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Category Archives: Bahamas

US citizens urged to leave now – EyeWitness News

Posted: March 31, 2020 at 6:08 am

NASSAU, BAHAMAS The United States Embassy is Nassau has urged its citizens in The Bahamas over the last few days to leave now, insisting the available flights to the U.S. could cease at any moment without notice due to restrictions on incoming international flights.

As of today, there were six flights departing The Bahamas to the United States, including Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Tampa and Atlanta.

These included: a North Eleuthera to Fort Lauderdale flight at 1.10pm on Silver Airways; another Silver Airways flight from Bimini to Fort Lauderdale at 2.15pm; a Silver Airways flight from Freeport, Grand Bahama to Fort Lauderdale at 2.20pm; a United Airlines flight from Nassau to House at 2.55pm; a Silver Airways Nassau to Tampa flight at 3.15pm; and a Nassau to Atlanta flight at 3.39pm via Delta.

The availability of flights to the United States has diminished considerably and has the potential to cease at any moment and without notice due to a lack of passenger volume and due to the restrictions now in effect on incoming international flights, the embassy said in a health alert.

If you are a U.S. citizen in The Bahamas and you need to return to the United States, we urge you to leave now.

U.S. citizens who choose to remain in The Bahamas should prepare to do so for an indefinite period of time.

It added: We cannot predict if, or for how long, the Bahamian government may extend these orders. However, Bahamian government officials have already publicly discussed the likelihood of extending the emergency powers orders to combat the spread of COVID-19 for the entire month of April, including airport restrictions.

Last Monday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced additional measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including closing all airports to incoming flights carrying visitors effective last Tuesday.

Last Friday, the government shutdown the borders for all incoming people, including Bahamian citizens and residents, due to the rapid spread of the virus in the United States.

There were 11 cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas as of Sunday morning.

Notwithstanding the shutdown, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Bahamians abroad who are in distress or seeking to return to The Bahamas to contact the nearest Bahamian embassy, high commission, consulate general of honorary consulate; and in instances where these offices do not exist, the ministry directly.

Private charter

Meanwhile, the U.S. embassy in Nassau advised their citizens in The Bahamas that private charter is available in the country and some operators have confirmed their availability to provide flights into the United States from the Family Islands.

It encouraged U.S. citizens to contact these charter companies directly to determined availability.

The charter companies listed, included Air Care 1; All Bahamas Courier Services; Island Winds; Makers Air; Trans Island Airways; Tropic Air Charters; Tropic Ocean Airways and Tropix/Island Wings Limited though the embassy noted it was not endorsing the named operators.

However, the embassy said the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority has advised that domestic commercial flights from the Family Islands to Nassau are unauthorized under the emergency orders.

Any international commercial flight currently scheduled to provide direct flights to the U.S. or Canada must arrive in The Bahamas empty, it said.

As we have seen passenger volume has led many flights to be cancelled with little or no notice, the embassy said.

Furthermore, Bahamian officials have publicly discussed the likelihood of extending this emergency order until the end of April. As a result, it could be several weeks or longer until commercial flights to these islands return.

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Carmelo Anthony: LeBron James saved my life during trip to Bahamas – syracuse.com

Posted: at 6:08 am

Syracuse, N.Y. NBA players, like the rest of us, are finding ways to stay busy at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes former Syracuse basketball star Carmelo Anthony, who recently joined retired NBA great Dwyane Wade on Instagram Live to swap stories and engage with fans while league play is suspended.

Theres plenty of basketball and wine talk in the 50-minute video.

Theres also the story of when LeBron James rescued Anthony during a group trip to the Bahamas.

Anthony is prompted to share the story by Wades wife, actress Gabrielle Union, about 30 minutes into the Instagram Live session.

There was all type of s going on through my head, Anthony said of being alone in the ocean.

Anthony and his friends were swimming in the Bahamas exploring a grotto, he said. When the others returned to the boat, Anthony decided to linger just a bit longer.

