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CONDITIONAL RELEASE: PM says “no need” for state of emergency…once enough Bahamians vaccinated

EyeWitnessNews LocalJuly 17, 2021July 17, 2021 at 3:55 am Sloan Smith

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks with Eyewitness News on Friday, July 16, 2021, during a tour on Eleuthera.

10 new COVID-19 deaths confirmed; seven reclassified deaths

“Once we receive our vaccines, you can be assured that Bahamians will be reporting in droves to receive the jabs”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday assured that once vaccination numbers “reach a certain level”, the state of emergency could be allowed to end.

Asked whether the government intends to move forward with ending the COVID-19 emergency orders when the current state of emergency ends on August 13, the prime minister said he does not see the “need” for it once enough Bahamians are vaccinated.

Speaking to reporters on the matter during a Family Island tour on Eleuthera yesterday, Minnis pointed to global trends that show people dying with COVID being non-vaccinated.

“We are aggressively pursuing obtaining vaccines so that we can vaccinate our nation,” he said.

“What we are finding worldwide, those individuals who are becoming ill are the non-vaccinated individuals, those who are being hospitalized are the non-vaccinated and those who are dying are the non-vaccinated.

“Therefore, we know the solution moving forward is to vaccinate our population and that’s why we are presently pursuing four fronts to obtain as many vaccines as possible.”

The prime minister’s comments came as health officials confirmed 10 additional COVID-19 deaths over the past few days and reclassified eight COVID-19 deaths previously listed as “under investigations”. All of the reclassified deaths except for one were deemed COVID-related.

The newly reported deaths include a 35-year-old man from Bimini who died on July 3; a 34-year-old woman from Eleuthera who died on July 6; a 79-year-old woman from New Providence who died on July 14; three 53-year-old men from New Providence who died on July 7, July 10 and July 13; a 31-year-old woman from New Providence who died on July 11; an 87-year-old woman from New Providence who died on July 12; and two men from New Providence, aged 51 and 61, who died on July 13.

The COVID-related deaths previously under investigation were all registered on Grand Bahama and included a 103-year-old woman; an 88-year-old woman; a 65-year-old man; an 82-year-old woman, a 72-year-old woman, a 50-year-old man, and a 44-year-old man.

Last week, officials confirmed that a 5-month-old baby girl died on June 26.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths stands at 273, with another 22 under investigation.

Up to Thursday, The Bahamas had 13,404 confirmed cases, with 980 active.

Minnis said yesterday he is certain the Bahamian populace will present themselves to take the vaccine once available.

“Once we receive our vaccines, you can be assured that Bahamians will be reporting in droves to receive the jabs, and once we reach a certain level, I don’t see the need (for emergency orders),” he said.

“In addition to the vaccine, once individuals remain disciplined and follow the protocols.

“I think seeing what’s happening around the world, we will be extremely disciplined.”

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