Thursday 2 April, 2020

PM Minnis: No COVID-19 in the Bahamas; gov't will remain vigilant

Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Dr Hubert Minnis

Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Dr Hubert Minnis

The Bahamas government is ramping up efforts to safeguard against the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said the government and its health officials have been instructed to do everything in their power to combat, communicate and if needed, contain the health risk.

“As a husband, father and grandfather, the outbreak of COVID-19 is a matter of grave concern. As a doctor is it equally concerning,” he said.

Despite there being an increase in the number of countries with reported cases of the virus globally, PM Minnis said to date there are no confirmed, suspected or recorded cases of the coronavirus in the Bahamas.

He said “I want to be clear that when it comes to public health threats the Government will not take any chances. We take this outbreak very seriously. We will utilise the resources necessary to ensure the safety of all Bahamians and residents. Public health is an absolute priority. I have been monitoring this on a daily basis and getting regular updates from health officials.”

According to Prime Minister Minnis the Bahamas Health Ministry has developed a national preparedness and response plan to ensure optimal readiness and response to COVID-19. He said they’ve also been providing regular public updates via press briefing, official statements, daily dashboards capturing essential information related to the virus and public service announcements.

PM Minnis said misinformation usually spreads quickly and can cause distress and panic, while undermining the public health response. Because of this, he thinks it imperative that the public rely on certified, credible sources of information to stay up to date and properly informed about COVID-19 in the Bahamas.

“The Ministry has also established a Task Force made up of key personnel from various Government agencies, including Customs and Immigration, the Port Department, Tourism, Foreign Affairs, and the Police and the Defence forces.”

He said the government will soon establish a National Coordinating Committee which will include relevant members of civil society, in addition to Government representatives.

Speaking after Sundays CARICOM heads of government meeting, PM Minnis said Caribbean leaders will remain vigilant and proactive while attempting to find balance in its overall response to COVID-19.



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