#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: March 19th 2020
I’m sick of hearing about how SICK we’re going to be…but it’s COMING.
There is nothing
else to write about this week, though trust me I want to. Situations
like this demonstrate the immense importance of what we do and how even
our smallest decisions can impact those around us; whether we know them
personally or not. Our actions will determine how our country survives
not only physically but socially and financially.
Government has done its best to stay on top of this pandemic from day
one, and I was particularly pleased to hear the government’s plan to
mitigate the economic fallout as was presented from the Ministry of
Finance on PHASE ONE POLICY RESPONSE TO THE ECONOMIC FALLOUT OF THE
Bahamas -- Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands explained that
late last evening medical professionals confirmed two additional cases
identified through contact tracing.
tracing investigations have revealed that household members of the
COVID-19 positive patient travelled to Canada, Trinidad and Dubai --
territories with known community transmission,” Dr. Sands said as he
presented his Contribution in the House of Assembly on the COVID-19/2019
Corona virus, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
contacts have been quarantined and samples taken for testing. Other
contacts, including healthcare providers, are being investigated to
determine their level of exposure and risk. A total of 30 contacts of
the COVID-19 positive patient have been identified.”
Minister also noted that the first confirmed person with COVID-19 in The
Bahamas, a 61-year-old female resident of New Providence who does not
have a relevant travel history, continues to be monitored in isolation
at the Princess Margaret Hospital and is in stable, clinical condition.
DPM Turnquest: Global and Domestic Development as a
Result of COVID-19 will Affect Economic Growth in the Short Term Negatively
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest said in
the best of times, the Bahamian economy would not escape the effects of
a global health crisis like COVID-19.
he presented the Statement on the Fiscal and Economic Impact of
COVID-19 in the House of Assembly, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, DPM
Turnquest explained that economic growth in the short term will be
negatively affected by global and domestic developments, and an overall
contraction in domestic short-term economic growth is inevitable.
stated, “Many people are understandably afraid, but I want to reassure
Bahamian families that we will get through this challenge together,
healthy, stable and strong.”
DPM stated that when faced with crisis situations, such as the
Coronavirus, good and open communication and collaboration with
stakeholders are important building blocks to preparing an effective and
well-considered response that delivers the best results for the public
am indebted to industry representatives from the banking community –
the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, the Bahamas Institute of Chartered
Accountants, and other respected Bahamian economists from the University
of The Bahamas and elsewhere – who responded to my invitation to
provide feedback on the Ministry’s initial economic modeling.”
Nib Activates Orange Alert Stage In Covid-19 Business Continuity Plan
Insurance Board (NIB) has activated its Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
to address potential business disruptions, which may come as a result of
COVID-19. NIB has been in contact with the National Coordinating
Committee to ensure that the necessary actions are consistent with the
NIB’s BCP is at
the Orange Alert stage which concentrates on streamlining processes to
protect the most vulnerable customers, such as the elderly, and to limit
risks to staff. These changes will ensure that critical services
continue to be provided, while ensuring the safety and health of our
staff and customers. These measures are in addition to actions already
taken to promote staff awareness and education of COVID-19 and upgrades
to hygiene and cleaning regimes.
Face-to-Face Verification Face-to-face pension verifications will be
suspended until further notice. NIB will not prioritize suspension of
benefits due to non-verification. For convenience, the verification form
(B.75b) is available on NIB’s website, nib-bahamas.com.
Beneficiaries who are able to may submit their completed forms electronically at email@example.com
email or, if possible, make use of drop boxes available at NIB offices.
NIB will also be using other modalities to confirm continuing
eligibility as required by Regulation 13(2) of the National Insurance
(Benefit and Assistance) Regulations. Additionally, the verification
hotline, 502-1556, is available to answer questions.
Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis appealed to Bahamians and
residents to stop panic buying food and hoarding supplies in reaction to
news of the COVID-19 virus.
is no need for it,” the Prime Minister said on Tuesday 17 March
following a meeting with local wholesalers and suppliers at the Office
of the Prime Minister.
want to assure the population that we have at least a one to three
months’ supply of food on the island and shipping continues as normal.”
Minister Minnis met with representatives of Super Value, A & M
Foods, and local wholesale distributors, including pharmaceutical
wholesalers and suppliers, on Tuesday for a briefing on the state of the
country’s medicine and food stocks and other supplies.
