NO END IN SIGHT: AG says no easing of COVID restrictions foreseen – EyeWitness News

Posted: March 31, 2021 at 5:32 am

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Notwithstanding the fewer than 300 active cases of the coronavirus in The Bahamas, Attorney General Carl Bethel said yesterday that he does not foresee any easing of restrictions in the near future.

The Ministry of Health reported that a recently completed data cleaning exercise using prevailing scientific data that applies to active and recovered cases showed there were 229 active cases as of Friday 722 more recoveries than previously reported.

Active cases increased to 271 on Saturday after the country recorded 42 more infections.

The updated data puts recoveries at 94 percent in The Bahamas.

The nation has recorded at least 9,076 cases since the onset of the pandemic.

Asked if the government was minded to ease restrictions even further in light of the reduced active cases, Bethel said: No. No. No, not right now.

According to the attorney general, the government continues to draft a bill that will create a new framework for permanent COVID-19 legislation concerning the health aspects of the emergency orders, while an advisory committee will advise the minister responsible on the civil aspects of the orders.

[With that legislation] we can respond to issue as and where they occur on a local basis, he told Eyewitness News.

Therefore, we do not need the emergency orders. What we need is a legal structure that would allow us to respond to local issues as and when they occur and that is what we are doing.

In March of 2020, we didnt know enough about this virus. We didnt know enough about its transmissibility, we didnt know enough about anything to do with it and we were faced with the onslaught of the virus.

Therefore, the only appropriate response in the absence of any other legal framework that could assist us was the public state of emergency and emergency orders. They have served us well. They are fully constitutional and they are fully lawful and have not been subjected to any kind of legal challenge that could call them into question.

But now as we mature and as we know more, and as we have contained community spread throughout 90 percent of this [country], we are able now to devise a system that is able to deal with issues as they emerge in different localities as opposed to a broad national response.

We dont need that anymore and that is what the law is going to do.

It is going to give us the ability within and under the remit of full constitutionality as opposed to being an emergency power; it gives us the power to respond on a need basis as and when challenges arise.

While active cases remain relatively low, new daily infections and the number of hospitalized cases have continued to increase in recent weeks.

A curfew remains in place for New Providence, mainland Abaco, Grand Bahama, Exuma and Eleuthera from 10pm to 5am, Monday through Sunday.

Social gatherings remain prohibited for these islands.

Originally posted here:

NO END IN SIGHT: AG says no easing of COVID restrictions foreseen - EyeWitness News

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