Cooper ‘hopes’ we’ve seen the end of COVID

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper.
Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff


Tribune Chief Reporter


THE day after some COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed, a Cabinet minister revealed the government hopes the country is in the end days of the pandemic.

Tourism, Investments and Aviation Minister Chester Cooper told reporters yesterday the government was confident its protocols had worked thus far, adding the recent relaxations were positive moves in that they reduced friction for travellers.

He was asked what impact was expected from the government rescinding a requirement for cruise ships to provide passenger and crew manifests outlining vaccination status of all on board.

“Any relaxation of protocols is positive in terms of reducing the friction for travel,” said Mr Cooper. “We’ve not only looked at this particular sector but we’ve looked at regattas (and) events. We’ve relaxed the protocols across the country.

“We hope that we’ve seen the end of COVID but we are not prepared yet to declare that the mission has been achieved but we are hopeful.

“We’re going to continue to be responsible. We’re going to continue to strike a balance between our quality of life and growing the tourism industry and protecting the health and safety of our people. It’s our job as a country to do just that.”

Mr Cooper also said officials continued to be very happy with the protocols cruise lines now have in place.

“They have managed through very difficult circumstances during the pandemic. We supported them in terms of guiding those protocols (and) working with them to ensure that cruising was as safe as could possibly be. We led the way in the region.

“Many of our counterparts consulted us as to how they might adjust their own protocols.”

Conferences, seminars, workshops, and drive-through cookouts have also been relaxed.

He said the Ministry of Health was expected to provide more comprehensive details regarding the loosening of restrictions.

The Ministry of Health reported just three new cases in its March 9 COVID-19 report, bringing the number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 33,188. The country only has 118 active cases however.

According to the latest data, ten people are in hospital with COVID-19 while there have been 771 COVID-19 deaths.


Alan1 2 years, 2 months ago

If Covid is coming to an end when is Minister Cooper going to abolish the anti-tourism Health Visa? He admitted several weeks ago that it was just for marketing information. It has just become a tax and has now nothing to do with health. All the time consuming requirements and expense have turned many people off coming to our country . The Bahamian public are the big losers with this poorly conceived policy.


whogothere 2 years, 2 months ago

Why the still the masks mandates…?

Why aren’t you petitioning the us to let in unvaccinated Bahamians or 60% of the population that can’t go to usa….?


JokeyJack 2 years, 2 months ago

Unvaccinated Bahamians are allowed to go to the USA, they are simply not allowed to apply for a VISA. It is important to remember that a good place NOT to go is a place that you are NOT welcome. If the USA (or anywhere else) does not want you, why would you want to go there? I have not gone over there for over 18 months now. It can be 18 years if I continue to remain unwelcome. I would never go to someone's house for dinner unless they invited me.


tribanon 2 years, 2 months ago

And now, if only we can somehow see the last of the very corrupt Cooper.


JokeyJack 2 years, 2 months ago

Is it true that wearing a mask prevents heart attacks? I know a lot of people who have not had heart attacks in the last two years, and they have all been wearing masks. Coincidence?

Also, as someone who truly HATES children, (can't stand their screaming and laughing and inability to sit still) - it brings me no end of joy to see them forced to wear masks every day at school and when downtown our in public. Hard to breathe??? Good for them.


John 2 years, 2 months ago

If you want to know how effective the vaccines are? Then why are less vaccinated countries recovering from the pandemic just as fast, and, even in some cases faster than highly vaccinated countries? How was the war breaking out not only able to knock the Covid pandemic off the front page and almost completely out of the news but also bring vaccines campaigns to a standstill? Virologist announced since October last year that NONE of the vaccines currently available were effective against the Omicron strains of Covid-19. So what were they vaccinating against. Finally as Covid-19 appears to be disappearing one thing will be left behind probably for years after. It’s called lLong Covid. Patients suffering from it continue to have symptoms like loss of appetite, loss of taste and smell, loss of weight, hair falling out, inability to sleep loss of some mobility and other symptoms. And there are individuals and companies already on the market offering relief and cures for this condition. And most of these individuals and companies are scam artists that will take your money with no effective remedy. Long Covid has been described as ‘inflammation of the blood vessels, some say ‘poisoning of the blood.’ The prediction of how many persons will die from this disease is out there. But persons working on treating the disease claims aids medications are among the most effective treatments. When the truth eventually comes out and the world gets to understand what Covid-19 really was, then the connection to AIDS will also be understood.


John 2 years, 2 months ago

As long as wimps are responsible for setting policy in this country, there will always policies put in place that will retard progress and put the country in precarious situations. It is well established that most Covid infections occur in settings like a hotel lobby, or an office or a public building. It is also clearly documented that the most effective means of avoiding transmission in these environments is firstly wearing masks, and then limiting the number of persons in the area and then persons keeping their distance from each other. So how can the minister, against all common sense give hotels permission to allow guests to go mask less in hotel lobbies and other public spaces? Except that the minister is a wimp giving into pressure. And, at the end of the day it is Bahamians who will suffer. Evidence shows that there are fake Covid test results in circulation and persons who have these in their possession may not be Covid-free. As for guests to this country not wearing masks outdoors, just ride down Bay Street or Paradise Island or Cable Beach and see the numbers of tourists NOT wearing masks. So who is driving the bus?


John 2 years, 2 months ago

Do you know that having an outdoor carnival is less risky than the rules the minister just implemented allowing persons to come from all corners and f the world and congregate in hotel lobbies and casinos without masks?


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