Bahamas the

Residents on Inagua concerned about new case of COVID-19

Leopold Mullings, 58, a resident of Matthew Town, Inagua, said the island deserves to go back on lockdown after its first COVID-19 case was confirmed on Tuesday.

The case came two days after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis lifted the lockdown on Inagua after not reporting any cases since March.

“Right now, we deserve to go back on lockdown, but a lot of people might not like it,” Mullings told The Nassau Guardian.

“We don’t know who all has it (COVID-19) here.”

He said the entire island should be tested for the virus.

“They need to start doing that because then we will find out who has it,” Mullings said.

“A lot of people are still coming to Inagua on the mailboat and we don’t understand why some of them are not taking a test.”

However, Luther Mortimer, who works for the Customs Department on Inagua, doesn’t agree with Mullings.

When asked whether the island’s lockdown should be reimposed, Mortimer replied, “No, it’s not necessary. I think if we do what we are supposed to do as stated by the health professionals, if we continue to follow the guidelines, if we are able to safeguard ourselves then we can mitigate the situation that has occurred.”

The prime minister on Sunday granted residents permission to travel between Inagua, Mayaguana, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay, and Ragged Island without COVID-19 testing and 14-day quarantine requirements that are outlined in the Emergency Powers Order.

Mortimer said those flights should not be discontinued.  

“They are on very rare occasions,” he said.

“As I wish to reiterate, I think all us as a people — be it Grand Bahama, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco — all of us need to follow the guidelines stated in the health protocols and we should be fine.

“I think if we continue along with locks and curfews, we will be here until a vaccine is made available.”

Flavio Cox, 42, said the first case will act as “a wake call” for Inagua.

“I guess it gives the people of Inagua the type of feeling that, ‘Wow! This is really reality,'” Cox said.

“It really hits home now.”

He said the new case now has residents practicing health protocols.

“You can’t really do it because we are a Family Island and this is a family island and everybody is family,” Cox said.

“But, now, we’re washing our hands every place we’re going to and wearing the masks.”

Coderro Edgecombe, 55, a father-of-two, urged his fellow residents to take heed to the Ministry of Health’s warnings and its recommendation on social distancing.

“I think we’ve been too relaxed for too long,” he said.

“The island has had several funerals; one in particular that had quite a number of persons from Grand Bahama attended. We just took it lightly because it’s family members and they’re grieving.

“I would guess that we felt comfortable allowing them around you but now you have persons in the community that are infected. I can’t say that it’s from those persons but certainly there were a lot of windows open for infections.”

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