It was my fault, he said. I was trying to see the last little bit of the barracuda snorkling and all that. It was my fault. I look up and the current was taking me in the middle of the ocean opposite of the boat.

We couldnt see you, Wade said.

I look up at the boat, and I see Bron jump off the boat like hes MacGyver, Anthony said.

"He jumped off the boat into the water. He was bringing me back with one arm. He swam with the other arm, and hes carrying me with the other arm.

He saved my life.

Anthony also recounted in the video how his first game with the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this season led him to reflect on his national championship win with Syracuse during the 2002-03 season. Both games were played in New Orleans.

For those interested in listening to the full 50-minute interview, its embedded below. The Bahamas story begins around the 30-minute mark.

Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact Nate Mink anytime: 315-430-8253 | Email | Twitter

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Caribbean Moment: A Perfect Sandbar in The Bahamas – Caribbean Journal

Posted: at 6:08 am

Its just called The Sandbar, a stretch of sublime strands of ocean sand remote enough that its never gotten a real name.

Its set just off the coast of Cape Eleuthera, the southwestern-most corner of the enchanting island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas, a sprawling resort made for adventure-seekers and beach lovers.

It takes just a minute or two to shuttle here and before you know it youre in another dimension, of sparkling white sand and the kind of neon turquoise you can really only find in seas of The Bahamas.

Its as close as there is to perfect, a place that instantly turns your day into an all-time great one upon your first step.

Just make sure you take your Kalik with you.

Take a moment and dream of this perfect sandbar in The Bahamas, with the latest edition of Caribbean Moment below.

CJ

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Luxury bunkers and private islands how the rich are self-isolating from the coronavirus – CNBC

Posted: at 6:08 am

Blue Island in the Bahamas.

Private Islands Inc.

While most of us will have to settle for self-isolation in our own home or apartment, the rich are hunkering down in state-of-the-art bunkers and fleeing to private islands to escape the coronavirus.

Rising S Company, which manufactures bunkers and bomb shelters, has seen business increase fourfold when compared to the same period last year, according to CEO Clyde Scott.

While the business is based in the U.S., Scott said he had been receiving calls from all over the world, including countries he had never had enquiries from before, like Croatia. He said the average of cost of the models that clients were currently looking at was $150,000.

Since the outbreak at the end of last year, more than 533,000 people around the world have been infected with the highly-contagious coronavirus, while at least 24,000 people have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Larry Hall, owner of another U.S.-based bunker maker, Survival Condo, said he had also seen a spike in enquiries due to the outbreak, as many said the coronavirus had made buying a unit more of a priority.

"We usually have to do some level of sales effort to get people to come here for a tour and now the clients seem to have an urgency to their interest," he told CNBC via email.

Hall mentioned one client who bought a bunker without having physically visited the unit. And though enquiries are coming from the Middle East, U.K., Japan and France, his sales to date have been to American clients working in a range of professions, including doctors and engineers.

The unit prices range from around $500,000 to $2.4 million and include facilities like an indoor pool, gym and even a rock climbing wall.

Gladden Private Island, Belize.

Private Islands Inc.

Others have been in search of a bit more open space, choosing to put a seas distance between themselves and the virus, by snapping up their own secluded island.

Gladden Private Island, just off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean, has been particularly popular because it allows "complete privacy," explained Chris Krolow, CEO of sales and rentals marketplace Private Islands.

Staff stay on a separate smaller island close by and remotely turn on red lights on the bigger island as a signal to let guests know when they are coming over.

"It's probably the safest place on the planet for anybody wanting to hide from this horrible virus because it's 20 miles off the mainland, it's on the reef," said Krolow.

A stay costs $2,950 per night for two people to rent the entire island.

Another popular spot in the Caribbean is Blue Island in the Bahamas because of its private runway, which Krolow said has seen interest from people with private jets but nowhere to go due to travel restrictions, or maybe looking for a bolthole once airports do open up again in case of future crises.

The 700-acre plot of land costs around $70 million to buy.

