“Da Lockdown” PM extends Grand Bahama Lockdown to August 19 {ONE WHOLE MONTH}

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With five MPs and Three Cabinet Ministers Grand Bahama look what dey did to you!

“Da Lockdown” PM Hubert Minnis – The Competent Authority

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Grand Bahama’s lockdown has been extended to 5am on Wednesday, August 19, announced Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, during a press conference on Thursday.

The island’s current two-week lockdown, July 23 to August 7, ends tomorrow morning at 5am.

The Minister said the extension is an effort to slow and control community spread of the COVID-19 pandemic on Grand Bahama.
Three hundred and thirty-six confirmed cases were recorded for the island as of Wednesday, August 5.

Grand Bahama now falls under the same lockdown order as the rest of the country, which went into effect on Tuesday evening.

Also present was Dr. Frank Bartlett, coordinator of the Grand Bahama Health Services COVID-19 Task Force who gave details on the current situation on island.

In addition to the confirmed number of cases, Dr. Bartlett released the following information: There are five positive Covid-19 cases who are hospitalized, approximately 900 people in quarantine and 310 people in isolation. To date, 1,038 swabs have been done.

He said, “Public health measures and social distancing measures along with lockdowns have proven to be effective. Ideally, an evaluation of the impact of the restrictions is made after the completion of one incubation period of 14 days. Based on the changes in clinical indicators (hospitalization rate, ICU admissions, numbers of positive cases), a determination is made as to whether other measures are required to curtail the increase in positive COVID-19 cases.”

Outlining the current assessment, he noted that a downward trend has not yet been established. He said, “There is still no strict compliance with the public health and social distancing measures in place; daily, patients are accessing the healthcare system complaining of symptoms compatible with Covid; challenges with response to increased hospitalizations impacted by hospitalizations for Covid suspects are surpassing non-Covid patients; ICU bed capacity has been at 100% for the past month with non-Covid patients, and if we were to see an increase in sicker or critical patients the healthcare system will be overwhelmed.”

Dr. Bartlett added that challenges are also present with the manning of multiple sites, and patients in the second wave are being hospitalized for longer periods when compared to the first wave.

It is because of these factors, he said, it has been recommended that the lockdown period be extended.

Minister Thompson then reminded residents of those permitted to operate: grocery stores, gas stations for external services only; pharmacies for curbside services only; water depots; bakeries for curbside and delivery; water and ice production companies for curbside and delivery services only; and hardware stores for curbside and delivery.

Grocery stores, pharmacies for curbside, gas stations for external service and water depots can open for essential workers on Saturdays from 7am to 1pm.

Commercial banks may provide client-facing services on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am to 1pm.

“The Grand Bahama Food Task Force will continue to provide food for those residents in need during the extended lockdown. To date, we have distributed 5,366 vouchers assisting thousands of Grand Bahamians. Today, we have distributed 1,202 vouchers to Grand Bahamians.”

He urged residents to view the complete list of exempted businesses and services of the Emergency (Covid 19 Pandemic) (Lockdown) Order, 2020 on opm.gov.bs. Information is also available on the Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Information may be provided at the following numbers: WhatsApp 727-2473; Help Desk, 727-8119, 727-0993, 727-0837, and 727-0836 or emailing opmgbinfocenter@bahamas.gov.bs.

He said, “I want to urge the residents of Grand Bahama and across the entire Bahamas to follow the guidelines that have been put in place for their protection and the protection of their family members and loved ones.”

People should not be leaving their homes unless they must, and even with the lockdown there are still too many cars on the streets.

“An extension of the lockdown is not something that would have been preferred, but it is absolutely necessary. We must work together to stop the spread of the virus on Grand Bahama.”