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Grand Bahama will be prepared for post-COVID, states Prime Minister Minnis

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PRESS RELEASE (BIS) February 12, 2021 – During a one-day visit to Grand Bahama to tour the capital works projects currently underway, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis on Thursday declared, Grand Bahama will be prepared for post-COVID.

While speaking with the media following a tour of West Grand Bahama and Central Grand Bahama, Prime Minister Minnis also said the curfew in Grand Bahama will be extended to 11pm shortly.

The Prime Minister arrived on Thursday morning accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works, the Hon. Desmond Bannister and Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie Campbell.  He was greeted by Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Finance and for Grand Bahama; the Hon. Michael Pintard, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources; the Hon. Iram Lewis, Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction; Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe; Senator the Hon. Jasmine Darius; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Harcourt Brown; and other senior government officials.

The purpose of his visit, he said, was to see the progress made following the “catastrophic events” of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “It is essential that Grand Bahama and the rest of The Bahamas be prepared for the post-COVID era.”

The tour began in West End where the Prime Minister and delegation viewed the dock and saw plans for the boat ramps and fishing station; the convoy then went to Holmes Rock Junior High School, the Administrative/Government Complex in Eight Mile Rock, with a stop at the Eight Mile Rock High School where the Prime Minister greeted some members of staff and a few students.

Hugh Campbell Primary School was the first stop when the group came back to Freeport; and then it was on to the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre, the Post Office, the Department of Agriculture and to Pelican Bay.

Describing the Administrative Complex as “high end” the Prime Minister noted it is of the standard design that should be replicated in the other islands.

He expressed pleasure in the number of people involved in backyard farming and the program’s growth.

The Prime Minister added that the hospital should be ready for official opening next month. The same company that designed the Critical Care Block of the Princess Margaret Hospital when the Prime Minister was the Minister of Health is currently designing the new hospital for Grand Bahama.

Cabinet is expected to deliberate on the airport, as the paperwork has been completed, said Dr. Minnis, and they are prepared to take over and put a management team in place.

As for Our Lucayan, he said it is “somewhat disappointing” that the property has not been reopened yet “unfortunately, we were affected by COVID just like the rest of the world; hotels around the world have been closed down and we were caught with that also.”

He further stated that professionals have come in and reviewed the agreements that were negotiated to make sure that they were compliant with international standards — “we’re getting the best price we possibly can at this point in time.”

“I can’t give you a date at this particular time, but what I can say is that as we come out of this COVID era, the hotels will be ready, the airlines will return and the airport will be ready so Grand Bahama will be ready for this rebound in terms of COVID.”

Following lunch at Pelican Bay, the delegation travelled to East Grand Bahama to view the road repairs, Freetown Primary School repairs, McLean’s Town Clinic and the McLean’s Town Dock.

The Prime Minister departed Grand Bahama for New Providence on Thursday afternoon.

By Robyn Adderley

Photo Captions:

Header: The construction of two new boat ramps, fishing station and removal of conch shells were on the plans shown to Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis on Thursday morning by Garvin Greene of Dewitt Wright Construction.

1st insert: Following the tour of the Government Complex in Eight Mile Rock, Prime Minister Minnis told members of the press that it is a standard building that should be in all of the Family Islands, where all of the government offices are located in one structure.

2nd insert: The newly constructed Holmes Rock Junior High School was one of the stops the Prime Minister made during his tour of capital works projects in Grand Bahama on Thursday.

3rd insert: It is anticipated that newly renovated Rand Memorial Hospital will be ready for official opening in March, said the Prime Minister on Thursday during his tour of capital works projects in Grand Bahama. Leading the hospital tour was Administrator Sharon Williams.

(BIS Photos/Lisa Davis)

Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Bahamas News

TCI & Bahamas and over 20 other countries put at higher risk by CDC, Residents say DIVERSIFY

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#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – ‘We need to diversify!’ is the main call from residents of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas after the recent bumping of their countries to a level 4 in the US, Centres for Disease Control’s Travel Health Notice index. The Turks and Caicos Islands along with the Bahamas, Cayman, Bonaire, Curaçao Trinidad and Tobago and 16 other countries were officially added to the CDC’s level 4 list on Tuesday.

Jamaica was also moved up to level three.

Level 4 is the highest level of risk according to the CDC and non-essential travel, including vacations, to countries listed as such is not advised by the organization.

Despite a record breaking year for arrivals, one TCI resident said, “Maybe now the PNP will put something credible into place to go with their words about diversifying the economy.”

A Bahamian resident added his views from Grand Bahama.

“Tourism is running the whole country, which is ridiculous because every time something goes down in the rest of the world tourism is the first thing that drops off.  With Covid you think they would have learned a lesson, no, they’re still using Tourism as a base for everything.”

This is a blow for all the Caribbean countries listed, who are still trying to rebound from 2020’s economic shocks due to the freeze on travel and tourism when the Coronavirus Pandemic first started.

