By PHILIP ‘BRAVE’ DAVIS QC, MP
The extensions of the lockdowns in Central & North Andros and Cat Island are unnecessary. The Prime Minister, the Competent Authority, is only causing further misery by stubbornly refusing to take advice and learn from his mistakes.
The science could not be clearer: in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, or any other airborne infectious virus for that matter, you have to separate the people with the virus from the people who do not have the virus.
In order to do that, you have to test widely, in order to know everyone’s status. Don’t just wait until people are showing symptoms, because by then it’s too late and they may well have infected others in their households.
These are small communities on these islands, which makes it easier to test, trace and isolate.
In the same way, these small communities are hurt especially badly when their economies are locked down.
So here’s what you do Mr. Prime Minister:
- Send a plane-load of testing personnel to each of the affected island communities.
- Test as widely as possible. Ideally Everyone. For Free. Immediately.
- In a day or two, once you have the results, separate the people who are COVID-19 positive from the ones who are COVID-19 negative.
- Allow the COVID-19 negative people to carry on with their lives, keeping the local economies alive.
- Isolate and treat the COVID-19 positive patients as required.
This plan will save lives AND save the local economies.
Seventeen months into this pandemic and it’s still beyond the competence of this government to get this right. It’s not that hard! It really doesn’t have to be this bad!
The only people who will lose out are the family and friends of the Prime Minister who making money out of this pandemic.
As we have pointed out before, lockdowns are a lazy approach, a blunt instrument that imposes an economic crisis on top of a health crisis.
The alternative requires the government to move quickly and be actively involved, but doing so has significant economic and health benefits for the people.
For once, just once, the Prime Minister, the Competent Authority, should put the health and well-being of the Bahamian people first, rather than stick stubbornly to his mistakes.