IS THERE a glimmer of hope in the number of COVID cases being recorded?
The Ministry of Health has said there is a “notable decrease” in the number of newly confirmed cases – and recent daily dashboards have seen a drop in the count, it is true.
That said, alongside the reduction in confirmed cases, there has been a reduction in testing – and the positivity rate still stands at about the same, 26 percent.
What does all that mean? Well, there may indeed be fewer cases. Not as many people may be seeking testing because not as many people think they have it. That positivity rate shows the virus is still out there, though, and we are still seeing a large number of people hospitalised and too, too many deaths.
A reduction in hospitalisations and deaths tends to follow a short while after a drop in cases – so we can hope.
What it absolutely should not mean, however, is that we take things easy as we head into election day.
When you go to vote, do so with the presumption that all those around you have the potential to be carrying the virus.
In today’s column by Alicia Wallace, there are good, sensible tips for how to approach election day, in order to give yourself the best chance to protect your health.
The same protocols will be in place on election day as there have been at the height of the wave – wear masks, keep your distance, all the same routine we have been urged to abide by for so long.
One change is that you may be in line next to people who have come out of quarantine to vote – so bear that in mind as you think about the distance you need to keep.
If you have a concern, speak up – tell a police officer or a poll worker if voters are being crowded in too closely.
This news of a reduction in cases is welcome, let’s make no mistake about that, and we hope it continues as the days go on. But don’t drop your guard. Vote wisely, and vote safely.
The seas around The Bahamas have often been said to be our greatest treasure – and it seems there are treasures underneath those waves too.
A number of companies have expressed an interest in finding the wealth contained by shipwrecks on the ocean floor, with one licence already granted to Allen Exploration, led by Carl Allen, owner of Walker’s Cay.
A separate Bahamian company reveals in today’s business section that they had a proposal on the government’s desk back in 2018, which could already have brought in up to $500m in revenue for the nation, but that plan has been stalled by the government.
The co-founder of that group, Matthew Arnett, despaired over the roadblocks put up for his group, asking “what does it mean to be a Bahamian” when his group got turned down for a permit, while foreign-led and financed rivals get the go-ahead.
Given the sums of money potentially available – Arnett’s group estimated $100bn in gold, precious metals and more – this is the kind of project which should be getting a lot more attention, but the government has been very quiet about it.
This could bring billions to The Bahamas, at a time when our finances could certainly use it. With silence comes caution – is this being handled the right way?
We have already said this needs to be dealt with in a transparent fashion, including the reporting of finds, to make sure there is no risk of corruption.
But that transparency would also benefit Bahamian companies, so they can see why they have been left hanging while other non-Bahamian companies get the go-ahead. It’s a level playing field, nothing more, and people should be able to see they have been treated fairly.
Whichever party leads the government after tomorrow’s election, we hope they can offer transparency as clear as the waters around us.