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Local Shipping Company Not Allowed To Access Imported Medical Supplies

By LEANDRA ROLLE


Tribune Staff Reporter


lrolle@tribunemedia.net

A representative of a local shipping company is dismayed after being told by US officials that they will not be allowed to access imported medical supplies to help in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Manager of Betty K, Nancy Cartwright told The Tribune earlier on Wednesday that the company was hired to bring in three containers of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, for local healthcare workers.

After the shipment left the US on Tuesday, Mrs Cartwright said representatives received a notice from US Coast Guard officials, saying they would not be able to access the medical supplies due to a recent order implemented by US President Donald Trump.

She said: “Once the vessel left the Port of Miami yesterday (Tuesday), we got instruction from the US Coast Guard and Border Protection that the (president) put an order in for April 3 that medical supplies, mainly PPE, are not allowed to leave the United States of America (for export).

“So, we are not allowed to manifest those three containers nor can we offload them. We have to send them straight back to Miami for offloading. The ship is coming in today (Wednesday). It’s already in today but we are not allowed to offload those containers.

“They are to stay on the vessel and go back to the United States.”

To try to resolve the matter, Mrs Cartwright said she reached out to an official at the Public Hospitals Authority. She said she understands health officials were trying to speak with American diplomats about the issue.

“. . .I told them that they have until 4 o'clock.

“If they are able to get it reversed, our vessel leaves at 4 o’clock today and otherwise we have to send it back.”

If the matter was not rectified by then, Mrs Cartwright told The Tribune: “We definitely will not get (the items), but I don’t know if the gauze and those kind of things will be able to be return but definitely the mask stuff and the gown for the medical staff will not be allowed.

“Our healthcare workers need these items. These are PPE kits, all medical stuff for the hospital.

“…There’s no ventilators, just personal protection stuff like gauze and medical supplies but the main thing they’re worried about is the N-95 masks, surgical gloves, surgical gowns — all of that has been restricted from leaving the US.”

The Tribune contacted Mrs Cartwright again on Wednesday afternoon to see whether the supplies had been released to the company.

However, she replied: “They had to go back. We didn’t get a concession to keep it here. We’re just concerned for the healthcare workers and I’m hoping that there are other ways or places where we can get this stuff from so we don’t have to put our healthcare workers at risk.”

During a press conference last Friday, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands noted that five healthcare workers had tested positive for the highly infectious disease.

More than 50 workers, he added, have been taken out of the healthcare system and are in quarantine due to exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Noting the matter as a “grave concern”, Dr Sands said it’s important for individuals to take the virus seriously to ensure

healthcare workers are not exposed to the disease, as it diminishes the ability of the health system to respond.

Comments

TalRussell 8 months ago

We need long think this man child USA president, before it'll just be the Philippians, Haitians and Jamaican communities remaining, and a few Chinese food stores and Restauranst operators?
First a republican advised move towards a Republic Colony - witnessed the 45 British nationals who decided return back their English homeland. The american passenger planes, soon be landing to collect their citizens. Nod once for yeah, twice for no?

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Bonefishpete 8 months ago

This what becomes a country that practically imports everything.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months, 4 weeks ago

President Trump was obviously not too impressed with our Supreme Ruler when they met a Mar-a-Lago.

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TalRussell 8 months ago

The Colony's Royal Navy, should shock the hell out the man child US president - by stopping and boarding MV Betty K on the high seas for purpose conducting a seizure cargo of medical supplies urgently intended for colony's government. Nod once for yeah, twice for no?

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Godson 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The question is: is the Betty-K a Bahamian registered vessel?

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TalRussell 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Simple find out by checking the online registry listing for every vessel on the seas?

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Baha10 8 months ago

Something not ringing true with this Story! There is simply no way the US would jeopardize their relationship with us, much less their various interests in this Country (Autec, Coast Guard, DEA, Embassy, etc. not to mention Private Investments) over something so petty.

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newcitizen 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The US has also stopped mask shipments to Canada. Every country is in it for themselves now.

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proudloudandfnm 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Um. Have you ever heard of donald trump? The king of petty?

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bey 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The shipment is here. Off load it.

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BahamaPundit 7 months, 4 weeks ago

This is very sad news. I guess the only way forward is to bring masks in from China.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months, 4 weeks ago

And we all know the quality of Red Chinese made products.

New washing machines, refrigerator, air conditioners, etc. made in America lasted my parents 25+ years. I'm lucky if the ones I buy today that all seem to be made in Red China last 5 years.

