#Freeport, Grand Bahama – April 12, 2020 — The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), in collaboration with local medical teams, have sourced and funded a supply of COVID-19 rapid test kits, from a U.S. based company, for use by Grand Bahama Health Services. The kits are on island, and a portion of them have been made available to The Bahamas Ministry of Health for use throughout the archipelago.
Dr. Duane Sands, Minister of Health for The Bahamas, has stated that comprehensive testing is key to controlling the spread of Coronavirus. Once validated, this supply of rapid test kits will support Grand Bahama Health Service efforts and allow speedier cluster tracing and identification of COVID-19 patients.
“This is obviously not our area of expertise or in our remit, but we are doing whatever we can to assist our health care services in the fight against COVID-19,” said Ian Rolle, President of GBPA and Port Group Ltd. “In echoing leaders like Dr. Sands and Dr. Bartlett, who head the COVID-19 response here in Grand Bahama, we have said from the beginning that success against this global pandemic will come from working together. This fight will take a citizen army of the public and private sector, working together safely, to staunch the spread of the virus.”
In prior announcements, the GBPA advised of their leasing the Grand Bahama Cancer Association building to be used as a medical facility, as well as the donation of two x-ray machines to Grand Bahama Health Services. GBPA commended Norma Headley for her hard work and efforts in ensuring the Cancer Association was safely handed over to local health services. The company will continue to provide updates on the COVID-19 pandemic in Grand Bahama through communication with the Minister of Health and Grand Bahama Health Services, as well as relevant white papers and participation in videoconferences with medical professionals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left several Bahamian families and communities grieving due to the loss of loved ones. “We, at the Grand Bahama Port Authority, wish to express our deepest sympathy to the families of those persons who have lost their lives to COVID-19 in this country and, in particular, here in our community of Grand Bahama. And we also wish a speedy recovery to any persons currently infected and quarantined. We understand the loneliness of this disease,” said Sarah St. George, Acting Chairman of GBPA.
In recognizing the selflessness and generosity in the Grand Bahama community, Ms. St. George added, “On behalf of the GBPA, I want to thank all who have stepped up to assist during this time, in particular our Industrials. I also wish to thank those on the front line in public and private sectors, and those who are taking care of the elderly and children at home. Through GBPA’s charitable arm, the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF), we will be rolling out initiatives to distribute food vouchers to the needy, and we are also in the process of arranging a safe form of special home deliveries of food and water to those who are COVID-19 positive and confined to their residences. I’m touched by others who have donated food and other goods, and reached out to neighbors in need. We are seeing the best of Grand Bahamians across our island.”
The GBPA reminds residents to stay informed through the government’s COVID-19 website, as well as its own website and social media pages.