Friday, May 1, 2020

#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: April 30th 2020



Are We Really in this Together or is it Just Nassau’s Way?

Dear Readers,

By now, Bahamians across the country are coming to grips with the true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than just altering the way we interact with each other, Coronavirus has all but decimated the domestic economy, shutting down scores of businesses, sending thousands to the unemployment line, and creating widespread uncertainty.

Over the past few weeks, the government has been working to reassure the business community and country at large, that all will be well. In addition to unveiling scores of social welfare options for impacted individuals, PM the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis also unveiled a multi-phased plan to reopen and boost the country’s economy. As part of those plans, he appointed a group of distinguished Bahamians to the government’s Economic Recovery Committee. Chaired by Acting Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson and businessman Ken Kerr, CEO, Providence Advisors, the committee is comprised of 15 other representatives from public and private sector entities. It’s mission: to focus on restoring the macroeconomy; restarting a competitive business environment; economic diversification; tourism and transport; financial services and labor.


House of Assembly Communication:
COVID-19 Response The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis

Monday, 27 April 2020

Mr. Speaker:
The House meets today to approve a Resolution extending emergency powers in The Bahamas because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
I also wish to provide the House and the Bahamian people with an update on a range of matters in my Government's ongoing, full and comprehensive response to the pandemic.
I wish at the outset to offer the condolences of the country and my personal condolences to those who have lost loved ones to this deadly virus.
They remain in our hearts and prayers.

Prime Minister Minnis Announces Five-Phase Plan to Re-Open the Economy, and Rental Assistance Programme

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis today announced a measured approach to re-opening the economy in five phases and an assistance programme for renters whose income has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister said that when it comes to re-opening the economy, it will be gradual and deliberate. At each step, proper health and physical distancing protocols will be mandatory and will be enforced.

During a Communication to the House of Assembly on Monday 27 April the Prime Minister unveiled a 5-phase re-opening plan that covers economic and social aspects recommended by the National COVID-19 Coordinating Committee.
Statement on Appointment of Economic Recovery Committee

The Cabinet Office today announced that Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis has appointed an Economic Recovery Committee.

The public-private Committee will make recommendations to the Cabinet on the long-term economic recovery of The Bahamas economy, including job-creation and stimulating small business recovery and development in response to COVID-19.

The Committee will focus on restoring the macroeconomy; restarting a competitive business environment; economic diversification; tourism and transport; financial services and labour.

The Co-Chairs of the Committee are Acting Financial Secretary Mr. Marlon Johnson and businessman Mr. Ken Kerr, CEO, Providence Advisors.

The Committee is representative of a diversity of public and private sector entities.

Prime Minister Minnis Tours Blanco Plant

Blanco Chemicals is among the latest Bahamian manufacturers that are meeting the needs of the local community to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and simultaneously expanding their product lines.

On Friday 24 April, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis received a private tour of the Blanco plant to see first-hand how the company’s new All-Purpose Disinfectant Spray is made, packaged and tested.

“I am so pleased to see local manufacturers meeting the needs of the local community and at the same time growing their businesses and creating employment opportunities,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

“This shows what we can do right here in The Bahamas.”

Grand Bahama Utility Company Restores Potable Water to Several Communities

As an essential service, the Grand Bahama Utility Company Limited (GBUC) continues to work safely through the COVID-19 health crisis to provide water maintenance and distribution to all communities, and to restore potable water to the residents of Grand Bahama.

The utility is pleased to confirm that potable water is now being supplied in the areas of Lewis Yard, Mac Town, Pinder’s Point, Sunrise Subdivision, Wellington Heights and South Bahamia subdivision.

Water to these communities has been confirmed as potable by the Environmental Department of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited, the utility’s regulator, and results were provided to the Department of Environmental Health of the Government of the Bahamas.


