#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: March 26th 2020
#WeAreAllInThisTogther – whether we like it or NOT!
are some interesting times, aren't they? Since December of 2019, the
COVID-19 virus has been wreaking havoc across the globe. Thousands of
persons have contracted the illness and recovered but thousands more
have died as the virus has continued to spread to nearly all the
countries of the world.
For the sake of time and space, we won't go into the specific timeline of how the disease erupted into a global pandemic. But if you're interested in that timeline, one can be found https://www.commonwealthsdgdata.org/ via @Cnn's website.
evening. The COVID-19 virus and threat that the world and The Bahamas
are facing is a matter of life and death. While most people who contract
the virus will recover, many have died and many more will die around
the world. More than fifteen thousand people have died around the world
is frightening is that we do not know how many people will suffer from
the virus and how many will die. This virus is so serious and so
potentially dangerous for some, that people are dying in large numbers
in the richest, the most powerful and the more developed countries in
the world. In the worst hit places they announce hundreds of deaths per
day – with the highest toll so far being near 800 dead in one day in a
country in Europe. Those countries have more resources than The Bahamas.
Grand Bahama Has its First Confirmed Case of COVID-19
of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands stated as of Tuesday, 24th March
2020 the Ministry of Health has confirmed five cases of COVID-19 in The
Bahamas with the latest case being the first on the island of Grand
a press conference at the Health Ministry on Tuesday, March 24, Dr.
Sands said the previously announced four cases are in New Providence.
“The latest case is in Grand Bahama and has no significant travel history. Contact-tracing is aggressively underway.”
He added that the first confirmed case will be discharged today from hospital.
officials continue to follow the condition of the three other
COVID-19-positive cases in New Providence, who remain in isolation at
home and do not require hospitalization at this time. They are in stable
condition. These three cases are contacts of the first case.”
Health Minister explained that the Ministry of Health has communicated
with the majority of those who have been in contact with the initial
stated that the Ministry of Health Surveillance Unit in New Providence
is working closely with Grand Bahama to carry out contact-tracing.
Sands announced that at this time, close to 200 people have been tested
in The Bahamas for COVID-19 following the agreed international
Minister of Health Gave Update on the Fight Against COVID-19; Virtual Call Centre Established
of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands explained that as of Sunday, 22nd
March 2020 the Ministry of Health confirmed four cases of COVID-19 in
The Bahamas. The cases are in New Providence. During a press conference
at the Ministry, he added that seven people are in a quarantine facility
and 35 people have been released from quarantine.
said the first case remains in hospital in stable condition and is
being managed in isolation -- a 61-year-old female resident of New
Providence who does not have relevant travel history.
Health Minister noted that health officials continue to follow the
condition of the three other COVID-19 positive cases who remain in
isolation at home and do not require hospitalization at this time;
contact tracing is still being conducted.
Sands said as COVID-19 is a serious threat, the Ministry of Health has
activated its Emergency Operation Centre to mitigate the spread of this
coronavirus and to save lives.
Ministry has expanded its testing capacity. There are 1,750 test kits
on New Providence, and 10,000 rapid test kits have been ordered.
“Two thousand five hundred test kits are expected to be in New Providence by mid-week.
The GBPA launches initiatives to help assist and prepare residents for the potential impact of COVID-19
25th - Freeport, Grand Bahama – The Grand Bahama Port Authority,
Limited (GBPA) is collaborating with key stakeholders on the potential
impact of COVID-19 on Grand Bahama. “We have been paying close attention
to how this global pandemic has affected other countries around the
world and we commend the Government of The Bahamas and the Health
Authorities, for acting swiftly to protect our nation and for their
regard to Grand Bahama, we are following the Prime Minister’s COVID-19
Orders and working closely with the Government and Health Authorities in
both complying and maintaining essential utilities such as power,
water, and garbage collection. “We have let the relevant authorities
know that we are on standby to help and support in any and every way we
can”, said Ian Rolle, President of the GBPA. “We are acting upon lessons
learned to protect ourselves and each other.
The public is
advised that the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) is in urgent need of
all types of blood. Blood donations can be made at the PMH Blood Bank,
Monday to Saturday from 9 am until 5 pm. The final donation will be
taken at 4:30pm daily.
reminded that official identification is required in order to donate
blood. The public is also advised that if you are ill or experiencing
respiratory symptoms you should not donate blood. In keeping with social
distancing protocols, the Blood Bank is discouraging group donations.
No more than three individuals will be facilitated at a time.
information on making a blood donation or for specific instructions on
what to do before donating blood, please call the Blood Bank, Princess
Margaret Hospital at telephone numbers 502- 7822 or 322-8077.
The Bahamas -- The Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS)
on Monday evening embarked on a disinfecting exercise as a preventive
measure to limit the spread of COVID-19. Cleaning of visibly dirty
surfaces such as roads and sidewalks followed by disinfection is a best
practice measure for prevention of COVID-19, according to Melony
McKenzie, director of DEHS. A DEHS team of 12 is on rotation, between
the hours of 8:30pm to 1am until March 31, 2020; and thereafter if
necessary -- targeting Bay Street, Potter’s Cay Dock, Montagu Beach and
fishing ramp, Shirley Street and East Street, the Fish Fry at Arawak
Cay, Saunders Beach, Nassau Street, and Poinciana Drive.
director noted the disinfectant is not harmful to pedestrians or
motorists. Photos show disinfecting of downtown walkways on Tuesday
evening, March 24, 2020.
Government Licenses Bahamian Marine Pilots to Operate in Greater Bimini Area
around the globe have for decades provided indispensable services to
ships in the maritime industry and marine pilot services have been
offered in ports around The Bahamas since the 1900s. Since 2015
Independent Maritime Services (IMS), from its base of operations on
Grand Bahama Island, has provided Marine Pilotage services in addition
to a slew of other maritime industry services from logistics to launch
and port services to guiding vessels in Harbour Island and Egg Island
Eleuthera, Exuma, Conception Island, Long Island, San Salvador as well
as Bimini/ Ocean Cay.
Most recently, IMS
Bahamas’ core team of highly trained and qualified Marine Pilots have
been licensed by the Ministry of Transport and the Port Department to
Pilot vessels in the Greater Bimini Area. Providing first-hand expert
advice on-vessel maneuvering in and out of the Ports in the Greater
“Marine Pilots services are of the utmost importance as it pertains to maritime
RBC Royal Bank announces special banking times for seniors during COVID-19 pandemic
RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) announced the introduction
of special month-end banking times for seniors and differently-abled
persons due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global
Friday, March 27, 2020 to Friday, April 3, 2020, most RBC branches will
open 15 minutes early to serve seniors and differently-abled persons.
Following the early-opening, the first 30 minutes of regular branch
hours will continue to be reserved for seniors and differently-abled
initiative will apply to all branches operating in Antigua and Barbuda,
The Bahamas, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada,
Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.