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GBPA sources COVID-19 rapid tests from U.S. based company & announces food and voucher initiative



#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.

Grand Bahama Health Services, Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport

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.

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Bahamas News

Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU 



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.

This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister  of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.

This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper,  was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”

The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.

Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General  of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”

Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working  to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.

Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.

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Bahamas News




Defence Headquarters 28 SEP ’23: HMBS P-45 under the command of Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith detained a group of Cuban migrants in Cistern Cay, Exuma on September 27, 2023, due to information received from a Good Samaritan vessel in the area that handed them over to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

Members of HMBS P-45 retrieved twenty-eight (28) Cuban nationals and transported them to HMBS Coral Harbour in New Providence.  All individuals appeared to be in good health and will undergo further processing and assessment by Immigration officials.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage and appreciates the sharing of information and intelligence provided by the boating community to affect migrants and other unlawful interdictions at sea.

(For additional information, contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel).


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CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe



#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Wilchcombe was serving as Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting and Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly of the Bahamas.

“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.

Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.

Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.

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