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Prime Minister of The Bahamas Hubert Minnis (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister)

Bahamas Prime Minister and deputy in quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

Prime Minister of The Bahamas Hubert Minnis (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister)

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest and Education Minister Jeff Lloyd, have entered have voluntary self-quarantine after their offices were exposed to COVID-19.

Prime Minister of the Bahamas Hubert Minnis

In a statement, the Cabinet Office announced that the Cecil Wallace-Whitefield Centre, which houses the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and their agencies, has been closed for cleaning and sanitisation following exposure to the virus.

“The Ministry of Health’s Surveillance Unit has initiated contact tracing to determine the level of exposure to employees and visitors to the Cecil Wallace-Whitfield Centre.”

However, it could not be confirmed if the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or the Education Minister have been exposed to the virus.

Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest (Photo: EW News)

The statement also said that other employees of the Cecil Wallace-Whitfield Centre have been encouraged to self-quarantine until further instructions are issued by the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Bahamas exceeded more than 1,000 confirmed cases of the virus and government offices continued to shut down due to exposure.

In the latest update, 47 new cases have been recorded, including  a single-day record of 40 for New Providence – which recoded 144 confirmed cases last week. There were five confirmed cases confirmed on Cat Island, one on Abaco and one on Exuma. 

On Monday, the Cabinet Office announced that the Ministry of Health headquarters was shut down for deep cleaning and sanitisation after officials learned that a staff member there tested positive for the virus. That person had not been to work since July 28.

“The Ministry of Health has initiated contact tracing to determine the level of exposure to employees and visitors to the buildings,” the statement said. 

According to Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Delon Brennen , the  ministry is expected to reopen on Monday