In the United States, there is a prevailing lockdown situation in cities throughout, because of the fear of many more people contracting Coronavirus (Covid-19). The Bahamas due to the proximity to Florida, is a very close neighbor.
As the saying goes: “When the United States sneezes, The Bahamas catches a cold.” Accordingly, as lockdowns become the order of the day in the US, similarly there are closures, abounding in The Bahamas, and, around the nation, there is great concern that at the present pace, more cases, outside of the one recorded (in new Providence, as of the deadline for this column), could result in a national lockdown.
Already, schools have been closed, and, are to stay that way for about a month.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, on Monday past, made an address regarding Coronavirus and the impact on The Bahamas, and, he urged togetherness as we combat a situation that could become overwhelming for us.
On an occasion recently, a noted medical practitioner acknowledged that this country would have a major challenge to facilitate a multiple quarantine process. Providing a suitable place of isolation is a task that could prove insurmountable to our health officials. Also, there is the issue of doing testing.
Mass testing would be a problem, probably an impossibility, in this country.
To put it bluntly, because we lack the capacity to handle all of the testing and quarantine situations that will become necessary if Coronavirus spreads to an alarming degree in The Bahamas, lockdowns might be the best options.
We believe that the time has come for Minister of health Dr. Duane Sands, his associates in the government health environment; and all health care personnel to paut their heads together and come up with a way to deal with a spread of Coronavirus.
The time to seriously address all of the factors as they relate to us and what we lack, is now. There is still ample travel between islands. God forbid, but a case of Coronavirus in individual Family Islands, particularly, those less affluent ones, would be a huge disaster.
Proprietors of businesses are now on watch for what could come. The government could very well order restaurants and lounges to close for a period, to lessen the chances of Coronavirus spreading.
The government could decide to play it safe.
Other places of employments, where employees have to be in constant contact because of working conditions, ought to be on the lookout for what the government might determine next.
We trust the government to have lengthy consultation with health experts, and, act accordingly.
We fully support the government, as it seeks to address this global issue.
The lockdowns are expected to continue.