It is especially difficult for the Turks and Caicos which mandates that travelers must have travel insurance to vacation on the islands as level 4 ratings makes that security more difficult to procure.

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Bahamas News

Back to the Bush, Traditional Remedies make a Come-back

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

VERVINE

You may know it as the Wild Hyssop; American blue verbena, mosquito plant, holy herb or simpler’s joy. You may even know it because of its rich purple colour or its tiny and delicate leaves and five-petaled blossoms. But what you really need to know is that Vervain has several healing properties; it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving).

Among its purported benefits, vervain is used to treat headaches, other aches and pain, insomnia, digestive dysfunction, depression and anxiety, and upper respiratory tract infections.

This means it’s perfect for the time we live in now as the coronavirus infamously attacks respiratory systems.

 

NEEM

Neem – the tree for solving global problems grows “almost anywhere” in the lowland tropics.

So, if you don’t already have the broad-leaved evergreens in your backyard, it’s not too late to start growing it.

Every part of the Neem tree is beneficial: the bark, leaves, seed, fruit, and twigs. It has over 130 biologically active compounds that can keep viral and bacterial diseases at bay. It is also a powerful immune stimulant.

Yes, it is bitter and has a garlic, nutty aroma but that is a sign that it is good for your body but not so good if you are trying to become pregnant, according to experts on the plant.

Neem is “A” class, which means it is antiviral (inhibits the growth of viruses), antifungal (inhibits the growth of fungi), antibacterial (destroys the growth of bacteria), analgesic (provides pain relief), anti-inflammatory (reduces certain signs of inflammation, swelling or tenderness), antimicrobial (destroys the growth of microorganisms) and it is age-defying.

 

MORINGA

As everyone is in survival mode, Moringa, the survival food, which contains all the nutritional elements may be just what you need.

moringa leaf and powder capsule on a wooden background

Moringa has protein, calcium, eight of the nine essential amino acids, iron, Vitamin C and A minerals and more. The best part is that all parts of the Moringa plant have their unique health properties and you have different ways to use the plant.

Moringa leaves can be dried and grounded in powder form or as supplements. You can also use it to make an essential oil as well as a delicious drink from fresh leaves.

To improve both health, cure digestive disorders, protect your heart and cardiovascular system, reduce blood sugar levels, boost energy levels and immunity, try Moringa.

 

CERASEE

“Go home Elena, go home Elena, go boil Cerasee fi yuh belly” – This Caribbean folk song was loved more than the plant itself. But if your grandmother could not convince you enough, COVID-19 is here to remind you that your body needs to remain healthy and Cerasee can add to your body that renewed look and feel. The fruit, leaves, and seeds of the bitter melon plant have medicinal properties and are used as traditional medicine in many parts of the world. The herb is a natural detoxifier, containing vitamins A and C, as well as phosphorus and iron.

It is mostly used to make a hot beverage to calm symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, liver problems, fever, and constipation.

 

LEAF OF LIFE

Miracles still happen and if you do not believe, have a nice warm tea or a cool blended drink made from the Leaf of Life. You can also enjoy the raw plant. The tall, erect, succulent perennial herb is native to Madagascar and has become naturalised in tropical and subtropical areas.

It is used as a herbal remedy to treat respiratory conditions like asthma, colds, coughs, shortness of breath and bronchitis. The Life plant has several health and beauty benefits and the good news is, you can even have it as a houseplant.

 

ALOE VERA

Aloe for the hair, aloe for the skin, and aloe is also for the immune system.

The Aloe Vera plant is packed full of immune-boosting polysaccharides, just what you need now to strengthen your body and build resistance against harmful bacteria and viruses. Along with being used in cosmetics, the thick, short-stemmed plant has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

It also enhances insulin sensitivity and helps improve blood sugar management, so if you are diabetic, it is good to add Aloe Vera to your medicinal list.

 

PAPAYA

A single papaya contains more than 200% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, another booster for your immune system.

Papaya trees are almost everywhere on the island, so you have no excuses. Moreover, the nutrition filled fruit is not only a healthy choice, it’s a tasty one too.

Add papaya to your fruit salad, scoop the raw fruit with a spoon, blend the seeds into a creamy salad dressing and don’t forget to add the green fruit to your meat pot.

As you enjoy the juiciness and freshness of the fruit, it will help your body to reduce stress, prevent cholesterol build-up, arthritis, and ageing.  The leaves are also proven to be helpful in preventing cancer.

Papaya is also one of nature’s natural contraceptives, they say.

 

LEMONGRASS

This tall grass-like herb has a fresh, clean, lemony scent.

Lemongrass or Fever grass is commonly taken orally, applied directly to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy.

It contains substances that can relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and it has antioxidant properties.

A hot cup of lemongrass tea every morning can significantly improve your health.

Also, the leaves and the oil are used to make medicine. So what better way to enjoy the benefits of this herb than to grab it fresh from your backyard and enjoy the pure scent and the soothing taste?

 

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