Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Minnis Told Junkanoo Funeral - No Rushout: Mourners Advised Ceremony Feared To Be 'Super Spreader' Had To Follow Covid Rules

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis

Tribune Senior Reporter

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told Junkanoo members not to hold a rushout that is now at the centre of claims that it contributed to the creation of a COVID-19 cluster.

The rushout was held earlier this month to celebrate Dr Philip “Slimey” Thompson, a prominent Junkanoo figure and member of the Shell Saxons Superstars who died in August.

Amid questions about whether the event facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19 among participants, Dion Miller, the chairman of the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence, said yesterday that he and Dr Minnis told participants not to engage in the activity.

“Persons,” he said, “are sending stuff around through social media claiming that this event spread COVID-19 but I don’t think it was an official document or action from the Ministry of Health that confirmed this. However, the prime minister nor the JCNP chairman gave any group the permission or green light to have such an event.”

“They received communication from both myself and the prime minister advising them not to participate in such an event and the organisation made the decision to do what it had to do.”

A spokesperson for the Office of the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that Dr Minnis advised members not to have the rushout. Without his permission, the gathering likely contravened Dr Minnis’ emergency powers orders.

A representative of the Saxons declined to comment yesterday and health officials did not respond to questions about whether the event is seen as a “super-spreader” of COVID-19.  Read more >>