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Govt. to extend state of emergency to May 30

EyeWitness News Coronavirus April 27, 2020 at 3:50 am Royston Jones Jr.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A resolution to extend the state of emergency to May 30 is expected to be tabled in Parliament today. The extension of the emergency orders would provide for the competent authority — the prime minister — to continue existing measures, including the 24-hour curfew and weekend lockdowns. The lockdowns in effect every weekend between Friday at 9pm and Monday at 5am, require all non-essential workers to remain in their homes. It remains to be seen if the complete lockdown will continue. According to the resolution, obtained by Eyewitness News, the Emergency Powers Act provides that all emergency regulations, shall remain where the existence of a state of public emergency in The Bahamas as a result of the presence and effect of the virus in The Bahamas continues; and it continues to be “necessary and expedient for securing public safety, the defense of The Bahamas, the maintenance of public order, the suppression of mutiny, rebellion and riot, and for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life and well-being of the community to continue in force”. A state of emergency was declared on March 17, after the country recorded its first case on March 13. A resolution was passed in the House of Assembly and Senate on March 30, extending the order to April 8. The order was extended again on April 6 to the end of the month. During a Ministry of Health press conference last week, Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, health consultant to the prime minister, said health experts recommended the lockdowns continue past April. On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced some easement of the restrictions as he declared home stores, auto part stores and plant nurseries were allowed to open on certain days. Cases of COVID-19 in the country climbed to 80 yesterday. To date, 22 people have recovered. Eleven people have died.

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