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Bahamas COVID-19 trend threatens to overwhelm health system; strong push to augment supplies



#Nassau, The Bahamas – April 7, 2020 — COVID-19 cases for The Bahamas have been steadily increasing and the Minister of Health, on Monday, said his team is bracing for a surge while suffering a severe loss in front line health care workers who are under quarantine.

April 3, 2020 photo of meeting at Bahamas Ministry of Health

“Among these confirmed positive COVID-19 health care worker, two (2) have had to be hospitalized.  What is more worrisome, is that more than fifty (50) health care workers have been identified as contacts of diagnosed/confirmed cases. These health care workers are currently in quarantine, and are being monitored for the development of symptoms. 

Clearly, if more health care workers are removed from the available pool, there will be no soldiers left to fight the COVID war.   We must protect our frontline workers.   The best way to do this is to stay at home!”

Minister, Dr. Duane Sands wants what officials around the world want – for people to live through this pandemic by following the protocols, though difficult.


“Currently, there are 23 cases in New Providence; 5 cases in Grand Bahama; and  1 case from Bimini. This equates to almost one new case each day. If we continue on this path, our health care system will be overwhelmed and unable to meet the demands.  Social and physical distancing and responsible handwashing are the two mitigating actions that will help us to combat the strength of this virus,” said the Minister during a presentation in the House of Assembly.

The nation learned that the People’s Republic of China has donated 1,000 test kits and The Bahamas now has 10,000 rapid tests which will mean wider screening at the community level. 

“We are exploring the introduction of rapid testing. The first step in the process requires in-country validation of the rapid serological testing. Once this validation is completed, wider screening for COVID-19 at the community level will commence. There are 10,000 rapid test kits in-country.”

Chinese Embassy, The Bahamas

More challenging however, as the world competes for the same products, is for The Bahamas to ensure the frontline soldiers in Health Care are adequately outfitted for the battle.

“With this in mind, we are aggressively exploring various ways and means to acquire more personal protective equipment (PPE) inventory and other supplies. The global shortage of PPEs and other needed supplies have resulted in supply chain disruptions.  Many countries are holding on to their stock, and others are coveting the stocks found in other countries. Hence, we must manage our current supplies judiciously.  Our goal is to ensure that there is a consistent supply of PPEs to frontline nurses, doctors and support staff.  With this equipment, they can provide the necessary care to individuals presenting to and being admitted to health care facilities,” said Minister Sands.

The Bahamas Ministry of Health currently has:  1,000 boxes of surgical masks;  43,995 of  N95 masks; 2,418 surgeon gowns; 1,672 healthcare barrier gowns;  238 face shields; 4,590 boxes of gloves; and 6,033+ PPE full kits, (masks, 2 gloves, boot cover, head cover, face shield).

On Monday, Bahamas Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis informed that the Public Hospitals Authority will label their medical face masks, that government will purchase all of the medical masks within the marketplace and soon to come is a ban on the sale of these specialized items to the general public. 

The Bahamas has over 29.5 million surgical masks and another 691,000 cloth masks according to the Health Minister in his update.  As for gloves, there are nearly 270,000,000.

From Bahamas Ministry of Health, Facebook

“The Ministry of Health will continue to trump up efforts to ensure that our frontline health care workers are provided with appropriate PPEs and training to minimize their level of exposure to the COVID19 virus.”

Dr. Judson Eneas

The Bahamas, up to Monday April 6 recorded 33 positives for COVID-19 and five deaths, including a medical doctor. 

Dr. Judson Eneas, 71, died on Sunday April 5 as a result of contracting the coronavirus; one of five medical care workers who had been infected in service to the public.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis’ Remarks at the COP28 Green Climate Blue Co Launch



#TheBahamas, December 7, 2023 – We are here today because we are short on time and even shorter on the resources needed to empower every nation in the world to respond to an increasingly dire climate crisis.

We are approaching the tipping point from which there will be no return. At our current rate, the world will cross the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold sometime within the next two decades.

The window of opportunity is closing.

But it is not closed yet.

And as long as there is even a small opening, just a sliver of time left for us to take action, there is still hope that we can save the world from the worst-case climate change scenarios.

I’ve travelled the globe representing Small Island Developing States like mine which have contributed the least to global carbon emissions but are already experiencing the worst effects of climate change.

Global inaction will soon threaten our continued existence as nations, but we will do everything within our power to avoid this outcome.

The Bahamas is here this week at COP 28 to invite the people of the world to partner with us and all vulnerable states to face this existential threat together.

As a region, the Caribbean has seen the results of our advocacy take shape in the form of the Loss and Damage fund to help us recover from the destruction already wrought on our nations. And we will continue to push for greater access to financing opportunities as we seek to protect our shorelines, build climate-resilient infrastructure, and invest in a renewable and sustainable future.

Through collaborative action, we will also create new industries and generate demand for novel solutions. Solving the world’s most pressing problems has always been good for business. We are entering an era of socially responsible investments, regenerative financing, and ESG finance. And the Caribbean is prepared to lead the way. In fact, if we want to continue to thrive as a region, we have no choice but to lead the way.

My country has been hit by four major hurricanes over the past few years. Over a third of our national debt is directly linked to the impact of storms, causing billions in damages that threaten the economic and fiscal health of our nation and people. With the situation projected to worsen at its current rate, we have gone all-in on making the necessary investments to solve our climate woes. Our future as a nation depends on it.