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pileit 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Rubbish, China contains thousands of manufacturers, many of which supply the finest precision machinery behind the world's best brands. A company builds to spec. If no spec is arranged, knockoffs abound for the silly consumer looking to buy something cheap. Stop this Trumpian ignorance.

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joeblow 7 months, 4 weeks ago

@pileit … I saw a news report on cable yesterday that stated Mexico declined an offer of Chinese face masks because of their unreliability!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months, 4 weeks ago

A month or so ago, Red China also manufactured 600,000 faulty 'N-95' type masks which they tried to push into the U.S. healthcare system. Fortunately the US federall government was able to detect the potentially deadly flaw in the masks and destroy them.

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Economist 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The US, through its President, is showing that it is no longer a reliable friend and ally to anyone.

The Bahamas needs to look to strenghten relations with countries like Canada.

In the future, when Donald Trump wants support at the United Nations for something we can feel free to vote how we want. Not vote with the US as we did, much to the consternation of many other countries, on the vote for Israel 30 years ago.

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Baha10 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Just remember who came to the savior of the people of Abaco via Coast Guard using military assets ... less than 6 months ago!

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joeblow 7 months, 4 weeks ago

...if the Bahamas really wants to be up the creek without a paddle, let them construct a Huawei 5g network here. Trump knows how to hit where it hurts. Even China was forced to make a trade deal while he sat and waited!!

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moncurcool 7 months, 4 weeks ago

What trade deal did China make?

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BahamaRed 7 months, 4 weeks ago

They stopped a shipment of ventilators from going to Barbados. This is nothing new, they are being very disgusting. As though only they need access to ppe and medical supplies. Smh

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Midi1 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Well, there comes the time when we realize that the UK is too far away and the former colonies never learn to be independent or productive. Everybody in the world is sawing masks and getting things done. Here all we do is complain and lock everything down erratically and chaotically. Why not buy the materials and get to work sawing gowns and masks?

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Porcupine 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Merely a wake up call for what has been obvious. Trump cares about Trump. Not the US or anyone else. He cares about Trump. Full stop. Those who support Trump are intellectually and morally lost. Yes, it is that simple.

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truetruebahamian 7 months, 4 weeks ago

This will only serve to bite their idiot president in the arse later down the road. 1. you don't go back on allies, they WILL go back on you. 2. The goods are here, open and distribute - tell them to F*** off and get out of our busuness and our country. 3. It is little wonder that everyone hates the U.S. especially under this administration!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Idiot. Our elected officials have repeatedly gone out of their way to publicly declare that The Bahamas is a strong ally of Red China and has very strained relations with the US. So what do you expect?!

Chances are most of the medical supplies on the Betty K were made in Red China and were being shipped from Red China to the Bahamas through the US. In all likelihood Red China knew the US would intervene and stop the flow of these medical supplies to the Bahamas even before they were loaded on the Betty K in Florida. All part of Red China's well oiled machinery aimed at creating discord between the Bahamas and the US as the ruthless Xi Jinping communist regime seeks to strengthen its strategic control of a small nation at the door step to the US.

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pileit 7 months, 4 weeks ago

He is of an entitled generation sold on the belief that 'murica is the greatest nation in the world, refusing to see the failings of their educational system and the fact that they are trillions in debt to China & Saudi Arabia. Heartland folks who have never traveled save the rarefied air of a Caribbean cruise. And barely speaking one language.

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joeblow 7 months, 4 weeks ago

… actually no! He is in the middle of a health crisis with inadequate stockpiles of necessary protective personal equipment for healthcare workers. GM motors the car company Is making ventilators for gods sake! The war powers act has been invoked for companies to make other necessary products. Any leader who does not act in the best interest of their citizens should not be in power, except in the Bahamas where we reward incompetence!

It is our fault that we did not anticipate that we would need PPE supplies when there was no ban on them from January or February 2020!!

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stillwaters 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Didn't Trump campaign on Americans First? He never wavered from that .....y'all just thought he was joking. Don't be acting all surprised and indignant. And no........I am not a Trump fan........just like to see things as they actually are, not how they should be.

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TalRussell 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Truth be known is that the Trump administration's Department of Health and Human Services warehouse is empty of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE available be distributed to the states because the Trump administration had already sent out its last shipments.
What PPP remains in the federal governments' warehouse is reserved for federal workers and will not be distributed to states, so says Trump's own officials off the record out the hearing the child-like president.
State hospitals are engaged in a free-for-all bidding war against each other...and the federal government. Nod once for yeah, twice for no?

