By Rashad Rolle
TRIBUNE SENIOR REPORTER
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis said unfair application of emergency orders have caused the public to lose confidence in Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.
“The orders appeared to us to be driven by political convenience and pressure rather than science,” he said in a statement yesterday.
“These decisions have also hurt the domestic economy, especially in services, transportation and retail merchandizing. We repeatedly asked how was it that selected restaurants were approved to provide curbside services when others were denied this economic opportunity.
“The government’s abandonment of the health asset expansion plan in support of National Health Insurance is a singular and significant reason for the health care capacity crisis we are now experiencing.
“We are faced with unemployment at or around fifty percent. Our national economy has all but stalled and is rapidly contracting. The Bahamas is ranked at or near the bottom globally among countries in the category of rate of COVID-19 recovery.
“The government’s reopening policy was full of holes and mistakes and even as cases in the US and especially Florida began to skyrocket, the Competent Authority failed to adjust the country’s COVID policies to reduce risks to Bahamians.
“Specifically, the government’s ill-advised 72 hours international travel policy with no COVID-19 test requirement led to a surge in positive COVID-19 cases; this was confirmed by PAHO health experts. The surge also exposed the woeful shortcomings of our country’s health infrastructure.”
Mr Davis said lockdowns should be a last resort. He said the current lockdown is killing small businesses while causing pain and suffering.
“On the economic front, the government should be supporting the local economy by keeping sufficient cash flow moving through the economy,” he said.
He also reiterated his call for Dr Minnis to take more questions from the press rather than hide “behind national addresses.”
“In failing to answer the important questions on the minds of our people, he is undermining trust in his leadership, his office and the government. The consequences may be dire. The government must reverse course and use this time to upgrade hospitals and clinics, add testing capacity, and hire and train more contact tracers. They should regularly test all frontline workers, including health care workers, the police, defence and immigration officers,” said Mr Davis.
“We say again that the government should protect the frontline workers and their families by introducing legislation to provide compensation to frontline workers who are infected while at work. The government should take extra steps to prevent outbreaks where people are most vulnerable, as in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and where families are living in crowded quarters.”