By: Lindsay Thompson/Bahamas Information Services
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas received another batch of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the People’s Republic of China, in the continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. A Handover Ceremony was held on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation at the Center of Commerce, British Colonial Hilton.
An agreement to this effect was signed by the Hon. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, and Her Excellency Dai Qingli, Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas. Presented were 23,000 N95 masks and six portable ventilators. These latest supplies are earmarked for Grand Bahama and the Family Islands, and will be distributed, shortly.
Since the pandemic, China has delivered seven batches of medical supplies and equipment such as masks, other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ventilators, monitors and dialysis machines. The deputy prime minister underscored the importance of diplomatic relations established between The Bahamas and China for 25 years, come May 2022.
“The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China have forged between our two geographically distant nations, a deep friendship characterized by mutual respect and equality,” he said.
The minister observed that “as a friend to The Bahamas,” that China has assisted in the growth of this economy by way of the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, the Airport Expressway, Baha Mar, and the Pointe. These, he added, “stand as symbol of how much we can achieve by working together.”
And, it is with this same spirit of solidarity, he said, that China delivered swift aid – both in cash and in kind – to The Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, and at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This particular donation of PPE comes at a time when the Government of The Bahamas is redoubling its efforts to strengthen COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all within our shores, and to mitigate the impact of this unrelenting pandemic,” the minister said.
As The Bahamas continues forward with its anti-pandemic efforts, “we deeply appreciate that we can count on the support and cooperation of the loyal friend that we have in the People’s Republic of China,” the minister said. Ambassador Dai Qingli noted that this is the year of the tiger on the Chinese Lunar calendar. “The tiger is long associated with power, bravery and ambition and it is a fitting symbol for the strength of China-Bahamas relations.” She deemed it an honour and pleasure to attend the handover ceremony, and acknowledged the friendly ties established between both countries on May 23, 1997.
Also present among officials at the ceremony were: the Hon. Ginger Moxey, Minister for Grand Bahama; the Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, and Family Island Affairs; Leon Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister; Latia Bowe, Acting Director-General of Tourism; John Pinder, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation; and Permanent Secretary Reginald Saunders.