Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Concerns Over COVID Scraps Junkanoo Parade

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The annual Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parades have been postponed due to COVID-19. Back in October, health officials have labeled the preparation and parades as “super spreader events.”

Why it matters

  • Junkanoo is a major part of the Christmas tradition, and is much anticipated during the season. Thousands of Bahamians and tourists plan to attend the street festival.

Why was it canceled?

  • Due to the lingering presence of the coronavirus throughout the islands of the Bahamas, the number of infected cases being 7,323 and death toll at 163 to date, are factors which indicate that the environment is neither safe or conducive for the preparation or hosting of the Annual Junkanoo Parades.
  • Coronavirus cases have been reported on all the major islands including New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, MICAL, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini and Cat Cay, Exuma, Inagua, Long Island, Cat Island, Acklins, Crooked Island and Mayaguana.

Is there an alternative?

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Office of the Prime Minister made have considered viable alternatives for the hosting of the native Junkanoo Parades in alternative forms including a ‘Virtual Platform’ that would have required smaller numbers

While the decision is a difficult one, the government says it has an overriding
responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the people of The Bahamas. Based on
the Emergency Powers Orders, the resumption of parades will be subject to the
guidance of the Ministry of Health.

Featured Image: https://www.bahamas.com/junkanoo

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