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DPM on rebuilding of GB airport

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By Andrew Coakley

Bahamas Information Services

 

#TheBahamas, January 7, 2022 – Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Hon. Chester Cooper says that something has to be and will be done in the shortest time possible to revive and reconstruct the Grand Bahama International Airport.

Following a tour of both the national and International sections of the Grand Bahama Airport on Thursday, January 6, 2022, the Deputy Prime Minister called his trips to the airport distressing and embarrassing.

“I am embarrassed by what I see at the Grand Bahama airport,” said the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also responsible for aviation. “That is a part of my ministry and you can be assured that something is going to happen here very quickly. Perhaps cosmetically in the early stages, to make sure that we patch some of the damage that we see, which is a constant reminder of Hurricane Dorian two years ago.”

Minister Cooper said that he has already spoken with officials from the Airport Authority to see what can be done to cause there to be some immediate shift at the Grand Bahama International Airport.

“The reality at the moment is that we need to maintain the operation in a safe manner, and so that what we will seek to do,” said Minister Cooper.

“You will be aware that we are looking at private public partnerships for nine airports in the Bahamas and Grand Bahama’s Airport is priority number one, in terms of causing there to be a significant development here, that will cause investors to the island to be proud and for visitors to the island to feel welcomed at a new gateway.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said this has become a priority in terms of airport developments and they are hoping to move forward with plans for the refurbishment of the Grand Bahama International and national airports within this year.

He said the development of the airport is opened for private participation.

During a press conference earlier in the day at the Grand Lucayan Resort, where the Deputy Prime Minister introduced new members of the Board responsible for the sale of the Grand Lucayan, the Deputy Prime Minister was asked how the refurbishment of the International airport will fit into the Government’s plans to sell the Grand Lucayan.

He said that the Government is set “to keep an open mind” in terms of how they approach the redevelopment of the airport, noting that there is a possibility that the investors for the Grand Lucayan Resort might be opened to the idea of also investing in the airport.

The Deputy Prime Minister thanked the staff at the GB airport for the work that they have been doing, under the circumstances, to keep the operation running smoothly and safely. They were able to tour the tower and inspected equipment to make sure that it was safe for the public and visitors alike.

“We are very concerned about the working conditions of the people at this airport,” said Deputy Prime Minister Cooper. “Many of these people still operate five or six at a time in a small trailer, using out-houses.

“This is the gateway to our second city and we’re hoping to attract big investors here to the island of Grand Bahama, so it is not a welcoming experience for investors to Grand Bahama.”

In the meantime, he added that while the airport in its present state is running safely, there is some investments that needs to be made in the short term, inclusive of a generator and some enhancements to the tower.

“Those are going to happen in the shortest possible timeframe,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “The Minister for Grand Bahama has made her displeasure known in relation to recent events at the airport. So, it will be done.

“But the reality is we recognize that something has to be done and done swiftly.”

 

Photo Captions: 

Header – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Hon. Chester Cooper (right) talks about what he’s seen at the GB airport, following a tour of the facilities and some of the plans to rebuild the airport. Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey is at left.

Insert – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Hon. Chester Cooper (left), Minister for Grand Bahama, hon. Ginger Moxey (second from right), along with Government and airport officials take a look at some of the damage in the national section of the Grand Bahama Airport, during a tour of the facilities on Thursday, January 6, 2022.

 

(BIS photos by Lisa Davis)

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Bahamas News

WHO says COVID deaths THREE TIMES higher

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

May 14, 2022 – Weeks ago the world marked an awful milestone 6 million COVID-19 deaths now the WHO says the real number may be almost three times higher.

In a recent press release the organization said new estimates from its data show that the full death toll or excess mortality associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million but might be as high as 16.6 million.

The organization explained that,  “Excess mortality is calculated as the difference between the number of deaths that have occurred and the number that would be expected in the absence of the pandemic based on data from earlier years.”

Basically the excess mortality rate tells us how many people will be alive were it not for COVID. It is important to know what that figures including spikes associated with omicron are not included in this data set so the number could very well be higher.

“These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the organization.

South-east Asia and the Americas were the worst hit by the pandemic in terms of death toll.

WHO data shows 20 countries, containing approximately 50% of the global population, account for over 80% of the estimated global excess mortality for the January 2020 to December 2021 period.

These countries are: Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States of America (USA).

 

WHO COVID DEATHS Photo caption:  File photo in Jakarta;  at a time when there were fears about running out of space to bury its dead.

(Supplied: Arbain Rambey)

 

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Two Babies die from toxic Similac, TCI Ministry of Health asks stores to pull bad batches off Shelves

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 14, 2022 – Two infants have died as a result of bad baby food, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Health renewed calls to stay away from Similac and several other baby formulas.

The warning for parents over fears of contaminated baby food came in a press release on Monday and advised all local suppliers, healthcare facilities and parents to read the labels and check for a list of brands and batches.

“Discontinue the sale and/or use of certain batches of powdered infant formulas manufactured by Abbott, namely: Similac, Alimentum and EleCare.”

The products were recalled by the US Food and Drug Administration after consumers complained of illness in infants from Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport.

The TCI Health Ministry advises that the bacteria can cause rare bloodstream and central nervous system infections and has been associated with severe intestinal infection and blood poisoning, especially in newborns.

In the worse cases, two babies in the US have died.

The ministry statement said: “Consumers are advised not to use the recalled products if the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2 and has an expiration date of April 2022 or later.”

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Pineapple Fest Makes Return this June         

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#TheBahamas, May 13, 2022 –  The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (BMOTIA) is excited to announce  the return of the  Annual Pineapple Festival following a twoyear hiatus due to Covid-19.  Deemed by organisers as the “sweetest” festival in The Bahamas, the 33rd Pineapple Festival will take place 3 – 4 June  in charming Gregory Town, Eleuthera.

The annual Pineapple Festival, created in 1987 to honour pineapple farmers of Gregory Town and their contribution to the farming industry, would have marked 35 years if not for the pandemic. Agriculture heritage, in the settlement often referred to as “Pineapple City”, is the focal point of the weekend festival where locals invite visitors to indulge with them in  the naturally sweet like sugar, tropical taste of pineapples.

Festivalgoers will experience lots of food, lots of fun,  interactive games and musical entertainment  for people of all ages to enjoy. For the kids, there will be “Kids World” filled with fun games and sports to enjoy all day long.  Fierce culinary competitions, pineapple eating contest, plaiting of the pineapple pole are just a few of the activities persons can take part in at at this sweet island festival.

The two-day concert segment of the festival begins on Friday, 3 June,  and will be headlined by

Eleuthera’s very own in-house band, Team Blue Waters, with exciting performances by Ebony, Puzzle, Stileet and many more popular local performing artists. On Saturday, 4 June, the final day of the concert, musical entertainment will continue with a second performance by Team Blue Waters,  and new performances by Sweet Emily, Funky D and Cupid.

This years 33rd Pineapple Festival is sponsored by Disney Cruise Line, Aliv, Team Bluewaters,

Daddy Joe’s, The Cove Eleuthera, Kalik and The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.

For more information, contact the Eleuthera Tourism Office at 242-332-2142 or visit

tourismtoday.com or bahamas.com

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