So, today, I applaud the Green Climate Fund for its efforts to support the developing world in creating climate-resilient pathways to a sustainable future. This is life-saving work.

With the approval of the application for preparation funds to finance the development of the Blue Co Caribbean Umbrella Coordination Programme, we fully expect to see new, effective solutions emerge for the people of the Caribbean.

The Blue Co  Caribbean project will provide the foundation for strategic investments at a scale not possible without embracing the spirit of cooperation and co-investment through this Caribbean-targeted, climate-focused investment opportunity.

Through this platform, Caribbean nations will be empowered to strengthen their blue economy frameworks and develop data-backed projects that can then be replicated and scaled across the region. My nation, as one of the world leaders in the research and development of blue carbon credits as a viable source of revenue generation, looks forward to the ways that Blue Co will strengthen The Bahamas’ mission to develop home-grown solutions that can fund a climate-resilient future for our people.

It turns out that saving the world isn’t just good for people, it’s also good for business.

Just yesterday, we were privileged to host a discussion on the Bahamas Sustainable Investment Programme, which will generate up to $500 million for climate-related investments. This is a testament to our commitment and resolve to generate our own innovative solutions to the climate crisis. And we are by no means standing alone.

Within the Caribbean, we have the passion, motivation, and expertise to drive the success of this initiative. There is no doubt in my mind that Blue Co can and will serve as a model for other regions to follow.

I invite all interested parties to reach out, get involved, and together we will save countless lives and livelihoods on our way to building a more resilient, renewable, and prosperous future for all nations.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Joins U.S. Embassy Test of Emergency Response  



#TheBahamas, December 5, 2023 – On Tuesday, November 21, U.S. Embassy Nassau conducted a successful emergency preparedness exercise with Bahamian security partners.

The exercise illustrated excellent coordination between the Embassy, Royal Bahamas Police Force, and Royal Bahamas Defence Force.  During the exercise, the security partners practiced responding to a hostile attack on the Embassy.  In addition to testing communications between partners, the exercise included mock arrests, the evacuation of Embassy staff, and emergency medical services to “injured” civilians.

These emergency preparedness exercises help evaluate the Embassy’s ability to protect its staff and installations during an emergency.  We want to thank our Bahamian partners for participating in the exercise and supporting emergency preparedness.  As our American founding father Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”



Photo Captions

Header: U.S. and Bahamian law enforcement officers participated in a joint emergency response drill on Tuesday, November 21.

1st insert: The Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team joins the RBDF as it searches for suspects along Queen Street in an emergency preparedness exercise held on Tuesday, November 21.

2nd insert: The Royal Bahamas Defence Force conducts a sweep of Queen Street as a part of the U.S. Embassy emergency response drill.

3rd insert: A U.S. marine detains a gunman in a mock exercise held on Tuesday, November 21.

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Bahamas News

Ashley Albury Marks A World YWCA First  



#TheBahamas, December 5, 2023 – For the first time in the global movement’s 168-year-old history, a Bahamian will serve on the World YWCA Board headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Ashley Albury, 25, was elected as a board member during the 30th World YWCA Council Meeting held this week.

Executive Director of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas (YWCA Bahamas), Rosalie Fawkes, described the occasion as a “red-letter day” for the organization.

“I sincerely thank all of the YWCA women who have played a role in mentoring and supporting Ashley’s candidacy and we wish her well as she embraces this new opportunity for growth and development. May this occasion mark a renewed effort to continue building the membership and participation of our youthful population,” said Ms. Fawkes.

On the World YWCA Board as the second Caribbean representative is Adrianna Sosa from Haiti. Adrianna also made history four years ago when at the age of 19, she became the youngest member ever to be elected to the World Board.  Today she is running as a candidate for World YWCA Vice President.

It was in 2015 that Ashley wrote via Facebook to YWCA Bahamas inquiring about its program offerings.  That simple act eventually led to an active involvement in the life of the YWCA.

Ms. Fawkes added, “Ashley has successfully navigated the world of technology for the association; constructed our website –; established a YWCA Collegiate Chapter at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI); used her graphic design skills in newsletter preparation; served on the YWCA’s Board of Management;  built an archives and storage drop box in the clouds; became a faithful member of the YWCA’s Bible Study and Fellowship Group and recently joined the finance team at the YWCA – and all of this while continuing to further her education.”

Ashley said, “Being elected to the YWCA World Board as a Caribbean representative from The Bahamas fills me with immense pride and a deep sense of duty. This role is more than a position; it is a pledge to elevate and empower women and girls not just in the region but across the world. The unique perspectives and vibrant cultures of elected members will contribute significantly to the achievement of the YWCA’s mission and vision.”

She continued, “I appreciate YWCA Bahamas for nominating me and voting delegates for seeing me as a well-suited nominee. This is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and to represent the vibrant spirit and resilience of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas.”


Photo Captions

Header: Ashley Albury, 25, is the first Bahamian elected to serve on the World YWCA Board.

Insert: Pictured are past and current board members of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas (YWCA Bahamas). YWCA Bahamas Executive Director Rosalie Fawkes is seated in the center and Ashley Albury is standing at the far right.

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