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Extreme Week for Caribbean – Coronavirus scare, Quake, Twister & Quarantine!

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#CARIBBEAN, January 31, 2020 — A week of extremities experienced across the Caribbean and for Caribbean students resident in Wuhan, China, which is the epicenter of the now global health emergency and deadly Coronavirus. 

Emerica Robinson is one of those students and has told The Bahamas Tribune newspaper that she has been quarantined in the neighbouring city, Nanjing; visited by the police and doctors at her residence and is under watch for the next 14 days to monitor whether she shows any sign of having the virus. 

Dr. Duane Sands, Bahamas Health Minister

Robinson is a Bahamian student attending university in Wuhan and says she has no plans to return home to The Bahamas, will stay put and will do as doctors have prescribed, which is to check her temperature twice a day and to report each test result to the hospital.   

The Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs had confirmed there are five Bahamian students at university in Wuhan.  Bahamas Health Minister, Dr. Duane Sands, yesterday reported that two of them are quarantined and as of Thursday, The Bahamas will quarantine anyone who has been to mainland China in the past 20 days.

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica Health Minister

At least two critical press conferences have been held in the Caribbean – the first was in Jamaica where the University Hospital of the University of the West Indies was on lock down following the transfer of a patient to the facility. 

Word got out that the person, who had recently returned from Asia, was suspected of having coronavirus. 

Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s Health Minister led a press conference to explain the action taken out of ‘the abundance of caution’ and eventually informed that there was no coronavirus case in Jamaica.

Mere minutes after this press conference wrapped up on Monday, there was a 7.7 magnitude earthquake recorded – it struck at 2:10pm in waters off Jamaica.  The USGS said the earthquake affected Jamaica, Cuba, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Haiti and Honduras. 

Cayman Islands rushed outdoors when earthquake struck on Monday

The tremors caused The Bahamas to close government offices along Shirley Street in Nassau. 

Lots of cell phone video of the moments during and after the earthquake was shared on social media by residents of Cayman.  Some people captured the actual shaking, others recorded the gaping sink holes left behind on main thoroughfares, golf course, beach, in backyards and neighbourhoods, proving that the monster quake was anything but imagined.

By Thursday, a line of squally, stormy showers moving off South Florida and over the Abacos resulted in a tornado, confirmed The Bahamas Department of Meteorology. 

A mangled mobile home, which was unoccupied at the time of the tornado seemed to be the main victim of the twister which moved through Marsh Harbour, “like a freight train” in the early hours of Thursday. 

Mobile Home smashed by Thursday morning tornado in Abaco, Bahamas

It appeared the tornado lifted and crashed the vehicle to the ground; it was completely destroyed. 

Marsh Harbour, which is the capital of Great Abaco, is still trying to recover from deadly and disastrous Hurricane Dorian.

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Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#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).

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BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#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.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • 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.”

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Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis pledges to govern in the interests of all Bahamians

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#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.

Prime Minister Davis was officially sworn in as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Friday 17 September 2021 at the Office of the Governor General.

“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
Contact: opmcommunications@bahamas.gov.bs
Website: opm.gov.bs

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