I want to begin my brief statement by expressing condolences to the family and friends of the two COVID-19 patients who have passed away. We pray for the dead and their families during this time of grief and sorrow. After my remarks health officials will provide you with more information. As I said repeatedly, physical distancing remains one of the most important ways to protect one’s health and the health of others.
There are still too many people on the road and going out and about. Unfortunately, some people are not taking this seriously. We have stepped police enforcement including in hot spots. I once again repeat to Family Island residents to stay at home and not to visit other settlements or communities. Because there is a surge and community spread, the Government has decided, based on the advice of health officials that effective 8pm tonight, Friday the 3rd of April, a complete shutdown of all services will be implemented until Monday the 6th of April at 5am.
The only personnel not affected by the complete shutdown are:
hotels with guests
the Royal Bahamas Police Force
the Royal Bahamas Defence Force the OPBAT operations
and essential workers at BPL
and Water and Sewerage.
Let me also note that the ferries which operate between Abaco and various Abaco Cays are also restricted from operating during this period.
At 5am on Monday, April 6, 2020, the previous 24-hour-curfew, including the previous exemptions will be back in effect. I have consulted with the Leader of the Opposition, who has also agreed with these necessary measures, which are designed to limit the spread of the various and to save lives and to protect health. I note that a number of countries have implemented such necessary restrictions. We are in a fight to protect lives. These restrictions are absolutely necessary. I implore you to follow the advice of health officials.
The life that you protect and may save may be your own or that of a loved one, a friend, a neighbor and your fellow Bahamians. We are in this fight together. The physical distancing measures are critical in this fight. Please stay at home! If you want to live, “Stay at Home” If you choose to die, don’t take our Healthcare workers and others with you. This virus can harm, or kill any one of any age. It does not discriminate!
I will provide a further update, when the House of Assembly meets on Monday, at 10:00 a.m. the 6th of April. I will now turn over to Dr. Dahl-Regis who will speak about the COVID-19 data collected so far, after which the Minister of Health and his team will provide a complete update.