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mandela 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Maybe this was China's plan all along Umm. A theory = China brings out this virus, sets it out to infect the world but mainly the USA. China's cases are falling rapidly, the Great USA cases are growing rapidly, so much that the USA is now saying to all of their friends and allies " F#$K you all, everyone for themselves and we don't care how small and helpless a country you are, F#$K you all". China's economy will be up and running (monthssssss) before the USA will begin to rebound and have the virus under control, a vast majority of the world product was already (Made In China) now they will have a 100 fold demand for things (Made In China). The USA will show that they are incapable of helping themselves and in need of help also and eventually turn to China for help. The USA and China's economic war is just beginning. The USA told us a while back that we should choose carefully who we do business with, now is their chance to rise to the occasion and show their intentions at a time when we need help and assistance, if they don't China will be waiting to show their intentions, whether in hind-sight Good or Bad

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TalRussell 7 months, 4 weeks ago

C'Mon ma comrade Mandela, understand legality behind wisdom - why you does need lighten-up on home-baked brownies medicinal plants ingredients, okay?

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birdiestrachan 7 months, 4 weeks ago

President Trump does not care about the Bahamas. I was surprise when PM Minnis was so quick to go to Washington when he was summoned there by President Trump,

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Socrates 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Unfortunately, small states are very vulnerable to external factors... EU blacklist, lists about who is or is not cooperating in war on drugs, now this blockage of equipment considered vital for US national security.. we will always be at the mercy of larger, more developed and wealthy states.. nothing can be done about it because its unrealistic to believe we can be self-sufficient in all thibgs.. so again, we pray for mercy.

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proudloudandfnm 7 months, 4 weeks ago

I hope everyone fully understands the implications of this. We cannot go buy from China, that's easily a 10 to 12 week wait. We do not have a direct line out of Canada either. If the US does not allow us to get the medical equipment we need we are quickly going to lose control of this crisis. We absolutely need the US to allow these exports....

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GodSpeed 7 months, 4 weeks ago

I don't blame them, if I was America I'd do the same thing. Reality.

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shonkai 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Just read there is a huge Dutch navy support/supply/hosptal vessel coming to the Caribbean to assist their islands (and others, eg Martinique) with healthcare needs. Zr Ms Karel Doorman, out of Den Helder, sailing Monday 10 AM. Maybe we can still get some space on that.

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bahamianson 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Ok, let us cut this independence out and become one of the states. We can then bring in medical supplies and food because we will be Americans. Forget this English stuff, and all the mighty bahamians with a title like "Sir" will mean nothing. We are not independent because we cannot feed ourselves neither make any medical supplies or produce medicines. Let us join America.

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Bonefishpete 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Small potatoes compared to the day the Bahamian Dollar is not tied to the greenback. Can you say Jamaica?

1 Jamaican Dollar = 0.007385 US Dollars as of 4/9/2020
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moncurcool 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The Cayman Dollar is not tied to the US Dollar and it is more. The world doesn't not fall apart because something is not tied to the US dollar. There are a whole lot of countries doing well not tied to the US dollar. The world does not revolve around the US.

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SP 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The Cuban Convertible Currency, or CUC, is traded 1 to1 in Cuba.

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SP 7 months, 4 weeks ago

All the PPE supplies we need are available in China and Taiwan. Everything with the exception of ventilators is readily available, and although courier shipping is more costly, we can have any amount shipped DHL with a 7 to 10 day delivery time.

Threatening and antagonizing a world superpower, our nearest neighbor, and biggest trading partner is stupid at best.

We need to remember the saying "you need to kiss ass until you can kick ass"

We should move diligently with the purpose of obtaining our PPE needs in Asia.

This situation is a lesson and good medicine for the government that they must stop giving everything away lock-stock-&-barrel to foreign interest and start thinking "Bahamas & Bahamians first" when dealing with foreign entities.

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DDK 7 months, 4 weeks ago

True colours shining through!

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concerned799 7 months, 4 weeks ago

What is the response of the government to this?

Does Bahamian law not apply once the ship is inside Bahamian waters? (and then technically would require Bahamian customs/government authority to exit the Bahamas or sail out)

Typically we do only customs clearing when you enter, but customs can always have jurisdiction on ships or planes which leave the Bahamas.

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The_Oracle 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Betty K was probably told "bring it back or don't come back" The War Powers Act triggers criteria, some intended, some unintended, but all very serious. Just as our own "Orders" and Multitudes of "Amendments" trigger both intended and unintended results.

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avidreader 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Eyewitness News is reporting online that the shipment will be returned to The Bahamas ASAP. Check it out.

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