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covid19

Sunday, September 25, 2022

covid19

Queen Elizabeth is Still Alive Despite Rumours

Queen Elizabeth is still alive despite rumours that she died.

Posters falsely flooded social media, stating that the frail, 95-year-old “passed away” before she could attend the wedding of British Vogue Editor Edward Enniful.

Reputed British media have not confirmed the reports which would be the first news agencies to announce her death.

The Queen, who recently celebrated 70 years on her ascension to the throne and has suffered health challenges, contracted COVID-19 as announced by the Buckingham Palace on Sunday, and was suffering from “mild cold-like symptoms.”

It is not known if her condition worsened or improved.

She has since been relegated to light duties.

Her frailty deepened concerns that her reign is coming to an end.

She is believed to have contracted the virus from her son, 73-year-old Prince Charles who tested positive on Feb. 10. His wife, Camilla, also tested positive.

What Happens if the Queen Gets Too Sick?

When Buckingham Place announced that Queen Elizabeth11 contracted COVID-19, it startled many since she represents one of the most high profile figures to contract the virus.

The frail 95-year-old is at a higher risk of serious infection because of her age, placing a renewed attention on her health. This comes after two years of effort to prevent her from contracting the contagious infection.

While she is being monitored closely after experiencing “mild cold like symptoms,” Buckingham Palace says she is working on “light duties” at Windsor Castle.

Buckingham Palace says if the queen needs to suspend her official duties, two or more counselors of state can act on her behalf.

Who are these counselors?

These counselors include her husband Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Royal experts say Prince Charles and Prince William are likely to take on some of the queen’s responsibilities.

This does not apply to her deceased husband, Prince Philip who died last year.

Prince Andrew is highly unlikely, since has garnered negative attention to the royal family after he was stripped of public duties following a sexual assault lawsuit, which he settled.

And Prince Harry has since left  Britain for California, with reports of bad blood between he and the royal family.

It also comes in her Platinum Jubilee year marking 70 years on the throne.

She will be 96-years-old in April.

A Tale of Two Jamaicans in the Bahamas: Shaggy Concert Goes On While Dexta Daps a No Go

Following the cancellation of a concert featuring renowned Dancehall Artist Dexta Dap over COVID-19 protocols, one concert is still continuing. Jamaican artist Shaggy is holding a concert at Resorts World Bimini on February 26.

The artist, known for hits, It Wasn’t Me and Angel is expected to garner a crowd of fans on the hotel property on the southerly island.

In an advertisement, the hotel says, “Come party with Shaggy in Bimini.

“Get into the party vibe with multi-award-winning songwriter and hitmaker. Dance to his hits…”

Though Shaggy is expected to perform in the country, Dexta Daps was denied.

He was disapproved three times by the Ministry of Health and Wellness for a weekend concert which was expected to attract nearly 2000 people, at the National Stadium, Carnival Grounds.

Director of Communications Latrae Rahming announced on a local television show that the event was denied due to the COVID restrictions. The country’s COVID measures permit only 30 people for social events.

Since the pandemic, other social events have been canceled, but hotels were permitted to host such events.

The Bahamas is still in the fourth wave of the pandemic. As of yesterday, 22 new cases sprung up in New Providence while Bimini has no new case.

Dancehall Artist Dexta Daps Cancelled. Angry Fans React

Following the cancellation of a concert featuring Dancehall Artist Dexta Daps, Bahamians took to social media to express their disapproval.

Latrae Rahming, director of communications in the Office of Prime Minister announced late Tuesday that the government denied approval for the Dexter Daps concert which was scheduled for the weekend in New Providence and Grand Bahama, citing COVID-19 risk.

Many anticipated the event would be given approval. Even Promoter Clayvon Duncombe of Phluid Factory was confident the event would be held despite its wait for approval by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

“Please people continue to buy your tickets. Don’t be afraid,” he insisted.

“Phluid Factory is here. If you don’t know, now you know.

“Dexta Daps concert [is]this weekend. Big shout out, like I said, to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

“Big shout out to the PLP government. We know this [is] a new day. All of our protocols are in place. The [COVID-19] numbers are low.

“This is a good day and this is the best time to have an event right.

“This is a weekend where persons will be socializing anyway because of the other events.”

When Rahming made the announcement, it set off an angry wave across Twitter.

James Julmis called it a “stupid decision.”

“If hotels can have concerts, why not the small local promoters.”

Ashanti said, “Bravery and friends have done it again.”

Davonya was in disbelief, “I hate it here. Concert can’t happen even though ya gotta take COVID test to get in.”

Davis Surrenders to Omicron as Cases Explode. His Speech Falls Short of a Plan to Contain It and Treat Bahamians

As COVID-19 cases rise to threatening levels, Prime Minister Philip Davis acknowledged that the country is entering a new phase in the pandemic.

