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PM Sets Curfew

Prime Minister Minnis Addresses Press Conference - COVID 19 Emergency Orders - March 19, 2020

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced the implementation of a curfew, which commences today, as a temporary measure to assist in the fight against the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.

The curfew begins each night from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. and will expire on March 31, 2020 at 9 a.m.

According the prime minister, the curfew will end after consultation with medical professionals.

Yesterday, the prime minister, along with the attorney general, the minister of health, Cabinet ministers and health officials addressed the media on the emergency orders as they come into effect.

 “I stress that these are temporary measures. It is critical that we work together to fight this threat. We can only win this battle together,” Dr. Minnis said.

 As this unstable and deadly virus speared, these strong measures are intended to save lives, to protect the health of Bahamians.  

“All of us must play a role in protecting our health and the health of our families and loved ones, and the health of others, especially older individuals and other vulnerable to this virus,” Dr. Minnis added.  

According to the curfew, all establishments, institutions and business organizations shall suspend operations to the general public.

However, there are exceptions to some businesses that would be open during designated times.

Wholesale or retail grocery, framers markets, pharmacies, gas stations, airports, laundromats, commercial ports and related businesses would be open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Banks will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Drive thru restaurants and take away food vendors will be open from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Construction companies carrying out construction work will operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There are no time restriction for doctor’s offices, hospitals and medical facilities, medical supply establishments, hotels and airports.

However, other businesses may operate after receiving in writing permission from the competent authority.

The prime minister added that order doesn’t affect the services of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Fire Services, the Department of Correctional Services, the National Insurance Board, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Environmental Health Services, the Department of Immigration, the Customs Department, waste and sanitation workers, staff within any hospital or medical facility and print media. 

 Also, if a person, business or organization does not follow the order, they will face fines, imprisonments or both not exceeding $10,000 or 18 months in prison.

Dr. Minnis reassured that the governments has made the necessary and significant    steps to deal with virus.

“We have made significant strides in the preparedness measures the government has put in place to deal with this coronavirus,” he said.

Additionally, he announced that to help increase medical staff needed to tackle COVID-19, nurses who have completed their training and successfully completed their examinations will be appointed effective immediately.

Currently, The Bahamas has three confirmed cases of COVID-19, 11 persons in quarantine and 31 persons have been released from quarantine.  

Written by Jones Bahamas

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