Sands schools Minnis; against allowing untested tourists into country
Former Minister of Health is warning his inadequate replacement Dr. Hubert Minnis not to play Russian roulette during the Covid-19 pandemic and stated unequivocally he is against opening borders to tourists who have not been tested for Covid-19.
“I do not support a policy of open borders to untested individuals. Especially if most of these persons travel from those locales known to have a high prevalence of Covid-19. Those that come legally come from a high incidence country. Yes, we need to restore our economy, but we should not, cannot play Russian roulette,” Sands said during a passionate contribution to the budget debate.
Sands said many of us hope and pray that the worst is behind us and while he believes prayers are critical for the nation, hope and prayers are not effective economic or public health strategies.
“Yes, we should open but we must do so deliberately, cautiously and carefully and we should do so with data.”
“I do not support a policy that requires Bahamian citizens and residents to be tested that does not place the same level of scrutiny on visitors. If we test any, we test all,” Sands said.
Sands also said The Bahamas must test more than it is doing now.
“That said, if we open, we test even if we must move heaven and earth to build the capacity,” he added.
There are more than 3 million Covid-19 cases worldwide. The Bahamas will open its borders to visitors on July 1. While Bahamians have been required to be tested for Covid-19 and present a negative test before being allowed to enter the country, the government will not require visitors to do the same.
Sands resigned as minister of health last month after Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said protocol was breached. During his first press conference in weeks, Minnis rudely refused to say what protocol was breached and said he is finished with the matter.
Sands later revealed that he had no idea that he was required to make a statement on the matter until Minnis said it publicly during a national address and that Minnis’ office drafted that statement on Sands’ behalf without his input.
With a boss like Minnis, who needs enemies?