Health officials reported 818 new cases on Friday and 291 new cases on Saturday.

With COVID-19 cases spreading like wildfire, Bahamians expected much from Davis’ speech on Sunday but many were left disappointed as he announced nothing new. He reiterated his government’s plan to implement widespread testing using the Rapid Antigen Tests and issue medical-grade masks to the public, which was a promise made on the campaign trail.

He seemed to have surrendered to the virus, telling Bahamians that “all of us will be affected…We will see high counts.”

He asked, “How ready will your body be to fight off the virus?”

Davis said a vast majority of Bahamians will become infected by the virus as the Delta and Omicron strains roam.

While a large portion of the Bahamian population remains unvaccinated, Davis warned that they will be ‘hit hardest’ in the new phase of the infectious virus.

Experts have described Omicron as more transmissible than Delta but less severe.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organisation warned that “while the new strain appears to be less severe when compared to Delta, in people vaccinated, it should be not be categorized as ‘mild.’

“Just like previous variants, Omicron is hospitalizing people and it is killing people,” Ghebreyesus stressed.

Davis said Bahamians should double masks until his government can issue the medical-grade masks, and limit time spent indoors.

“We’re in the hardest days of it.

“We can weather the storm together,” Davis summed up.

Virtual Junkanoo Flop Stirs Public Whiplash. Link Removed from Social Media

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture are bearing the brunt of public scrutiny after producing a virtual version of the country’s Junkanoo celebration on New Years Day.

Some people took to social media to air their frustrations describing the event as a low-budget production, prompting the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to remove the link to the Junkanoo event from social media.

Social media users who did not get a chance to view the virtual event lamented that they could not find the link.  When CSJ Report searched the ministry’s page and ZNS’s page on Facebook, the link could not be found.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg has since apologized for the poor production and made public the spending that accounted for the virtual event.

To abscond blame, he clarified the ministry’s dealings with the production, stating that it was a private contractor who won the bid to record and produce the event which was aired on ZNS and Facebook.

He stated that the total spending for New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Family Islands accounted for $300,000, adding that a $126,000 stipend was given to Junkanoo groups– $11,000 to seven Category A groups and $7,000 to seven Category B groups.

He said $24,000 was spent on production and advertising while $200 was spent on audio advertising.

The remaining balance of the $300,000 will be spent on the virtual parades for Grand Bahama and the Family Islands, the statement read.

The big story

For the second time, in-person Junkanoo which is held twice a year, has been canceled due to the pandemic. Last year, the ministry hosted a virtual recording of the parades. There were no cash prize awards, but winners were announced.

Valley Boys won the virtual event; Saxons Superstar took 2nd place; One Family came third and Roots was fourth place.

4th Wave of COVID-19 Keeps Students Out of the Classroom

As COVID-19 rage across the globe and health officials worry that Omicron could be in the country, the Ministry of Health announced that the reopening of private and public schools will be delayed another two weeks after the Christmas break.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Health and Wellness Minister Michael Darville said though schools were expected to reopen fully on January 11, officials deferred the face-to-face learning.

“In our view, it is not a good thing to reopen schools in the middle of a pandemic. We will wait and act with a degree of caution. When we open, we will open to stay open,” he said.

Big story

The reopening of schools sparked a public debate during the pandemic.  Schools in the country have been shut to face-to-face learning for nearly two years as the country battled the pandemic.

The Ministry of Health implemented a hybrid learning format to accommodate students’ learning. However, some students were being left behind and not logging onto the virtual platform.

Why it matters

The country is in the fourth wave of the pandemic, battling a spur of daily, new cases. Officials believe the Omicron virus is the country though not confirmed. They are awaiting lab results from Panama.

They have ruled New Providence as the epicenter of the virus and the crux of the sharp increase in cases is in the capital.

Christmas day, a record, breaking number of 330 cases were reported, which was a combination of cases over a few days.  85 cases were recorded on December 26; 159 cases on December 27; 65 cases on December 28;

What Minister of Education Glenny’s Hanna Martin says

Newly-appointed Minister of Education Glennys Hanna-Martin said her ministry accelerated works to quickly reopen schools, but the pandemic halted its plans.

She said the ministry will act on the advice of health officials.

“We will monitor it, come back to the table, assess where we are. That’s where we are at this moment.”

State of Play

All schools including preschools and daycares will continue virtual learning after the Christmas break.

 

 

 

 

 

Some People Who Do Not Trust Vaccines are Turning to Controversial Ivermectin Drug to Treat COVID-19.

A Bahamian group is advocating the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients in the country.

Optimist is offering this alternative treatment for the infectious disease as the government lobbies for more people to become vaccinated.

The group is made up of doctors, medical professionals, pastors and lawyers who have banded together to promote Ivermectin with other therapeutics to fight the disease.

