Bahamas new COVID epicenter is Grand Bahama; 74 cases in two days
#Nassau, The Bahamas – July 24, 2020 — Grand Bahama Island is now the new epicenter of the Coronavirus in The Bahamas; a boost in cases by 119 percent and according to health officials in a late day press conference on Friday July 24, it all began with one returning resident.
Today, Bahamians learned that along with Grand Bahama which his currently on day two of a 14-day lockdown; the other islands of the country will be closed to non-essential activity on weekends.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and new Health Minister, Renward Wells first addressed the nation and then backed aside to allow the technocrats and managers of The Bahamas Covid 19 response strategy to lay out the details of why Grand Bahama is the country’s new hot spot.
So far 518 swabs have been taken in Grand Bahama, up to July 23 and patients range in age from six years old to 84 years old. One case has had to be medically evacuated to New Providence, while 111 are stay at home isolations; nine are in government isolation and 20 are being quarantined in a government facility.
On Thursday there were 39 new cases for Grand Bahama; today 35 positives for Covid-19 were added to the grim list.
The country learned that patients turning up at hospital for medical care, due to the coronavirus complain of respiratory problems, aching muscles and a loss of taste and smell.
As many as 22 patients in Grand Bahama had travelled; while 56 others were found, through contract tracking to have history of travel which means they were infected by someone or someone close to someone who had recently travelled.
With an available 16 beds, the CMO said Grand Bahamas is nearing capacity with 11 of the patients hospitalized.
Dr. McMillian confirmed that indeed, this is the second wave for The Bahamas and this round with the pandemic is significantly worse and follows the re-opening of the borders to international travel on July 1.
It is a nightmare for the island of Grand Bahama, which is further plunged into despair amidst the struggle to recover from the ravages of 2019’s Hurricane Dorian.
Grand Bahama is the source of cases which hit Moore’s Island Abaco, where there are two people confirmed to have the coronavirus.
The Bahamas, today revealed its second highest daily spike in Covid-19 cases. A frightening 42 new positive diagnoses were announced by Dr. Pearle McMillian, the Chief Medical Officer of The Bahamas.
The Bahamas leaps from 274 documented cases of the coronavirus to 316; five of the cases are charted in New Providence and there are two more cases for the Berry Islands.
Eight islands and cays are identified as having Covid-19 positive patients:Grand Bahama, 155; New Provicence, 124; Bimini, 21; Berry Islands, 6; Cat Cay, 4; Moore’s Island, 3; Cat Island, 2 and Guana Cay with one case.
Meanwhile, the announcement of the weekend lockdown sparked panic buying in New Providence with a rush to grocery stores and images of long lines flooding social media.
The lockdown weekend measure takes effect from 10 p.m. July 24, but does not completely close down grocers on Saturday or Sunday. The Prime Minister informed that: “Grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations may open 7am to 6pm to public on Saturday and Sunday during lockdown weekend.”
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
Why Sargassum Matters
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance.
John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose.
“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”
He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have found use for the weed.
“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.”
He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.
Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.
Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.
“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating.
Lease agreement approved for diaspora office
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.
The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas. Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.
The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February. The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.
It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.
The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home.
Cabinet did not state when the office will open.
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