb to it, they just won't follow Covid protocols and believe that the vaccine is the cure-all ............ That was the lie that the WHO/PAHO spread and Bahamians believed it.

We have local concoctions that work just as good as hospital care, but doctors are robots


John 11 months, 3 weeks ago

When the police is looking for a suspect, they would normally put out wanted posters and ask the public to not only be on the lookout for the suspects . But to call the police if the suspects are spotted. Now this same incredibly, unbelievable and credibility damaged Commissioner says they are chasing suspects in the Great Jerome Avenue Massacre. One , he claims is now dead, and others have fled the jurisdiction. But no names, no one identified, not even the dead suspect. Do you honestly believe this incredible Commissioner?
. . And his comments that the curfews and lockdowns had no effect on crime. This man must be drinking flit for kool aid and then some. All one has to ask is ‘when do most crimes occur.’ And coincidentally or not, most crimes happens during the same hours of curfew and lockdown. The Commissioner only needs to go through his logs for last year: when curfew was from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am, how many crimes happened betwix those hours? And when the curfew was moved to 8:00pm to 5:00 am and likewise when it was moved to 10:00pm. And now that the curfew starts at midnight, how many crimes happened between midnight and 5:00 am? Turn check to see if there was any significant increases in crime during the non curfew/lockdown hours? Now maybe the Commissioner can explain how he came to the conclusion that curfews had no effect on crime


sheeprunner12 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The COP is singing for his job ..... Whatever Brave & Wayne want, he has to say. Simple


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