#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: April 2nd 2020
Mother Earth Has Just Dropped the ‘Mic’ - Boom!
see a show of hands, who thought that the first quarter of 2020 would
start off like the opening sequence of an apocalyptic film? There've
been wildfires in Australia, which consumed everything in sight,
volcanic eruptions, floods in Dubai and Indonesia, and now... the
you've been living under a rock, then you are aware of the havoc that
COVID-19 has caused around the world. We've been watching (hopefully
from the safety of our homes) as the number of confirmed cases of the
virus has started to surge. On Wednesday, health officials confirmed 21
confirmed cases, 1 death, and the discovery of an Eastern New Providence
hot spot which has been fueling community spread of the virus locally.
PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS: Update on COVID-19 – 1 April
wanted to provide an update on where we are today in our ongoing battle
against the health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19. As
expected, we are in a surge. There is community spread. I want to
announce that there are six new cases. This means that as of today,
April 1st, 2020, there are 21 COVID-19 positive cases identified: 18 on
New Providence and three on Grand Bahama. The six new cases are all on
New Providence. One of the new cases has a link to Grand Bahama.
are 1,500 diagnostic test kits in- country. Aggressive contact tracing
continues. Health officials are following cases day- by-day. Through GIS
mapping we have identified hotspots on New Providence and we
have undertaken GIS mapping on Grand Bahama to identify hotspots there.
eastern area of New Providence has been identified as a hotspot area.
We will be vigorously stepping-up enforcement of the curfew in hot
spots. This situation is constantly changing and evolving. So, we have
to adapt and to act quickly and decisively.
information we give the public will also change and develop. We are
working hard to give the public and the media the timeliest and most
accurate information possible. I want to address this afternoon the
death of an individual who was transported from Bimini to New
Passing of the Baton, From One Police Commissioner to Another
The Bahamas -- Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis gave
keynote remarks at the Royal Bahamas Police Force Handing Over Ceremony
of the Office of Commissioner of Police, March 30, 2020 at Police
Headquarters. He commended Commissioner Anthony Ferguson on his
"extraordinary service to our country and to the Bahamian people." The
Prime Minister then introduced incoming Commissioner-Designate
Paul Rolle, who established the Force's first Cyber Crime Unit, and
assured him of full support.
Prime Minister noted, "Because of the extraordinary circumstances
during which we meet to pass the baton from one Commissioner of Police
to another, I must of necessity be brief this afternoon. It is my
intention to offer a fuller expression of gratitude to outgoing
Commissioner Anthony Ferguson and an extended charge to incoming
Commissioner-Designate Paul Rolle at an appropriate time and occasion.
Today’s ceremony, though brief, is a testimony to our nation’s abiding
commitment to the rule of law and to the national institutions which
have served The Bahamas before and after our independence as a sovereign
NIB, SBDC and the Department of Social Services Have Rolled out Social and Economic Support Programmes
By Llonella Gilbert
The Bahamas -- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced
that last week, the Department of Social Services, the National
Insurance Board (NIB) and the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC),
using the additional resources allocated by this government
administration, rolled out social and economic support programmes.
means, Bahamians are gaining access to much-needed food assistance and
financial support to lessen the economic burden on their households,”
DPM Turnquest said as he announced an update on the government’s
stimulus measures in response to COVID-19 in the House of Assembly,
Monday, March 30, 2020.
am also pleased to advise that the Government is expanding its recently
announced social assistance programme, targeting a broader category of
self-employed persons, and introducing another programme geared at
protecting current employment levels.”
Providence, Bahamas –Independent Maritime Services (IMS), a leader in
the Marine Pilotage sector of the local Maritime Industry, has over the
past five years expanded its work with private ferries and five-star
cruise liners. The company’s core group of government-licensed marine
pilots recently teamed up with the famed Virgin Voyages group - owned
and operated by world-renowned businessman Richard Branson - to prepare
the company’s newly commissioned vessel: The Scarlet Lady, for its
10th, 2020 the M/V Scarlet Lady made her maiden voyage to North Bimini
Resorts World Pier. The vessel was safely escorted into port by Captain
Kendall Williamson and Captain Kashii Thompson of Independent Maritime
Services Ltd t/a Bimini Pilots assisting the Bridge team of Captain
Marco Carsjens. Armed with the support of the Ministry of Transport, the
Harbour Authority and the Port Controller, IMS was engaged to make sure
the new mega Virgin cruise liner entered the island safely with no
damage to Bimini’s seabeds.
