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PLP Leader again lashes Minnis administration for poor handling of coronavirus pandemic

PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis reiterated his call out of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and his administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic here in The Bahamas in yesterday’s parliamentary debate.

Davis has, during much of the pandemic, called for wider testing and more efficient contact tracing measures to mitigate spread of the contagion and lessen the burdens now being felt in the extreme on the public’s purse.

He told the House yesterday that there has not been enough COVID-19 testing or contact tracing in place to stop “a few cases from turning into a few thousand” and noted that since the Minnis administration made the decision to reopen the country’s borders to commercial international air traffic on July 1st, the virus has spread rapidly throughout the islands.

He pointed out that this has not been the case in other countries that reopened around the same time.

“Mr. Speaker, this spread in infection resulted in thousands of Bahamians contracting the virus for the past few months, along with fellow parliamentarians and members of staff of this place. I was one of them,” he said.

Prior to the reopening of borders, The Bahamas had recorded just 104 cases - with only four of them active. Just 11 people had died from the virus. Three months later, confirmed cases have topped 4,000 and have spread to all of the country’s major islands. A jarring 94 people have now died from COVID-19 with an additional 15 deaths under investigation. 1,719 cases are active and 92 of those currently battling the virus have had to be hospitalised.

Davis is one of at least five Parliamentarians to have contracted COVID-19 since cases began rising exponentially. Senator Michael Darville also caught the virus, as did Members of Parliament Hank Johnson, Shanendoah Cartwright and Miriam Emmanuel. A number of government agencies, including the House of Assembly and Government House, are among wider businesses that had to temporarily close for deep cleaning and sanitisation due to either exposure or possible exposure to the virus.

Davis further noted that while he and the other four Parliamentarians are unable to say specifically how they became a dashboard statistic, the overall picture is clear - the Minnis administration has not used the many long months of curfew and lockdowns to prepare properly.

The PLP Leader also used the opportunity to address the state of readiness by the nation’s health care providers.

“Today, I want to emphasize how crucial it is that the doctors and nurses on our frontlines finally be heard and respected. They are asking for more resources. They tell us they need more testing, quicker results, faster tracing, more beds, and more staff. We owe them this much at least.”

As of yesterday, 20,261 tests had been performed in The Bahamas, which has a population of nearly 400,000.

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