Writer: Macushla Pinder
COVID-19 hotspot Grand Bahama has been placed on a two-week lockdown amid a continued surge in such cases in recent days.
The lockdown will take effect Thursday, July 23 at 7:00pm, ending on Friday, August 7th at 5:00am.
Prime Minister the Most Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis made the announcement just two days after forewarning Grand Bahama of the possible need to take stricter measures after an increasing number of COVID-19 cases on that island.
To date, The Bahamas has recorded 59 cases since reopening its borders to international travel. Grand Bahama accounts for some 51 of those cases.
This leaves Grand Bahama to have the largest number of recorded cases in the country outside of New Providence.
“A lockdown like this is not something that would have been preferred,” the prime minister said.
“But it is absolutely necessary because things will get much worse on Grand Bahama if we don’t take this strong measure now. I know that a measure like this even further disrupts daily life and economic activity, but we are in an emergency situation. We must work now to stop the spread of the virus on Grand Bahama before it gets even more out of control.”
Stricter prevention measures on Grand Bahama will also see an end to domestic flights in and out of that island beginning at 6:00pm.
“Residents are urged to make the necessary preparations for the lockdown,” he said.
“I want to assure the residents of Grand Bahama that there are adequate food supplies on the island at all the food stores. It is important that residents do not overcrowd the food stores as this may contribute to the spread of COVID-19.”
During the lockdown, foodstores will be allowed to operate Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 5:00pm while pharmacies, water depots and gas stations from 7:00am to 1:00pm for the general public.