Krolow said he had also received an influx of calls last week from people on yachts, literally circling islands "trying to find a safe place to go and willing to pay a premium."

Inside a FlyEliteJets private plane.

FlyEliteJets

Some are deciding to stay at sea, however, according to the CEO of broker Burgess Yachts, Jonathan Beckett.

He had booked one seven-week charter and another four-week charter for families opting to see out the pandemic on board a yacht.

Not only will the children be receiving home schooling but will also take cooking lessons with the on board chef and spend time in the engine room to learn more about the technical side of yachting.

For FlyEliteJets CEO Christopher Williams-Martin, business started to pick up on Valentine's Day, when "it was the first sort of rumor of something quite big that would have an extensive impact on commercial flights etc."

Williams-Martin said his private jet business started getting calls from existing clients, including former ambassadors.

However, it wasn't until two weeks ago that he said demand "went through the roof" and saw around 270 enquiries in the space of five days, from the 30 a-week he usually received. Some requests were on behalf of touring music artists wanting to get home before more borders became locked down.

He said demand then ramped up to about 300 enquiries in the space of three or four days.

Williams-Martin said he was hearing reports of "astronomical" fares from some commercial airlines, meaning "suddenly private jets weren't seen as being unaffordable."

"Per seat if you filled the aircraft, it was suddenly comparable with a business class fare," he said.

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New case of COVID-19 in Grand Bahama – Bahamas Tribune

Posted: at 6:08 am

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a new case of COVID-19 in Grand Bahama.

This brings the totalnumber of confirmed cases to 11.

The latest case is a 35-year-old woman with no history of travel, and no known links toprevious cases. She remains stable and is in isolation at home.

Health officials are continuing to follow the condition of the other 10 COVID-19 cases.

None of the previous cases announced are in hospital and all are in stable condition.

Members of the public are reminded to follow the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Order announcedby Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis to reduce the spread of the virus, includingphysical distancing.

As part of the efforts to stay safe:

stay at home;

call your healthcare provider or the Surveillance Hotline if you are feeling ill and havingfever and/or respiratory symptoms;

frequently wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water;

cover your mouth and nose with your inner elbow or with a tissue when coughing orsneezing, and then discard it; and

refrain from touching your face.

The Ministry of Health will continue to provide regular updates to the public.

For more information contact the Ministry of Healths COVID-19 Hotline at 376-9350 (8am-8pm)and 376-9387 (8pm - 8am); 502-7382 or toll free 1-242-300-2619.

Information and updates on COVID-19 can also be found at the Ministrys website athttps://www.covid19.gov.bs and The Bahamas Ministry of Health Facebook Page. Members ofthe public may also e-mail covid19@bahamas.gov.bs.

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Report: 600 being tracked in The Bahamas for signs of COVID-19 – Bahamas Tribune

Posted: at 6:08 am

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

A TOTAL of 600 people in The Bahamas are being tracked through contact tracing for possible signs or symptoms of COVID-19, a new regional report has said.

While The Bahamas has only 10 reported cases of the virus to date (the latest case being confirmed later on Friday), a Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency situation report released on Friday said there are 761 cases confirmed in 29 countries in the Caribbean region.

The report was disseminated by the government and said 600 contacts being tracked.

A government spokesperson upon inquiry from The Tribune explained that the information came out of the Ministry of Healths Surveillance Unit. However, a top Ministry of Health official said it was unsure of the source of the information.

With its confirmed cases, The Bahamas has the fourth highest number of COVID-19 confirmations in the region.

Trinidad and Tobago has 65, Jamaica has 26, and Barbados has 24. The Cayman Islands also has eight confirmed cases.

The increase to nine in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country was confirmed on Thursday by Health Minister Dr Duane Sands. Before his announcement, the countrys coronavirus number stood at five.

The four additional cases are all in New Providence.

One of the new COVID-19 patients had a recent travel history, Dr Sands said. The four new cases are at home in isolation and do not need hospital care at this time, he added.

