Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Coronavirus cases soar by more than 1 million over 5 days

By Emma Reynolds and Henrik Pettersson, CNN

 (CNN) - Coronavirus cases soared by more than a million globally in just five days as the numbers continue to accelerate from week to week, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Reported cases increased by 1,046,200 from July 6 through July 10, up from a 994,400 increase over the five days from July 5 through July 9.

The total global case number surpassed 13 million on Monday, growing by 1,061,600 between July 8 and July 13.

While some countries that were hit early in the outbreak have managed to contain the virus, the number of cases globally has been accelerating fairly steadily.

There have now been more than half a million deaths from the virus worldwide, according to JHU data.  Read more >>

Some ‘slipped in’ without proper test

Dionisio D’Aguilar

By Kyle Walkine

Since The Bahamas fully reopened its borders to visitors on July 1, “one or two” visitors “slipped in” without proper COVID-19 testing, prompting adjustments in the travel protocol, according to Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar.

However, D’Aguilar said nearly 100 visitors were stopped and deported upon landing at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) because of wrong or outdated COVID-19 tests.

“We initially started with a different approach and we noticed that one or two people were slipping in,” he said yesterday.

“So, now, we’ve tightened it up and we are confident that at least every single test is now going to be screened before someone is given approval to enter into the country.”

Tourists and locals are required to present negative results for a COVID-19 PCR molecular swab test no older than 10 days for entry into the country. Locals who leave The Bahamas for less than 72 hours are not required to show proof of testing.

According to D’Aguilar, changes had to be made after authorities discovered that some were making it into the country without meeting all the requirements for the travel health visa.  Read news >>

Five Days After One Company Secured Hours Extension, Others To Open Til 9pm

Tribune Senior Reporter

THE Progressive Liberal Party has accused Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis of giving preferential treatment to the Myers Group by letting its restaurants remain open until 9pm while a general rule that businesses close by 8pm is in place. 

Attorney General Carl Bethel told The Tribune yesterday that an order has been prepared allowing all restaurants to remain open until 9pm, but up to press time last night an order concerning this had not been released.

David Davis, the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, signed a letter dated July 9, 2020 addressed to George Myers, the chairman and CEO of the Myers Group, which said: “I refer to your letter dated 3rd July, 2020, and in which you requested permission for your restaurant group (Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and Anthony’s Caribbean Grill) to remain open until 9pm. Please be advised that the ‘competent authority,’ the Most Hon Prime Minister, has approved your request.”

PLP chairman Fred Mitchell said in response to the letter yesterday: “There is a letter making the rounds on social media where the competent authority approved an extension of operating hours to a number of fast food franchises owned by a single commercial entity. In our view this is par for the course with this administration given the selective manner in which the prime minister has consistently administered his government’s emergency orders.  Read more >>

MOFA: No position yet on U.S./Bahamas travel

Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield

By Sloan Smith

Bahamas Miami Consul General warns against non-essential travel to Florida
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday that the government has yet to determine an official position on travel to COVID-19 hotspots in the United States.

Henfield noted that the prime minister chaired a meeting yesterday with the Minister of Tourism, Minister of Immigration, health officials, and others to discuss how Bahamians travel and how to treat the continued to travel from the United States to The Bahamas.

He was asked whether the government is considering implementing travel bans or restrictions on hotspots.

“We are still consulting on these issues,” he said.

On Saturday, Florida  – the new epicenter of the virus – recorded the largest single-day increase in positive COVID-19 cases across the U.S. with 15,299 confirmed cases.

Yesterday, the state recorded over 12,500 coronavirus cases bringing the statewide total to over 282,000 cases.

The U.S had more than 3.3 million confirmed cases up to yesterday, with COVID-19 hotspots also in Texas, California, and Arizona.

Henfield said: “As you can imagine the challenge for us in this environment that has become very emotive and constantly changing, so we are going to have to continue to adjust as we go.”  Read more >>

The Governor General Pays a Visit to Hatti Sweeting on her 102nd Birthday

(BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

By ZNS Bahamas

Governor General His Excellency the Most Hon. Cornelius A. Smith visited Centenarian Hatti Sweeting who celebrated her 102nd birthday, July 12, 2020. He sang Happy Birthday to her and conveyed best wishes.  View news video >>

GB COVID-19 cases reach double digits

By FN Reporter Jaimie Smith

COVID-19 positive cases in Grand Bahama jumped to 14, over the Independence Holiday weekend, after six new cases were confirmed by health officials.

The five Bahamians and one undocumented immigrant are reportedly in isolation and are being monitored by health personnel.

Information on the three latest cases on the island of Grand Bahama were reported by the Bahamas Ministry of Health on July 11. It was confirmed via the daily dashboard that three females, one of which is a minor, were the latest to contract the highly contagious disease.

Two of the females, 39 and 16, had a history of travel and were placed in isolation at home, while the 47-year-old had no history of travel. However, he was also placed in self isolation at home.

The other three cases – a 33-year-old female, 20-year-old undocumented male and a 27-year-old male – were confirmed between July 8 and July 9.

Following the sudden spike in positive virus cases, Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator J. Kwasi Thompson met with members of the GB COVID-19 Task Force on Saturday (July 11) and a statement was issued after the meeting.  Read more >>

Bahamas Paradise To Start Up August 28, Demand Still Strong

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is aiming to be back in service by August 28, according to a statement. 

“Upon announcing that we would resume cruising in late July, we were thrilled to see a great deal of demand, demonstrating that there is a strong appetite amongst travelers for our unique short-cruise ‘microcation’ product. At this time, we remain the only cruise line in the country to have received a “green status” from the CDC on our No Sail Response plan, meaning we have met all requirements in providing a safe environment for our crew members to work and disembark via non-commercial travel," said  Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa.

"Over the past few weeks, we’ve continued preparations to return to Grand Bahama Island while keeping an eye on the overall landscape, which continues to evolve. In recent days, amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases in many states across the country, we’ve seen mounting pressures to modify reopening plans and consideration of the return of stay-at-home orders," he said .

"Additionally, new restrictions from the Bahamas have been announced, requiring travelers to present a negative swab test prior to entry. In an effort to provide the safest environment for our passengers and crew, we have no choice but to further postpone our sailing schedule.

"Our current plan is to resume cruises on August 28th, 2020. This is incredibly disappointing to our entire team, but the decision was made after very careful consideration of all factors, and we believe this is in everyone’s best interest. We look forward to welcoming guests back onboard and appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this process.”

The company plans to first start sailing with its Grand Celebration, and as operations ramp up, add the Grand Classica back into the mix as well. Both ships offer short, two-night cruises from Palm Beach.  (source)