Bahamas: Darville: No outbreaks of infectious diseases since Matthew

By: Abria Cooper

There have been no outbreaks of infectious diseases on Grand Bahama since Hurricane Matthew, Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Darville revealed recently.

Darville, who was speaking to a group of prominent religious leaders of Grand Bahama, during a special meeting at Pelican Bay Resort added, “One of the key factors of government was to ensure we did not have an outbreak of infectious diseases as there was surge in the southern parts of the island.

“West End which was seriously hit with surge up to six feet, in some areas, brought microscopic crustaceans that began to rot and could create the possibility of rodent infestation and the spread of leptospira.

“We made sure it didn’t happen and there was no outbreak of any form of infectious disease on Grand Bahama,” he assured.

Darville also revealed that 40 percent of the island’s electricity has been restored, with power supplied to the industrial sector, most businesses in the commercial sector and various residential areas.

He commended the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) and EMERA for working diligently to fully restore power after having lost numerous poles because of the storm.

According to Dr. Darville, EMERA has brought more than 200 additional people to help with restoration of power on the island.

Darville also addressed the progress of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) service on the island. He commented that BTC services are up, but there are still issues in certain areas.

Earlier this month BTC released a statement, which reported their restoration progress in the country following Hurricane Matthew.

CEO, Leon Williams, spoke to the media about the progress BTC has made during this restoration

“This is the second time in 12 months that we are working to restore services as a result of a natural disaster. However, continued upgrades and advancements mitigated against the potentially catastrophic impact that we could have received.

“Our teams have been fully mobilized since Friday and we are committed to restoring services to every customer as soon as possible,” he explained.

He continued to say that BTC is pleased with the performance of the network during the storm.

“Since the last storm, we focused our efforts on building not just a network that covers every island rock and cay, but we wanted a more resilient network,” he said.

Following the storm, BTC can report the mobile networks in Acklins, San Salvador, Mayaguana, Ragged Island and Rum Cay are at 100 percent performance levels. While BTC was able to provide customers with service through the storm in all islands, post the storm; efforts are focused on optimizing the networks in islands like New Providence, Exuma, Abaco and Long Island. Since its last update, basic mobile and fixed line services have been restored in North Andros.

The Freeport News reached out to representatives from BTC on Grand Bahama, but has not received any further updates concerning the island.

Darville continued to discuss the progress made by relief efforts, which are going well with clean-up initiatives in Freeport being conducted by Sanitation Services.

According to Darville, the government has enlisted multiple contractors to remove debris in the areas of East and West Grand Bahama, which is the responsibility of government.

The second phase in the restoration effort is home repair, where the government will be launching technical assessments soon.

Grant funding is also being provided for residents affected and small loans for small and medium size businesses, he added.(Freeport News)

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