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Curfew relaxed as six more die

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Philip Davis said a decision was made to extend the nightly curfew to 11.59pm because there was “no rhyme or reason” for the restriction previously being set at 9pm under the former Minnis administration.

He said with the appointment of a new Health Minister today and further discussions with health advisors, a decision will be made on either keeping curfews or eliminating them altogether.

The news comes as six more COVID-19 deaths were confirmed in data released over the weekend.

Mr Davis amended the Emergency Powers Order on Friday to change the curfew time.

Effective on Friday, the new curfew was changed to be between 11.59pm and 5am, Monday-Sunday on Andros, Abaco, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, Exuma and New Providence.

Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis had first amended the curfew to 11.59pm for Election Day to accommodate officials working with ballots. His intention was to revert to the 9pm curfew the next day, according to the previous order.

 However, the Progressive Liberal Party ended up sweeping the Free National Movement out of office.

 When he spoke on the issue on Saturday, Mr Davis said his new administration was in the process of getting the nuts and bolts together regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “That decision was made in the context of it having been 11.59 the night before and there seemed to be no rhyme nor reason for keeping it at 9 and so that decision was made,” he told reporters. “Fortunately, I had a conversation and have met already with Dr (Merceline) Dahl-Regis who’s been leading the charge and the fight, the front lines of this pandemic.

 “On Monday after the appointment of my Minister of Health, we’ll be quickly getting into the nuts and bolts of where we are, what we have to do now to get it done to ensure that we get this pandemic under control.”

 He continued: “Curfews on the face of it from the medical information that we have is not a tool that is effective against the fight, but I am to get more information on that in the coming weeks and we’ll decide how we’ll move forward with curfews or not at all.

“That’s after having further conversations with the medical experts.”

 In an interview on Saturday, co-chair of the PLP’s COVID-19 task force Dr Michael Darville said he would be ready to serve in whatever capacity the Prime Minister required.

 Dr Darville, who served as minister of state for Grand Bahama in the last Christie administration, further explained why the new administration extended the curfew.

 “We made a decision that we have to balance between our economy and COVID. There is a section of the Bahamian business community that has been completely eliminated. If we do not act we will have individuals continuously go out of business and many people who are unemployed waiting for the opportunity to get back to work. We have to be very wise and we need to go by a (step-by-step) approach.

 “We believe going to 12 o’clock will not be an issue as far as the cases of COVID. I must say this: what we intend to do immediately is police it.

 “It is important that if you have put laws in place you must be able to police the laws to ensure that they are enforced so we must begin to improve and expand upon our COVID policing and the Bahamian people must realise the economy is essential, but COVID is here.”

Health officials could not be reached for comment yesterday on the curfew change.

 On the campaign trail, Mr Davis promised to end the Emergency Orders and govern by ordinary legislation.

 A new session of Parliament is set to begin on October 6.

Comments

M0J0 10 months, 4 weeks ago

what curfew have to do with it, during a 9 pm curfew there were murders beyond that curfew.

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Cobalt 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Here we go! The guns that were pointed at Minnis’s head are now pointed and Phillip Davis’s head! And Bahamian people are expecting him to make apple pie out of dog shit! I hope he has all the right answers! Let’s see if he can live up to his promises.

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bahamian242 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Well the Nigger asked for the JOB, and thats what its all about!

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baclarke 10 months, 4 weeks ago

The curfew is practically pointless at this point. Move on sir, don't even waste your time. Thank you for extending it to 12PM. Those who wish to be indoors by 9PM can certainly continue to do so by their choice.

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ohdrap4 10 months, 4 weeks ago

The headline us asinine. How many of the dead were curfew violators?

Last year they attributed increase in deaths to Covid, but now they do not want to debit the death tha DID not happen because of the flu.

The media should stop the hysteria.

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