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Bahamians Advised to Take Additional Funds When Traveling for Unforeseen Expenses Related to COVID-19 Protocols
Bahamians traveling abroad should carry sufficient funds to cover unforeseen additional COVID-19 expenses, advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Why? A large number of Bahamians are approaching Bahamas embassies and consulates overseas requesting financial assistance related to COVID-19 testing, quarantine, accommodations, and airline ticket changes. Overseas missions do not have sufficient discretionary financial resources to accommodate and maintain persons who find themselves stranded because of a lack of funds. Persons traveling in this COVID environment should anticipate that there will be delays and interruptions in their schedules that may result in them having to remain in these overseas jurisdictions longer than they had intended. What’s the procedure for help? Request for assistance is considered on its own merits. The general policy governing the award of financial assistance to Bahamians in foreign jurisdictions is to have a family member, etc, deposit with the Consular Division of the ministry an amount equivalent to the amount requested of the Overseas Mission by the person who, because of unforeseen circumstances resulting from COVID-19 protocols requires assistance. The funds will then be advanced to the individual by the nearest Consular Office, whose funds will then be reimbursed by the ministry.
The Samaritan’s Purse comes to the aid of the Bahamas again, more than one year after assisting the Bahamas after the passage of Hurricane Dorian. The organization led by Franklin Graham is deploying a field hospital in Nassau as health facilities grapple with increases in COVID-19 infections. Why it matters? The Bahamas has over 2000 active cases that are putting extra pressure on the country’s premier health facility, Princess Margaret Hospital. The health facilities are full and nurses and doctors are overwhelmed as a number of health workers suffer from the infectious virus or have been placed in quarantine due to exposure. The details on how it will work Samaritan’s Purse will provide a 28 bed COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Unit to increase patient capacity. The tented inpatient facility will be located adjacent to the Princess Margaret Hospital. It will also serve as a COVID-19 referral center for the Bahamas. This unit will not include ICU treatment, but only step-down care. No ventilators will be provided or operated by Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse will provide the Unit and all staffing to operate for a 3 to 6 week period. Personnel will consist of 30 staff members, including medical professionals required …
The unemployment benefit will decrease from $150 to $100, as announced by Minister of Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle. This is not the first time reduction has occurred. The benefits have undergone reductions prior. When the program was launched in March to assist people left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic, the weekly payment was $200 but decreased to $150 on July 1st. Is it enough? While the $100 may be meager, Brensil Rolle believes it still provides a level of income for people who are without as the country grapples with a depressing economy for the last six months. It is certainly not what people are accustomed to making. “We want to make sure that individuals have the ability to make assistance. We don’t see ourselves as the instrument that provides the Rolls Royce. We are down to a Toyota. When it reaches December, it will be nine months of continuous assistance to individuals,” Rolle said. Why was it extended? The program was intended for people left unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic and was scheduled to run for 13 weeks. However, as the lockdowns persist, the need for continuous financial assistance remains great. The assistance is also extended …
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