NO to extending lockdown
With the government expected to bring to Parliament yesterday a resolution to extend the state of public emergency put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday called on the Minnis administration to end lockdowns, and gave early notice that the official opposition will not support an extension.
The state of emergency allowed the prime minister as the competent authority to impose a 24-hour curfew and weekend lockdowns to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“I don’t know if we can support any more of these lockdowns,” Davis said.
He added, “It and of itself is not the answer. That has to be accommodated by many other things and we don’t seem to have those other things to make a lockdown effective.
“I think the Bahamian people are responsible enough that once they understand it, they will do it. So, you don’t have to force them.”
Asked if he was calling for the end of the restrictions, Davis replied, “Yes.”
Governor General C.A. Smith declared a state of public emergency in The Bahamas on March 18. It has been extended twice already.
It is currently set to expire at the end of this month.
Asked yesterday whether the prime minister had indicated plans to extend the restrictions, Davis replied, “Last time y’all asked him about me, he said he don’t listen to Brave Davis…
“You would expect that we would be in contact with each other at least to talk ourselves through this, but he’s the competent authority, and so he doesn’t need any advice because he is the competent authority."
Davis said lockdowns and curfews are “not sufficient”.
“If you’re locking down, it has to be accompanied by other things like testing, contact tracing, isolation,” the opposition leader said.
“We don’t know what they’re doing. What is the rate of their testing? We have less than 300,000 persons on this island. Why have we not tested them all by now? Or at least a significant amount of them?”