PM says extended emergency orders “absolutely necessary…you break curfew, we lock you up”
New app to monitor quarantined cases
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced this morning that individuals in quarantine who breach the self-quarantine requirements could be fined $20,000 and/or imprisoned for five years.
The prime minister underscored the concerns of health officials, who have bemoaned instances of non-compliance among those quarantined.
As of yesterday, there were nearly 800 people in quarantine.
Minnis said officials have tested a new app to optimize the intent of quarantine, and to simultaneously enhance support and monitoring.
By downloading the app, quarantined and isolated individuals can use their cellphones in a manner similar to a walkie-talkie, he said.
Minnis tabled a resolution in the House of Assembly extending the state of emergency in The Bahamas to May 30.
He said he understands “hurting” workers and businesses will be disappointed, but insisted the “short-term sacrifice and pain is absolutely necessary”.
“It is need Mr. Speaker to reduce the spread of the virus,” the prime minister said.
“To protect the health and safety of those we love.
“And to revive our economy as quickly as possible.”
The prime minister announced that the shopping schedules remains in place.
The 24-hour curfew remains in effect during weekdays.
Complete lockdowns will continue each weekend on Friday at 9pm until Monday at 5am in May.
Minnis thanked all healthcare workers, law enforcement agencies, and others on the frontline battling the virus.
He acknowledged that these men and women place themselves at risk to save others.
The prime minister asked for Bahamians to wear a colour of the national flag tomorrow in a show of solidarity amid the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Minnis said: “They are heroes who never expected to be called to such a duty, but are nonetheless serving us in one of our greatest hour of need.”
As of last week, there were 15 healthcare workers infected with COVID-19, and another 200 healthcare workers out of the system, in quarantine, due to potential exposure.
As of yesterday, there were 80 confirmed cases of the virus in The Bahamas.
Twenty-two people have recovered.
Eleven people have died.