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Bahamas finds 30 contacts of COVID-19 first case; two positive

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#NASSAU, The Bahamas — March 18, 2020 — Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands explained that late last evening medical professionals confirmed two additional cases identified through contact tracing.

“These contact tracing investigations have revealed that household members of the COVID-19 positive patient travelled to Canada, Trinidad and Dubai — territories with known community transmission,” Dr. Sands said as he presented his Contribution in the House of Assembly on the COVID-19/2019 Corona virus, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

“These household contacts have been quarantined and samples taken for testing. Other contacts, including healthcare providers, are being investigated to determine their level of exposure and risk.   A total of 30 contacts of the COVID-19 positive patient have been identified.”

The Health Minister also noted that the first confirmed person with COVID-19 in The Bahamas, a 61-year-old female resident of New Providence who does not have a relevant travel history, continues to be monitored in isolation at the Princess Margaret Hospital and is in stable, clinical condition.

He stated that this first case triggered the operationalization of the Health Disaster Plan, and the full activation of the Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC).

Bahamas Testing facility for Coronavirus; supporting testing also for the Turks and Caicos Islands

Dr. Sands added that now that the Ministry has transitioned from preparedness mode to response mode, it is sharing some of its mitigation actions:

·      Re-tooled health services to redirect staff to enhance the COVID-19 response;

·      Modified existing protocols;

·      Manned a 24-hour hotline to ensure the public has an avenue to ask COVID-19 related questions and convey concerns;

·      Re-doubled efforts to ensure adequate needed supplies, especially, and Personal Protective Equipment supplies; and test kits;

·      Augmented public messaging to educate the public;

·      Embedded advanced policy recommendations to bolster the social, labour, educational and economic response within a National COVID-19 Co-ordinating mechanism;

·   The dedicated COVID website to go live covid19.gov.bs;

·      Formalized plans to take services to the public in our communities;

·      Enhanced testing capacity with an additional 750 test kits in county, seeking to order an additional 1000 – 5000;

·      Tested suspected cases and close contacts of confirmed cases; and

·      Collaboration between public health system and private sector for enhanced treatment capacity, and the instillation of a modular unit at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Dr. Sands stressed that the steps taken now and in the days ahead will determine the degree of the spread of the Coronavirus in The Bahamas.

He said all Bahamians should follow proven public health advice by closely adhering to the following recommendations:

1.    Maintain a distance of at least 3-6 feet between you and others. This is social distancing; and in practical terms means you should avoid recreational and leisure activities, large crowds, playdates, in-person meetings and public transportation;

2.    Disinfect surfaces regularly.  Examples of these include work surfaces, phones, light switches, door knobs, play toys, tables and floors;

3.    Wash hands with soap and water. If you do not have access to washing facilities, use hand sanitizers with at least 65% alcohol;

4.    Avoid unnecessary travel;

5.    Stay home if you are sick;

6.    Stay home if you are at higher risk of being infected with COVID-19. These people include the elderly and those who have diabetes, hypertension, lung conditions (example asthma), heart disease and kidney disease.   This also refers to those who already have a weakened immune system such as cancer patients, those on high-dose steroids, pregnant women and those morbidly obese.

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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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