Thursday 2 April, 2020

Bahamas closes public schools and expands COVID-19 travel restrictions

Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Dr Hubert Minnis.

The Bahamas has stepped up efforts to prevent coronavirus (COVID-19) from spreading after officials confirmed the island’s first case in a 61-year-old woman, who did not travel out of the country.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis addressed the nation on Sunday night saying schools will be closed from March 16 to April 14th.

All national sporting events have also been postponed until further notice.

He said: “As prime minister and as a medical doctor, the health, safety and well-being of the Bahamian people are my greatest priority.”

“I have instructed every Government Ministry and Agency to be in full preparedness mode.”

“Our response must be across the board and includes all of us working together to fight Covid-19. The behaviour and response of individual citizens, families, churches, schools and others are as essential as the response by the Government.”

A quarantine centre has been set up at the Doctors’ Hospital on Blake Road, Nassau to treat infected individuals.

“This facility will be secured by Defence Force Officers.  No visitors will be allowed into the facility unless authorized. We are securing another facility for quarantine purposes,” Minnis stated.

Foreigners who travelled to Europe, China, Iran and South Korea within the last 20 days will be denied entry into The Bahamas.

All Bahamians returning from these locations will be quarantined or placed in self-isolation.

The Prime Minister said this list will be continuously monitored and updated.

The Government is also discouraging non-essential travel by Bahamians.

Minnis has called on citizens to take measures to prevent themselves from contracting COVID-19 including the washing of hands and social distancing.

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