NATIONAL ADDRESS (2) – COVID-19
The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis
23 March 2020
My Fellow Bahamians and Residents:
The COVID-19 virus and threat that the world and The Bahamas are facing is a matter of life and death.
While most people who contract the virus will recover, many have died and many more will die around the world.
More than fifteen thousand people have died around the world so far.
What is frightening is that we do not know how many people will suffer from the virus and how many will die.
This virus is so serious and so potentially dangerous for some, that people are dying in large numbers in the richest, the most powerful and the more developed countries in the world.
In the worst hit places they announce hundreds of deaths per day – with the highest toll so far being near 800 dead in one day in a country in Europe.
Those countries have more resources than The Bahamas.
Yet, they are having the greatest difficulty fighting this virus.
We cannot afford to let this deadly and dangerous virus spread widely in our country. If we do we will have many deaths.
But let me tell you what we do possess as a country, what we are doing and what we must do, together!
We have tried to act earlier and more decisively than a number of other countries.
But, we should have no false sense of security.
As Prime Minister, as a medical doctor and as a former Minister of Health, who has had to deal with deadly viruses before, I had to act decisively and quickly to protect the Bahamian people.
During this crisis, we put in place emergency orders as soon as possible.
But now, we must do even more in order to save lives. We are in a race against time.
So, tonight I am announcing additional extraordinary and emergency measures contained within a new and additional Emergency Order, entitled “Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (NO. 2) Order, 2020.
These additional measures have been agreed to by the Leader of the Opposition, who I consulted with at the Office of the Prime Minister earlier today.
To ensure that the public understands what the Emergency Order entails and to answer questions, the Attorney General will appear on local talk shows.
A representative from the Official Opposition is expected to do the same.
We will keep you informed with the best information we have at the moment during what is a fast-moving and rapidly evolving battle.
These new Emergency Powers and Regulations come into force at 9 am tomorrow March 24, 2020 and will expire on 31, March, 2020 at 9 am.
Let me emphasize that the Order that came into effect last week remains in effect.
This new Order and the previous Order may be found at opm.gov.bs, which I encourage you to visit for information.
I now advise you of a number of the new provisions and measures.
To read the update in its entirety click here.
Source: Office of the Prime Minister