Coronavirus threat to The Bahamas increasing – says Chinese embassy

Coronavirus threat to The Bahamas increasing – says Chinese embassy
Chinese Ambassador Huang Qinguo (left)

Chinese officials expect govt. to reconsider travel restrictions as cases slow

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Chinese Ambassador Huang Qinguo yesterday said while new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have begun to slow across China, the threat posed to The Bahamas has increased.

Qinguo noted spread of new cases in neighboring countries such as the United States.

He underscored the spread of the virus from China has been minimized due to the “strict restrictions taken by the Chinese government”.

“We notice that many confirmed cases have been found in Europe, Middle East; and even the United States and Canada,” the ambassador said.

“The Bahamas is a world class tourist destination.

“Every day there are tens of thousands of tourists coming from all other countries, especially from the United States.

“During my meeting with the health minister and well as the foreign affairs minister we discussed the situation and we all agreed that the risk of importing cases is increasing, and attention should be paid to visiting tourists from neighboring countries.

“We also agreed that necessary prevention measures should be taken to protect public health of The Bahamas. I personally recommend the residents here to take necessary prevention measures to protect yourself and your family.”

According to the ambassador, new cases of the virus across China has slowed to fewer than 200 per day and in provinces such as Wubei, confirmed cases over the last several days has slowed to less than 10.

“The spread of the virus has been effectively controlled in China,” said Qinguo, through a translator, during a press conference at the Chinese Embassy in The Bahamas on Shirley Street.

“By today, March 5, altogether China has the number of confirmed cases [at] 80,851 and the total cured cases has reached 52,151. About 70 percent of the confirmed cases have already been cured and released from hospitals.”

In January, the Bahamian government began denying entry to non-residents who had travelled to China — the epicenter of the virus — within 20 days of their arrival in The Bahamas.

This week, it tabled a quarantine order declaring an “infected place” for a period of six months, enabling Bahamian authorities to detain, quarantine and medically supervise all people arriving from that country.

Yesterday, the government expanded travel restrictions to deny entry to non-residents that have traveled to Italy, Iran and Korea countries within 20 days before arriving in The Bahamas.

Those countries have had several thousand confirmed cases and growing.

Globally, more than 93,000 people have been affected across 70 countries

When asked whether the spread of the virus in China has slowed sufficiently for The Bahamas to reconsider its travel restrictions on China, in response, Qinquo said Chinese experts project that by the end of this month, there will be no new cases out of Hubei, and its capital Wuhan.

“The normal daily life will be restored all around China except the Hubei Providence,” he said.

“At this stage, many cities are in the process of restoring normal daily lives.

“We noticed that today the Bahamian government announced three countries have been added to the list of travel restrictions, namely Repulic of Korea, Italy and Iran.

“With regard to the case of China, we talked about the situation and the two ministers commended the achievements made by the Chinese government and they also expressed that they will follow closely the developments of the situation in China and revisit the policy of The Bahamas and they will consider to lift the restrictions according to their assessment.”

In January, the embassy advised Bahamians to postpone their trips to China until the virus had been contained.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, along with health officials, said Sunday the virus represents a grave threat to The Bahamas, but assured the nation is capable and prepared to combat the global health threat.

14 comments

Did you think at all about this headline when you decided to publish this?????!!!
This is a tourist based economy and so many of us rely on visitors for our income.
Why you would choose this headline which has since caused cancellations of our guests is beyond my understanding. The story itself has nothing to do with the panic that the headline produces. As journalists you have a responsibility to report the facts without causing misinterpreted panic which can lead to an economic disaster for our country.

We are traveling to Grand Bahama Island in 2 weeks. I give the media very little credit for common sense. They sell sensationalism, not credibility. They are just hoping for more cases of Cova 19 so they can report on them.

They thought about the headline. They thought about the truth. If we are dead it will not matter how many tourist visit our shores. Surely, gaining an income should not be placed above the protection and lives of the Bahamian people. Or perhaps to you it does not matter? That guest should be cautious is commendable. That guest in refraining from visiting might in fact protect Bahamians is exactly the end goal I would hope of the gatekeepers of this nation. So was it the facts that they shared or was it the truth? Did they share both but you cannot see that at this time because your bottom line will be affected. Well, guess what the bottom line all around the world will be markedly affected by Covid -19. Here is the good news. We will rebound!

I would like for you to please think before you write a headline. You are hurting the Bahamas number one industry. Please Please can you re-write this headline, this was sent to us by a guest that was suppose to be traveling to us. We don’t need bad headlines hurting us. Let it be known The Coronavirus is not in the Bahamas. Let us think of our brothers and sisters in the hospitality industry, when you hurt one you hurt us all

China is just angry that In January, the Bahamian government began denying entry to non-residents who had traveled to China — or coming from China. This is their was of getting some “Payback”..
thanks again China for the release of your man made BIO weapon.

Reading this article just made me so scared. My best friend family and I are traveling to the Bahamas in a few weeks for a cruise trip. I don’t know whether to worry or not but the news is saying not to travel anywhere because of how bad the virus is.

We don’t have any cases of the cavid19 here. Whomever the idiot journalist is which wrote this headline and the person who approved this needs to be put on temporary leave of absence without pay . Errors like this cause a huge set back in our tourism industry and make people think we have it when we dont

Is it only about us having it? Or is about visitors bringing it to our shores? Is this a case of “two birds with one stone?”

Don’t worry Cierra but use wisdom. Travel bans are on for your protection and the protection of others. Postponing a trip now and being able to make it later is a WIN. It is called delayed gratification. (smile) You are always welcomed to the beautiful isles of the Bahamas. As an aside, can you imagine the distress of Bahamian parents who are now isolated from their children attending Universities or working all across America, Canada, Europe and Asia? Yes,the issue that you refer to is global and though the circumstance differs for each of us, the essence of decisions being made by leaders of countries occur because 1) Covid-19 is a grim reaper and the cure for it is not yet founded. 2) Refraining from travel and implementing other suggested safety measures might cause the life you save to be your own. Stay safe Cierra.

I am heading too the Bahamas on Wednesday… i fully plan to enjoy my vacation because i LOVE the Bahamas!! This headline is horrible and will kill the lively hood of a lot of people!! People keep your reservations, don’t cancel because of this mass hysteria that the media has caused! Wash your damn hands like your parent’s have always taught you

Well people needs to know what’s going on around the world in reference to the coronavirus it doesn’t matter whether the Bahamas is tourist income base the thing is keeping tourist out of the Bahamas. Are you guys Medical facilities ready for the Coronavirus? I don’t think so your medical Department in the Bahamas can’t even handle accident emergency cases. I have family in the Bahamas and right now China needs to continue to be on that list let them stay in China trying to expose the Bahamian people to the Coronavirus Bahamian government better use common sense listening to those people trying to tell them how to run their country how crazy.

Be safe wereever you are, avoid touching anything if possible, were gloves yet still “Wash your hands like you had chopped up Scotch Bonnets and were going to change your contact lenses”. Most importantley be kind and give the space to others. If you dont feel good, dont go out in public. Use extra common sense and this too will pass. Be Well!

Are you really serious!!!!!!!. You are worrying about making money when people lives are at stake. We need to stop al tourists from coming to The Bahamas until this virus is under control.

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