NASSAU, BAHAMAS — It is thanks to Bahamian’s “sheer self-discipline”, good government policy and the “consistent, caring and compassionate leadership” of the competent authority that The Bahamas has been recognized as successful in its efforts to fight COVID-19, according to Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Carl Culmer.

In a statement released yesterday, Culmer noted: “The Bahamas has been recognized as one of the few nations to be successful thus far in its attempt at preventing subsequent coronavirus waves.

Free National Movement Chairman Carl Culmer.

“We commend the people of The Bahamas, who should take great pride in their response to this unparalleled challenge. It is a result of sheer self-discipline, good government policy and a natural Bahamian resolve to be our brother’s keeper that we have been able to press forward in the continued fight against this global plague.

“The citizens of The Bahamas are to be continually applauded for their adherence to health and safety protocols, which have helped limit the impact of this deadly virus.

“We understand that some measures may have come at great expense, and significantly altered our ways of life. However, our continued discipline and responsibility as a nation will lead to a gradual return to more normal times.

“Our leader, in his capacity as competent authority during the state of emergency, has continued to demonstrate consistent, caring and compassionate leadership.

“While many cynics sought to criticize the measures taken by our prime minister, he continues to lead with a sole purpose: to successfully guide us through this unique and challenging situation and save as many Bahamian lives as possible.”

Culmer added: “We continue to thank those on the frontlines of our healthcare system who tackle this disease, and those essential workers who unselfishly execute their daily duties.

“We in the Free National Movement, and the nation at large, assure you that each and every minute of your hard work and dedication continues to be appreciated.”

Culmer’s statement comes in light of — a self-described international volunteer coalition of over 4,000 scientists and other community stakeholders — recently naming The Bahamas as one of the countries “beating” COVID-19.

The Bahamas also gained recognition in a recent Global COVID-19 Index (GCI) report, which analyzes the severity and recovery rates of countries during the coronavirus pandemic. The nation moved from ranking at 178 out of 184 last October to ranking at 120 out of 180 in January.

Uncollected relief checks the National Insurance Board (NIB) satellite office in August 2020.

The FNM chairman noted the Minnis administration’s efforts to soften the economic blow of the pandemic by providing “the largest relief and stimulus packages in our nation’s history”, and stated his party’s support of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis to “begin the work to rebuild our economy one step at a time”.

“Our term in office has seen its share of challenges. The twin crises of Dorian and COVID-19 dealt our nation a significant blow,” Culmer said.

“Yet, we press on. We press on because we do not have the luxury of being paralyzed by indecisiveness. The work of government must continue. Our discipline and resoluteness will be essential on the road to recovery and further success as a country.

“I believe future generations will recognize the Bahamians of today as a strong and united people who overcame one of the worst pandemics in modern history. We should not be afraid of what the future holds. Instead, let us shape our own destiny as a nation prepared to emerge from this crisis stronger than we went in.”

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