The most recently four confirmed cases are in New Providence, he said during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Only one had recent travel history and that case had travelled to the Dominican Republic on the 13th of March.

All of the most recently confirmed four cases are in home isolation and they are being closely monitored by healthcare professionals, he said. They do not require hospitalisation at this time.

His comments came after officials revealed on Tuesday that a woman in Grand Bahama with no recent travel history had tested positive for the infectious disease, becoming the countrys first confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of New Providence. Up to press time, there was only one confirmed case in Grand Bahama.

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Bahamas Striping donates protective gear to help combat COVID-19 – EyeWitness News

Posted: at 6:08 am

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Bahamas Striping Group of Companies (BSGC) has pitched in to assist government with its COVID-19 response readiness by supplying an assortment of protective gear to help prevent local spread of the virus.

We felt compelled to act. We are all being impacted by this global medical crises which has claimed the lives of more than 26,000 people and affected citizens in over 200 countries and territories around the world, according to WHO data, said BSGCs President Atario Mitchell.

It was importance for us to supply our frontline health care workers with sufficient protective gear. They need it, if they are to effectively manage coronavirus patients and not endanger their own lives while they work to detect, contain and treat this pandemic.

Mitchell said: Government cannot do this alone. It needs as much corporate support as possible to help shore up critical supplies given the global demand for personal protective equipment. We must safeguard medical professionals during this state of emergency.

BSGC will generously donate 10,000 surgical face masks, 8,000 medical gloves, 5,000 KN95 protective masks, 2,000 protective face shields and 200 protective suits to the public health care system. The goal is to protect the wearer from airborne particulates and from liquid contaminants.

The supplies were ordered Friday, March 27. The shipment is expected to arrive in the country during the second week of April.

As patriotic Bahamians, we recognize that we are all living under the threat of this global pandemic, said Dr Allen Albury, BSGCs managing director in a letter to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Albury wrote: Covid-19 has no doubt unleashed an unprecedented challenge that governments and medical systems in first world nations are stretched beyond capacity and the death toll continues to rise. We could not sit idly by,

The companys donation is made on behalf of its Board of Directors, principals, management and staff.

Albury continued: In May, our company is set to celebrate its 10 year anniversary for which we had set aside a budget for our celebrations; however, given the widespread social and economic impact of this pandemic, we have directed resources from this budgetto assist the government in its fight against this deadly virus.

As of Sunday, 14 Bahamians have tested positive for COVID-19.

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More than 700 COVID-19 cases in the region – EyeWitness News

Posted: at 6:08 am

NASSAU, BAHAMAS There have been some 760 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in up to 29 countries in the Caribbean region, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) latest situation report.

This comes as The Bahamas reports that it is tracking some 600 contacts.

Officials today confirmed the 10th case of the virus in the country a 59-year-old woman with a travel history to the United States and no links to the previous cases.

In its Thursday report on the outbreak in the Caribbean, CDEMA advised that 17 of its participating states record confirmed cases of the virus.

The risk of further importation of cases to the Caribbean Region remains very high, the organization said.

The aim for all countries now, is to stop transmission and prevent the spread of the virus.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) report on Wednesday advised that up to 29 countries in the Caribbean region have reported the importation of at least one confirmed case of COVID-19

Those countries include, The Bahamas, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, the Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Suriname, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, Curacao, and St Marteen.

To date, there are 761 cases in 29 countries/territories (including 20 CARPHA Member States), in the Caribbean Region, CDEMA said.

The Regional Coordinating Mechanism for Health Security (RCM-HS), is actively working with Heads of Government and regional partners on a collective approach to the COVID-19 response.

Countries are strongly urged to strengthen their health sector response and move to a state of readiness and rapid response.

Nearly a third of the worlds population are living under coronavirus-related restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Several countries throughout the Caribbean including The Bahamas have closed their borders to travel.

