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Prime Minister Minnis - National Address - August 9, 2020
Aug 9, 2020 - 8:36:50 PM

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National Address

The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis

Prime Minister

9 August 2020

My Fellow Bahamians and Residents:

Good afternoon .

Throughout the COVID- 19 pandemic, I have spoken to you on a regular basis to update and to inform you on our comprehensive and vigorous national response to this very contagious and deadly virus.

I have s ought to encourage you , as well as to warn you of the danger of this virus to you and your loved ones.

Through these national addresses , press engagements, and direct dialogue with the Opposition, business and labour stakeholders, the religious community, and civil society, I have sought to unify the nation in the face of the terrible and

widespread threat and effects of the virus on our health, our economy and our way of life.

Let me say to you this afternoon:

Even with the resurgence of the virus we are experiencing, I want you to know that through courage, resilience, a spirit of hope, and unceasing prayer, we will overcome this virus .

W e will rebuild our economy and our society.

I wish to provide you with updates and information.

There are specific priority issues that I want to share with you , and some of the details on how we are addressing them .

Felllow Bahamians and Residents:

Most of the world is experiencing a resurgence o f the COVID-19 virus.

International news reports indicate that in larger countries someone is dying of COVID-19 approximately every eight minutes.

This virus is so easy to catch and to pass on, that it took approximately 100 days to spread around the world, affecting just about every country.

This is unprecedented and extraordinary in the history of pandemics .

Here at home, there are 777 active cases of COVID-19, including 35 in hospital.

Today, the Ministry of Health reported 20 new cases. The total number of confirmed cases is 898 . These cases include:

• 417 in New Providence;

• 389 in Grand Bahama;

• 45 cases in Bimini, inclusive of 6 on Cat Cay;

• 28 cases in Abaco;

• 12 cases in the Berry Islands;

• 3 in Cat Island;

• 3 in Exuma ; and

• 1 in Eleuthera

Our four leading priorities during this pandemic are:

- preserving life and health ;

- providing basic social security and food assistance to those in need;

- boosting jobs and our economy as much as possible given the devastating blow to our tourism - based economy; and

- ensuring the security and safety of Bahamians and residents.

I wish to address various aspects of each of these priorities.

Fellow Bahamians and Residents:

Our response to this global pandemic has required your government to make sizable, non - budgeted financial investments to utilize privately owned facilities .

Like even more advanced nations, w e have had to make these added investments
because the public healthcare system

is severely limited in its ability to accommodate infected patients requiring inpatient care because of COVID-19.

The Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) ha d an inpatient complement of four hundred and twenty beds.

We are living in a health care environment with dramatically increasing use of health services by more critically ill patients , a s well as social cases at PMH.

There is also an exponential growth in healthcare costs ...to continue see attached

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