The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) supports the difficult measures enacted by Emergency Powers
Grand Bahama, March 24, 2020: The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce
(GBCC) supports the difficult measures enacted by Emergency Powers
(COVID 19) (No.2) Order, 2020, announced by the Right Hon. Hubert A.
Minnis and urges all Grand Bahamian businesses to follow all mandates to
mitigate the extraordinary threat to the community.
all have watched, with tremendous sadness and concern, the aggressive
progression of COVID-19 and its devastating impacts on lives and some of
the greatest health systems and economies of the developed world,” says
Greg Laroda, President, GBCC. “We are watching the global pandemic
unfold, at alarming rates, with lives lost – including certainly the
most vulnerable but also people of all ages, from all backgrounds and
many with no concerning history. Around the world, daily lives – and
economies – have come to a screeching halted and, in our small nation,
we are no different,” he adds.
Laroda notes that the 24-hour curfew and temporary closure of all but
essential services and business were extreme and sure to cause
disruption, unease and hardship for Grand Bahamian businesses and
citizens alike. However, he says such measures are to prevent a far
worse toll and greater hardship in our communities.
Partner in Business Continuity Program Issues Commitment
LENO Chief: ‘We will help business get through this’
founder and CEO of a leading broad-based financial services firm has
pledged “100% commitment” to government’s lending program, created to
assist businesses survive the economic impact of coronavirus.
K. Longley, CEO of Leno Group, one of a select few companies chosen to
partner with government in the $20 million Business Continuity Program,
said staff members volunteered to work as many hours – even with working
remotely – as it takes to process loan applications.
had a robust number of applications for funds during the first 24 hours
after the program was officially launched this week,” Longley said.
“The funds that are available can serve as a lifeline to businesses
which must remain closed and shuttered as a result of orders aimed at
stopping the spread of COVID-19. LENO is honoured to be among those
selected to screen applications and participate in this initiative and
we want to assure those who are considering applying that we will handle
their loan applications with discretion, efficiency and speed. We also
want to encourage them to apply quickly.”
Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism & Aviation Statement On COVID-19
Bahamas, March 31, 2020 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism &
Aviation is following guidance from the Bahamas Ministry of Health and
other government agencies pertaining to the country’s Preparedness and
Response Plan for COVID-19. Please visit the Bahamas Ministry of
Health’s website for the latest information on COVID-19 cases in The
Bahamas. Current and future patients are to be isolated in quarantine
following the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO)
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
to the Emergency Order, “Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (NO. 2) Order,
2020,” announced by Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, the
Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) has closed the Lynden Pindling
International Airport to all flights, as of Friday, March 27. The
public is further advised that, effective March 27, all airports
throughout the entire Bahamas shall be closed to all air traffic.
University Research Edge Presentations Resume in Online Platform
THE BAHAMAS — In the midst of a national emergency sparked by the
COVID-19 pandemic, University of The Bahamas (UB) forged ahead with its
research presentations, five days after transitioning to remote
operations and announcing that previously scheduled events had been
postponed or cancelled.
Friday 20th March, University researchers, who would have traditionally
presented before a face-to-face crowd, were instead connected to those
listening via an online conferencing application.
Sustainability Coordinator Keyron Smith’s research concluded what many
have claimed all along – that the local government system in the Family
Islands suffers from insufficient subsidies, deficiencies in
central-local relations, undue influence of party politics, and
inconsistencies in delivering good governance. His study explored the
system’s challenges to determine whether decentralising more power from
the central government to local government would improve governance on
the Family Islands.
Now is the Time to Get Serious About Mental Health
is affected by events like Hurricane Dorian and COVD-19. Events this
wide-reaching and devastating change our views, our beliefs, and our
lives. While not everyone reacts in the same way, we are all impacted in
some way whether it be physically, emotionally, financially, or
must attend to the mental and emotional aspects of health in times of
crisis! Most people are “stressed” by events like these while some feel
powerful emotions like terror, uncertainty, or powerlessness. Intense
stress and emotional states weaken the immune system and make us more
vulnerable to illness, distress, emotional dysregulation, and mental
health symptoms. If left unattended, the symptoms can evolve into
conditions that require more intensive treatment.
effects of stress are cumulative. Resilience is demonstrated when an
individual is stressed and then bounces back; this generally requires
some recovery time. The Bahamas has not fully recovered from Hurricane
Dorian and even earlier storms.