#NASSAU, The Bahamas – January 31, 2020 — Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Pearl McMillan said that up to the time of the Ministry’s press conference, January 30, 2020, there had been no suspected, reported or confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in The Bahamas.
Dr. McMillan said, “The Ministry of Health has been following the guidance of international partners, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ensuring that our borders, health agencies and all stakeholders are prepared to respond in the event we are faced with a case.
“This situation is evolving, and today, after the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee, the WHO has declared the new corona virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
The CMO explained that following the level three travel advisory issued by the United States CDC concerning the recent Coronavirus outbreak in China, along with travel restrictions in France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Jamaica and other sovereign nations, the Government of The Bahamas has implemented a travel ban, restricting all travel from China to The Bahamas.
“Effectively immediately, any non-resident regardless of nationality who has visited China in the last 20 days will be denied entry into the country.
“All residents returning to The Bahamas will be strictly quarantined and monitored for development of symptoms for the duration of the incubation period with a maximum of 14 days.”
Dr. McMillan stated that the WHO’s current recommendation is against all non-essential travel for persons to China at this time.
“The Ministry of Health, therefore, recommends that persons who MUST travel in that region, take precautions to protect themselves by avoiding direct contact with sick people and products that come from animals.
“Be diligent, pay attention and equip yourself with travel advisory information related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus before you travel. If during, or after your travel symptoms of respiratory illness are experienced, you are encouraged to immediately contact a medical provider who will guide you as to your next steps.
She added, “Be ready to give your full travel history to health care providers. As mentioned, all persons returning to The Bahamas from China will be quarantined.”
Common signs of infection with this virus involve respiratory symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe respiratory distress, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent the spread of this infection include frequent, proper hand washing and use of hand sanitizer; covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing preferably with the elbow and sleeve; thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
The CMO noted that the Ministry of Health is working closely with all government departments, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to ensure that there is a coordinated and effective response.
“The Ministry has hosted a series of 2019 Novel Coronavirus sensitization meetings with our internal and external stakeholders and have met with representatives from Tourism, Nassau Airport Development Company, Civil Aviation, Border Control, Customs, Immigration and the Royal Bahamas Police Force. We have ongoing briefings with the Prime Minister.”
PAHO Representative to The Bahamas, Dr. Esther de Gourville explained that as yet there is no treatment to cure the novel coronavirus infections and there is no vaccine to prevent infections.
She said infected persons are being given supportive treatment to deal with their symptoms and it is should be noted that this is a very dynamic situation and the number of reported cases around the world is changing daily.
PRESS RELEASE, BIS, LLONELLA GILBERT
Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance. The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections. However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.
68,000 STAYED AWAY
While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.
However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.
PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER
This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.
Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.
It could also be voter apathy.
BEST IN SHOW
Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.
North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.
VERY LOW SHOW
The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).
BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.
The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.
“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.
“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”
- Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
- Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
- Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
- Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
- Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
- Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
- Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
- Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
- Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.
“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.
Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.
“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are here to meet them head on.”
Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis pledges to govern in the interests of all Bahamians
#TheBahamas, September 19, 2021 – During his ceremonial swearing-in today as the nation’s fifth Prime Minister, Hon. Philip Davis pledged to govern in the interests of all Bahamians and to consult widely with the Bahamian people.
The best way to make progress as a nation is to bring people together, said Prime Minister Davis, who was presented with his instruments of Office in ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre, on Saturday 18 September 2021.
“We will uphold the constitution and the rule of law, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly, so that it’s not one rule for one set of people, and another for another set of people,” said the Prime Minister.
“There is much work to be done; but I know that by working together we can succeed and build the kind of prosperous, independent Bahamas that our founding fathers dreamed for us.”
Prime Minister Davis said that while there are big challenges ahead for The Bahamas, his team has the right vision and policies to take the country forward.
The Prime Minister said the new administration is coming into office at a time when the Bahamian people are hurting as never before.
The country faces many crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy in decline and deeply concerning challenges in education, said Prime Minister Davis.
If everyone works together towards a common purpose, in the common interest and for the common good, great things are possible for The Bahamas and its people, said the Prime Minister.
But no government can do great things on its own, Prime Minister Davis added.
“I am sure that my government can only succeed if we partner with the Bahamian people,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are going to listen, we are going to consult widely and we are going to bring people together.”
18 September 2021
Office of the Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
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