As of yesterday, the United States now has the most known cases worldwide, surpassing China and Italy which were considered epicenters of the virus.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S surpassed 100,000 with new hotspots popping up over the countrys 50 states. There have been over 1500 deaths thus far and over 350 recoveries.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday morning that he tested positive for coronavirus but that he would continue to head up his countrys fight against the pandemic.

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UPDATED: Fifth case of COVID-19 is in Grand Bahama – Bahamas Tribune

Posted: at 6:08 am

Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands announced the countrys first confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of New Providence Tuesday, a woman in Grand Bahama with no significant recent travel history.

The country now has five confirmed cases of the virus, with the first case, a 61-year-old New Providence woman, discharged from hospital Tuesday, he said.

Health officials said the Grand Bahama resident presented herself to the healthcare system with a mild respiratory illness and was tested after she developed shortness of breath.

She is currently doing well and is not hospitalised, they said.

Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, health consultant to the Office of the Prime Minister, said the woman has no link to the first case.

For his part, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson urged residents of Grand Bahama not to panic. Your Grand Bahama health services coronavirus task force has been working along with the national task force to prepare for this eventuality, he said at the press conference.

Dr Sands emphasised that the restrictions Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced on Monday, including a 24-hour curfew, applies to all islands.

Anecdotally, Dr Sands said, the greatest concern was in New Providence but we want to be very clear that the regulations and recommendations which hold for New Providences apply to the entire Commonwealth of the Bahamas. This virus does not discriminate and we do not wish to see any of our citizens negatively impacted. In response to these initiatives, what we would like to see as we assess is an impactful reduction in community transmission and a net limit on the total number of cases and a minimal or zero deaths.

Mr Thompson said through his observation, Grand Bahama residents have been complying with Dr Minnis order.

For the most part what Ive observed are persons in Grand Bahama abiding by the first order put into place," Mr Thompson said. "Its too soon to say about the second order but weve been advised again by the Royal Bahamas Police Force who have been out and assessing the situation that persons have been complying. The important point to emphasise is we want persons to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary and (to leave home) only in the circumstances that the order speaks to.

Dr Dahl-Regis said officials anticipate a surge in coronavirus cases.

We look at the experiences from many countries, plus were studying the virus and its pathway, she said. Were also looking at the onset of the first case, new cases, addition of new cases, recovery time and mortality, that is the flow of the stages that is informing our response and preparation but based on a review of that, we anticipate (a surge) and its better to be prepared for it.

Dr Sands said nearly 200 people have been tested for COVID-19 so far. The first 300 of 10,000 ordered test kits have arrived in the country, he said, and an additional 2,500 kits are expected in New Providence by mid-week.

Dr Dahl-Regis said once the additional test kits arrive, officials will be better able to say how they will be used.

We certainly want to test more people, she said.

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UPDATED: Fifth case of COVID-19 is in Grand Bahama - Bahamas Tribune

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Bahamas native named UCF president – EyeWitness News

Posted: at 6:08 am

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Bahamas native Dr Alexander Cartwright was voted in as the as the sixth president of the University of Central Florida on Wednesday by the Board of Governors of Floridas State University System.

Dr Cartwright, who officially begins as president on April 13, said that UCF has the potential to develop into a leading metropolitan research university and an integral part of Central Floridas business, technical, hospitality, creative and intellectual economies. Along with the development of facilities, he also wants to provide a supportive culture for both students and faculty.

Im here to serve all students. Every student deserves to have opportunity [and I] want to serve faculty and staff and the entire community to make sure all of us are as successful as possible, Cartwright told the Board of Governors. I believe we must empower people to do exceptional things. And I dont think of it just as empowering the leaders. For an institution to become exceptional, you must also empower the faculty, staff and students and allow them to make the institution better.

What I see at UCF is an intellectual and economic enterprise able to embrace and move the future forward for both individuals and society together we will make UCF the best version of UCF.

Cartwright, who has served as chancellor of the University of Missouri since 2017, was tapped by the UCF Board of Trustees last week, ending a six-month search process. The state board unanimously confirmed the appointment during a meeting that was held by teleconference because of coronavirus precautions.

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