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The Bahamas Should Act Now to Avoid New COVID Outbreaks and More Lockdowns Government Should Not Repeat Earlier Mistakes.

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Hon. Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, Q.C., M.P.
Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador
Party Leader

We’ve lost count of how many times the Competent Authority has congratulated himself for his handling of COVID-19, but all of his self-satisfied boasting can’t obscure the truth, which is that many nations in our region have out-performed The Bahamas, in both cases and deaths per capita. (See attached charts).

It’s not only that health outcomes have been better in neighboring countries; the steps the Competent Authority took to achieve these inferior results did so much damage along the way to our economy.

For months following the July re-opening, lockdowns crushed many of our small businesses. While resorts were opening across the Caribbean, The Bahamas was essentially closed, and visitors were warned to stay away. This government has mismanaged the crisis and the economy is in worse shape as a result.

Everyone has pandemic fatigue, but the battle with COVID-19 is unfortunately not over. New, more transmissible strains of COVID are now circulating; Florida is leading the United States with the largest number of identified cases of the UK variant. We urge the government to learn from earlier mistakes and move from a reactive to a proactive stance, adopting measures now to avoid new outbreaks and lockdowns, including:

  1. Free testing. The PLP continues to call for free COVID testing for Bahamians. The cost of testing is a real burden to the many thousands of Bahamians are out of work; indeed, for many it is an impossibility. Testing is one of the most important tools we have in a pandemic; we should be knocking down obstacles to access. Any Bahamian concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19 should have access to free testing. The current testing requirement for domestic travel between islands is keeping families apart and hurting the economy.
  2. Better masks. Medical-grade masks should be made available to all workers who interact with large numbers of people, including police and defence force officers, teachers, and
    other essential workers. Filtration and fit are key. A public education campaign should emphasize the benefits of double masking for many Bahamians.
  3. Strengthen isolation protocols in clinics and hospitals. It’s crucial that COVID-positive cases are isolated from other patients and that Bahamians feel they can trust these protocols so that they don’t avoid necessary medical treatment.
  4. To earn public cooperation for necessary public health measures at a time of widespread pandemic fatigue, all restrictions must reflect actual science. The Competent Authority should bring forward what he believes is the scientific justification for the ongoing curfew in New Providence, and if he cannot, he should end it. Perhaps there is no health-related justification – after all, did he not recently brag about being out and about at 4:30am?
  5. Good ventilation and indoor air quality are essential to reducing airborne exposure to COVID.

The government should launch a public education campaign and provide detailed guidance for schools, businesses, churches, and homes.
The government is making a mistake by relying so heavily on vaccines and lockdowns. We urge them to use a broader set of tools.

We have seen and felt the costs of their previous failures to plan ahead. We should take action now to avoid a third wave and more restrictions and lockdowns.

Press Inquiries
Press Liason:
Latrae Rahming
Phone: 565-6853
Email: latraerahming@gmail.com

There have been more than 8,500 COVID-19 cases reported in The Bahamas since January 2020. This translates to 2,166 cases per 100,000 residents, above the reported regional average. [WHO, 2/28/21]

• Total COVID-19 cases, The Bahamas: 8,542
• COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, The Bahamas: 2,166
• COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, Caribbean average: 1,898

As measured by cases per 100,000 residents, The Bahamas’ COVID-19 performance was:

• worse than that reported in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Antigua and

Barbuda, among others. [WHO, 2/28/21]


COVID-19 Performance

COVID-19 Cases

There have been more than 8,500 COVID-19 cases reported in The Bahamas since January 2020. This translates to 2,166 cases per 100,000 residents, above the reported regional average. [WHO, 2/28/21]

• Total COVID-19 cases, The Bahamas: 8,542
• COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, The Bahamas: 2,166
• COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, Caribbean average: 1,898

As measured by cases per 100,000 residents, The Bahamas’ COVID-19 performance was:

• worse than that reported in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda, among others. [WHO, 2/28/21]

COVID-19 Deaths

There have been nearly 180 COVID-19 deaths reported in The Bahamas since January 2020. This translates to more than 45 deaths per 100,000 residents, nearly double the reported regional average.

[WHO, 2/28/21]

• Total COVID-19 deaths, The Bahamas: 179
• COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents, The Bahamas: 45.5
• COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents, Caribbean average: 23.4