Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis said Bahamians must be prepared to fight an economic war once the war on COVID-19 is behind the nation.
To date, there are 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas – nine confirmed in New Providence and one confirmed in Grand Bahama.
The Prime Minister was speaking today during a brief visit to the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) at the Ministry of Health to personally thank health professionals working to coordinate the response to COVID-19 in The Bahamas.
“Just as we will be successful in the war on COVID-19, we will be successful in the economic war,” said Prime Minister Minnis. “I am sure Bahamians are up to [the challenge]
The Government is bracing for an economic blow due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to strengthen the economy, the Government has unveiled a package of unemployment and social assistance benefits, in addition to $20 million in short-term loans for small businesses.
The Prime Minister said that The Bahamas that “we once knew” will look a lot different in the future.
In a thank you to the EOC team, including Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands; Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, coordinator of the COVID-19 response and special adviser to the Prime Minister; and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pearl McMillian, the Prime Minister said: “The entire Bahamas appreciates the work you are doing, your commitment and your fortitude.”
Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis said the COVID-19 response health team continues to expand and strengthen its response in reaction to the changing data.
She said now is not the time to open up for full business.
“With this coronavirus we are learning as we go,” said Dr. Dahl-Regis who stressed that “we need to get fewer people moving around.”
The Prime Minister stressed that the decisions made by the Government as it relates to the COVID-19 virus are based on data and analysis provided by health professionals.
“It is not based on emotion. It is not based on politics. It is based on data and analysis,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
The Prime Minister assured senior health officials that the Government is prepared to provide the necessary resources to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
“Under no circumstances will we place the nation at risk,” said Prime Minister Minnis. “What needs to be done will be done.”
27 March 2020
Office of the Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas