By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
Private sector executives yesterday said there was little they can do to combat the coronavirus outbreak and they will take their lead from the government .
Wesley Ferguson, president of the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union (BTCU), told Tribune Business that while he was "very concerned" about the potential economic fall-out "there is nothing much that we can do within ourselves, because these things are controlled by The Bahamas' government.
"Preparedness in the event that it happens, what is it we can do or cannot do, this information needs to come from The Bahamas government and they need to take the lead on what is the best way to protect ourselves."
Mr Ferguson added: "The taxi drivers are at the dock, they are at the hotels, they are at the airports. You have big countries like the United States that still don't know how to exactly combat this disease. So we are basically marking time and hoping that it doesn't come here, but the whole point is you know when Florida sneezes, The Bahamas catches the cold.
"It does not only affect taxi drivers. You have to understand taxi drivers also have families, and once that starts to spread there is no way for you to be able to control it. Taxi drivers are all over the place, so we have to watch that and see how that works out. "
Peter Maury, president of the Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM), told Tribune Business: "What can I do? It's up to the Government. They let in whom they want. All of the boats are under quarantine when they come in and, at that point, Customs will let them in or not let them in. Just like the cruise ships and everything else there is nothing I can do about it, and there is nothing I can say about it."
Explaining that all boats are under quarantine as a general rule whenever they enter a country prior to being cleared, Mr Maury added: "We have had one or two boats cancel because their charter guests couldn't fly in because they were from afflicted countries, but other than that nothing major."
Revealing that these guests were flying in on a private charter jet to The Bahamas from an unknown destination to meet up with a yacht crew already docked here, Mr Maury said: "They weren't allowed to land. All I know is the captain said they won't let our guests land.
"I can't begin to tell you what the estimate is on how this will affect our numbers. I'm hoping that most of the boats in South Florida are fine with coming here and there are no problems. That's what we're hoping for but clearing that vessel is not up to me."
He is advising persons still interested in scheduling a boat charter to The Bahamas to "clear in the same way they always do," adding that "it's up to Customs and they set the precedent".