ON THE COVID -19 PANDEMIC
THE MOST HONOURABLE CORNELIUS A. SMITH, O.N.,
COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS
TUESDAY, 24TH MARCH, 2020
The World, and indeed, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is facing the spread of the highly contagious Novel Coronavirus, now referred to as COVID-19.
Unfortunately, I am advised that as of today, four(4) Bahamians have tested positive with this deadly Virus. In its effort to address this challenge and to mitigate the spread of this virus, the Government has implemented several stringent measures including a twenty-four curfew. I am keenly aware that the restrictions imposed will create hardships for all of us, but they are vital to save lives.
Consequently, I wish to advise that all social programmes including tours, events, courtesy calls and other visits to Government House, have been postponed with immediate effect. Likewise, all non-essential staff of Government House must remain at home until further notice. I note with great satisfaction, the public commitment made by the Leaders of both major political parties, by the Leaders of the Church and by Civil Society to come together as one to fight against the spread of COVID-19 in our Bahamas.
I now call upon all citizens and residents to follow the example of our Political, Spiritual and Civil Leaders who are doing their part to mitigate the spread of this disease. We must unite if we are to overcome this challenge.
Therefore, I encourage you to follow these very simple steps as advised by our Leaders and Health Professionals:
➢ Strictly adhere to the State-ordered Curfew that requires us to stay at home;
➢ avoid social gatherings;
➢ practice social distancing of 3-6 feet apart;
➢ wash hands frequently; and
➢ sanitize all frequently touched surfaces.
On behalf of a grateful nation, I extend my sincere gratitude to our Health-care Providers, the National Security and Border Control Officers, and to all other Essential Services Personnel including the media for their personal sacrifices and the practical steps that they are taking in support of the Government's efforts to minimize the spread of this disease.
It is only human to be fearful in times of uncertainty, but now is not the time to fear or panic. We have overcome many challenges in the past. We are a resilient people with an indomitable spirit and with the grace of our Almighty God, we will, together, overcome this menace.
Therefore, like the Psalmist David, let us take comfort in knowing that: “God is our refuge and our strength; an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear; though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea…”(Psalm 46).
May God protect us all and bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
24th March, 2020