The group said it “has no intention of being political or labeled as antivax but as concerned doctors and citizens who believe greater measures are being called for than the limited vaccine only strategy.”

Vaccine proponents have championed the drug as a “miracle drug” while some health authorities say the promoters of the drug rely on serious errors in a number of key studies to support its use.

What is Ivermectin?

The drug is not new but has been used for centuries as an anti-parasitic medicine for both humans and horses.

Ivermectin for humans are tablets that have been approved at specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and topical formulas for skin conditions like rosacea and head lice.

The animal formula is as pour-on, injectable and paste, are approved in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals.

Every version of the drug is being used by some people to treat COVID-19.

Is it approved for COVID-19?

Countries like India and Slovakia have permitted the medication to treat COVID-19.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA has not approved or authorized the drug and has stated it has not been shown to be effective or safe against COVID-19.

Clinical trials to evaluate it for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 are still ongoing.

Reports show that taking large doses of Ivermectin is dangerous and has resulted in death in some people.

Why are proponents embracing Ivermectin?

For some reason during the pandemic, anti-vaxers embraced it to fight COVID-19.  The frenzy to use it has circulated social media.

It is readily available and inexpensive.

The Bahamian group, Optimist, says it believes a push for the drug, will help to save more lives and keep people out of the hospital. And it is taking a stand against “a mandatory vaccination programme” which it believes impedes constitutional liberties.

 

Omicron: 5 Things to Know About the New Variant

The world is in a scare as a new strain of the coronavirus has emerged. Experts have named it the omicron.

1. What is it?

The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is the latest strain of the virus. Many countries are now reporting cases of this strain. Experts said this strain has unusual mutations which could mean it can spread faster.

It was first reported in South Africa and recent cases are linked to that country. However, experts said it was already in the Netherlands one week before South Africa reported its first case.

It was named after the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet.

2. Where is it?

Twenty-four countries have reported cases of the omicron virus.

On Monday, 33 cases were confirmed in Europe: Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Czechia, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Portugal.

It was also found in USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel and South Africa. Other African nations include: Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

3. Is it dangerous?

Though there is alarm over the new variant, and countries have banned air travel to some countries, scientists are still unclear whether omicron is more transmissible than the delta variant and other versions of the virus.

It is reported to have “unusually high” number of mutations that causes COVID-19 to have more of the key spike proteins it uses to get into the healthy cells it attacks.

4. Will the vaccines work against it?

Health experts are analyzing whether or not the vaccines available will be effective against the new strain.

US research is being done to see if it evades immunity from the available vaccinations.

The Pfizer company said it would develop and produce a “tailor-made vaccine” to fight omicron in about 100 days.

Moderna said it was testing boosters to see if they could be used against the omicron variant.

5. Will governments implement new lockdowns and restrictive measures to prevent spread of omicron?

Countries have not implemented lockdowns because of lockdowns.

As of right now, Biden said he would not lobby for restrictions but urged everyone to wear masks.

Omicron has not been reported in the Bahamas or the Caribbean as yet. It remains to be seen if it will cause a lockdown under a new government in the country.

‘Don’t Get Cute!’ ‘No, I Don’t Want To Be Cute!’ Pintard’s 5 Day PCR Test Question Triggers House Floor Wrangle

A question asked by Marco City MP Michael Pintard regarding the perceived unequal application of the five-day PCR testing requirement sparked a morning row with Health Minister Michael Darville in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

Pintard sought clarification of a clause before the passage of the COVID-19 Pandemic Special Provisions Bill 2021.

“I know the Progressive Liberal Party has prided itself on putting Bahamians first and so I find it a bit odd unless I mis-read it, that you were prepared to accept from the United States…a five-day old Covid test. Americans can take it five days before travelling and we are willing to accept it…” he said.

“It seems as if there is unequal treatment of Bahamians with Americans. If you can help me understand, why is there that disconnect?”

Darville took exception to Pintard’s question and responded, “Read it and come back.”

Pintard, taken aback by Darville, asks, “Am I incorrect or not?”

“You’re incorrect,” Darville blurted out on his feet.

“So help me understand,” Pintard retorted.

“Read it and call me,” Darville said, spurring laughter from other parliamentarians

“It’s that kind of arrogance that has some other people in jeopardy,” Pintard replied on his feet, as House Speaker Patricia Deveaux interrupted to restore order in the House.

“Honorable member for Marco City, let me remind you that one person on his feet at a time please,” she said.

Pintard said, “Yes, except the one on his feet is insulting me, Madam Speaker. I intend to stand up. Don’t tell me read the bill. I’m referencing the section because I read the section. Only that section I’m raising with you…Don’t get cute.”

“No, I don’t want to be cute,” Darville said. But I don’t want you to be disrespectful as well.”

Darville could not find the documents to explain to Pintard at the moment, giving the floor back to Pintard and stating he will address the matter later in his speech.