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07 Apr 2020 | 08:32 PM UTC

Bahamas: Authorities extend curfew until April 14 /update 3

Bahamian government extends current 24-hour, 7-day curfew until April 14 to prevent further spread of COVID-19

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Event

On Monday, April 6, the Bahamian government announced the current 24-hour, 7-day curfew, which was introduced to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), will be extended until Tuesday, April 14. The lockdown will commence from 21:00 (local time) on Wednesday, April 8, and will end at 05:00 on April 14. During this period, members of the public will not be permitted to leave their homes unless they are buying essential items. Essential workers are currently exempted from the curfew restrictions. A state of emergency remains in place throughout the country and the country's airports are operating on a limited basis.

Under the state of emergency, all non-essential businesses are temporarily closed, while markets, banks, pharmacies, gas stations, and other businesses will operate on reduced hours. Some major hotels and other tourist facilities have suspended operations through April. Additional police officers are being deployed to enforce the curfew and a food shopping schedule will be released by the government to limit the number of people in grocery stores each day. All sporting events, large gatherings, banquets, and receptions are prohibited. Public bus transportation and non-essential boat travel is also suspended.

As of April 7, 29 cases of COVID-19 and one fatality has been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. 

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.