Flying Fish Gastro Bar Teams up with Residents and Vendors to Provide Meals for Front Line Workers

Flying Fish has been showing appreciation for Grand Bahamas’s front line workers for their extra time and hard work during this Covid 19 State of Emergency. Taking donations from residents and ex pats living off the island, the staff and owners of Flying Fish have prepared and served almost 1000 meals in the last 2 months at no cost to the front line workers.

Rebecca Tibbitts, owner and manager of Flying Fish, explained how and why this act of good will came to be: “As we watched the Covid 19 pandemic spread, we watched it knowing it was coming our way. We saw the over-time, the sacrifice and the dedication that the front line workers were contributing and knew it was inevitable this burden would be placed on our local front line workers. A regular customer of the restaurant approached us asking if, on his donation, we could ‘pay it forward’ to some of workers here expected to work extra during the state of emergency.
Health Minister Sands Explains Proven Public Health Measures for Controlling Outbreaks

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands explained that case identification, testing and isolation along with aggressive contact tracing and quarantine, as appropriate, are proven public health measures for controlling outbreaks.

“In pandemics, such as we are currently experiencing due to COVID, these measures become most important given the potential for uncontrolled spread in populations with no previous exposure and therefore no one having immunity and everyone susceptible to infection,” Dr. Sands stated as he presented an Update on the COVID-19 Response in The Bahamas in the House of Assembly, April 27, 2020.

He noted that case confirmation is tied to laboratory testing capacity and significant strides continue to be made in this area.
“Since my last update, we have accepted 1,000 donated RT PCR test kits as well as more than 700 RNA extractor kits and other regents required for testing.
Setting The Bar Higher

New local hotspot becomes first-ever Bahamian bar nominated for prestigious international award.

An instant social hotspot when the doors opened last year, Bon Vivants has now been nominated for a top international award – a huge honor and a first for any bar in The Bahamas.

The stylish and distinctive cocktail lounge was one of 10 bars shortlisted to be named Best New International Cocktail Bars in the Latin America and the Caribbean by the Tales of The Cocktail Spirited Awards.

Co-Owner Kyle Jones said: “Being recognized by the Spirited Awards is a huge honor and incredibly humbling! I am so proud of our team, their hard work and dedication to the craft speaks volumes.”

“Their love and passion for what they do is evident in the quality of beverages they put in front of each and every person that walks through our doors. With everything that is going on in the world right now, this bright spot of good news was surely welcome. We are looking forward to the day when we can re- open to serve Bahamians and visitors once again!”
Update on the Emergency Food Plan

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the great Constituency of Marco City to which I have the honour to represent.

Mr. Speaker, The Cabinet of The Bahamas has determined that food production is especially crucial in these times. And that whatever measures we put in place must be sustained beyond Covid-19. We take seriously the mandate that has been given by the Prime Minister to fix outstanding issues that may exist along the entire value chain and supply chain to ensure that The Bahamas has adequate food resources and the right food resources for the health and wealth of our people.

Strengthening existing partners and working with stakeholders to reach common objectives will be critically important to weather this crisis. My Ministry continue to make ourselves available to hear the concerns of farmers and fishers and will be making deliberate efforts to use the available technology to reach out to farmers and fishers throughout the country.
How COVID-19 Affects Your Pet’s Daily Routine - Pet Food Institute Offers Tips to Care for Pets During this Time

Over the last few months, no single event has had more of a global impact than COVID-19. The novel coronavirus has reached pandemic status. In an effort to curb the transmission of the highly contagious disease, governments have urged social distancing practices to eradicate its spread. Curfews are commonplace, closed signs in shop windows are the new temporary norm, and worldwide, people have experienced a shift in their lifestyles. For many, the change in daily habits that includes spending more time at home has affected their furry four-legged companions.

While that extra time may appear to be the cat’s meow, it can zap the excitement that comes with a daily routine of meal time rituals, greetings at the end of a work day and a walk in the park meeting up with other dogs and the folks they bring along.

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Grand Bahama resident Kay Hardy has a Youtube page where she uploads videos of herself reading stories for young children. What a great way to help pass the time while your kids are home from school.
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