UB Community Engages Minister on the Economy and the Environment
THE BAHAMAS — Every economic venture has an environmental cost,
Minister of the Environment and Housing Hon. Romauld Ferreira told a
University of The Bahamas (UB) audience who engaged him in a
conversation on Ethics, Environment and the Economy on Thursday, 12th
scores of students, faculty and staff in the RBC Auditorium of the
Franklyn R. Wilson Graduate Centre, Minister Ferreira said decisions to
advance the country’s economy, particularly by way of proposed
developments, are almost always win-lose situations. He noted that the
question government leaders ponder is: do we sacrifice the needs of the
one for the needs of the many, or do we sacrifice the needs of the many
for the one?
can make these decisions, and we do,” said Minister Ferreira. “We make
them in Parliament, we make them in Cabinet, we make them in the
everyday course of our lives. We can make these decisions, but they do
have effects. And how do we know what the right thing to do is?”
THE BAHAMAS - University of The Bahamas (UB) students learnt about the
‘birds and the bees’ at a recent interactive session where the focus was
on food sustainability and economic empowerment.
chicken farming and beekeeping was the focus on day two of UB’s
Chemistry, Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS) Week. Industry experts
showed students and faculty the benefits of being involved in both
sectors, particularly in a small island developing state like The
The presentations were under the theme, “The Science of Sustainability: Fostering ‘Homegrown’ Practices in The Bahamas”.
Lecturer Mr. Justin Taylor explained that homegrown chicken farming is
one of the best investments Bahamians can make, especially since chicken
is an ever-present feature in staple Bahamian dishes.
what you eat is empowerment,” said Mr. Taylor. “You want to know that I
can grow this chicken, I can have my small business, I’m providing a
food source, I’m providing good meat that is actually free of steroids
and hormones and other products. And then you have good traceability,
meaning that in The Bahamas we are known not to have all of these
hormones and stuff, that our diet is just based on the ingredients that
100 New Refrigerators donated to Grand Bahama Homeowners
Grand Bahama – Over the past several weeks, the Grand Bahama Disaster
Relief Foundation (GBDRF), the charitable arm of the Grand Bahama Port
Authority Limited (GBPA), along with GBPA volunteers, have distributed
brand new refrigerators to more than 100 homeowners in communities
across the island - yet another step toward turning local houses into
effort is part of a wider distribution strategy organized by the GBDRF.
This will, in weeks to come, see the foundation purchase and distribute
other major appliances to local homeowners as well. The refrigerator
donation initiative gave priority to the elderly, the disabled, the
unemployed, and households of single mothers with small children. It
required residents to provide proof of severe flooding at their
residence. Homeowners needed also to have completed the necessary mold
remediation works and must have had city power restored to their homes.
Historic Property Once Part of Royal Family Goes on Market for $23 Million
By Diane Phillips
the world’s eyes on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they made their
final rounds before voluntarily departing the rarefied air of royal
family chores, parties and perks, a property that came on the market
this week reminded us of the deep connection between the royals and The
property is a fantasy like site at the far northern tip of North
Eleuthera, remote enough to feel like an island. Called Gun Point, it
was once deeded by King George VI to Lord Beaverbrook as Crown land in
gratitude for his service to king and country during WW II when the
Royal Air Force and Royal Navy used The Bahamas as a base for allied
operations. Today, Gun Point is owned by a prominent Bahamian family
with a strong stake in the suds and spirits industry.
patriarch who loved to boat and fish from Gun Point and enjoy the
peacefulness of the place knowing it was only a 10-minute ride from the
North Eleuthera Airport passed away last March. The children and
grandchildren, all grown, love it but they are so busy with their own
lives and businesses they do not have the time to use it sufficiently.
Putting it on the market was a tough, emotional decision and if you
visited you would understand why,” said Timothy Smith, listing agent.
“You would be hard-pressed to find a more stunning or even comparable
property anywhere in the world.”
September 1, Dorian reached Category 5 intensity, with maximum
sustained winds of 185 mph, and a minimum central pressure of 910 mb
while making landfall on Elbow Cay in the Abaco chain of islands. It is
the strongest known tropical system to impact the Bahamas and left a
path of unprecedented destruction through the Abaco Islands and much of
& Volkers advisor Paul Thompson lives on Elbow Cay and he and his
wife battened down their home to ride out the storm. A little over six
months after the storm, Paul is very optimistic that the island is well
on its way to rebuilding and restoring the community bonds that are the
heartstrings of the island heritage and culture.
throughout the Cay is mostly cleared up, 90% of the roads and verges
are cleared. The island is green again from the rain which makes it all
look much more inviting. I am very positive that things are looking
better,” says Paul. He ads, “The overhead electrical lines have been
restored and next they will install transformers then go from home to
home connecting to the grid with the hope that full power will be back
on in a month or two.”
far as the island economy goes, the island is being powered by
individual stand-by generators with fuel deliveries three times a week
from Lighthouse Marina to the Post Office dock. “The noise from the
generators is not the nicest but the generator power is a necessity to
power tools and get the water pressure up,” says Paul.