Let there be no doubt that we are in full support of The Government of The Bahamas, as it seeks to lead the country through this additional crisis (coronavirus), that confronts Grand Bahamians and Abaconians, while we are yet grappling with the major issues caused by Hurricane Dorian, some six months ago.
This is indeed, a time for a great focus on perseverance, but for the people of Grand Bahama and Abaco, our challenge is compounded by the double-feature crisis. It’s for this reason, we call upon the government to make an effort to be more explicit, going forward. The National Emergency Act clearly enunciates the powers of the prime minister and his government.
It would be more preferable, however, if the dictates from the government are more precise, to give all and sundry, a clear idea of how to function. Our government, as have others throughout the world, is emphasizing the need for Bahamians to be on one accord during this “battle,” as PM Dr. Minnis put it during his House of Assembly presentation on Monday.
In the United States, that great nation of which we are in many instances, a mere extension of, restaurants have been closed, other operations have interrupted their schedules, and there is great urgency in dealing with the coronavirus, which had killed up to 150 as of our deadline and had nearly 10,000 reported cases.
We don’t know how to factor our situation best, because of our limitations.
It is appreciated that test kits are on order, however if the virus persists for months, The Bahamas will require many more than 5,000 test kits. Here in Grand Bahama, greater precaution must be taken regarding the indiscriminate travel, without screening. The countless domestic flights out of, and, into Grand Bahama, cater to thousands of travelers weekly. They are not screened.
Accordingly, the situation can’t really be monitored properly.
We have no means, actually, to determine just who and how many have contracted coronavirus. This is not a good situation to be in. So, while, we do give our full support to the government, we urge the heightening of efforts to better monitor the scenario.
Grave problems could be just around the corner, if movement in and outside of the island remains indiscriminate, with no crosschecks for coronavirus. We are already facing an uphill struggle, as was noted by Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar. He said: “The simple, yet inconceivable reality we all need to grasp, is that there will be no tourists. It’s fundamental that we as Bahamians understand both the short and the long-term impacts of COVID-19 will have on our tourism industry. Life as we knew it will be uprooted for the next 30, 60, 90 days.”
We agree with Minister D’Aguilar and thus hasten to point out to the government that there is indeed the need for greater precision in advising us, as to our options, in the effort to best negate the spreading of coronavirus.