Caribbean RoundUp

JetBlue is set to launch a major Caribbean expansion in November.
REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Barbados:

US-based carrier JetBlue is set to launch a major Caribbean expansion in November, with new routes across the region from Aruba to St Maarten.

The airline announced that starting Nov. 19, it will be launching seven new non-stop routes to the wider Caribbean region, all out of the Newark Liberty International Airport.

The new routes will include one daily flight to Aruba; one daily flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica; one daily flight to The Bahamas; one daily flight to the Cayman Islands; two daily flights to Cancun, one daily flight to the Dominica Republic and one daily flight to St Maarten.

The airline said the new routes are aimed at immediately generating cash and capturing traffic on a variety of new, nonstop routes — many never flown before by JetBlue.

Bahamas:

COVID-19 deaths continue to rise in the Bahamas. The country has recorded four more deaths, bringing the total to 71 and with 80 new cases which have affected 2,265 people so far the year.

The deadly virus continues to impact a number of Caribbean countries, including Dominica, which has now recorded new cases after having not done so for several months.

Barbados has recorded 164 positive cases, while Jamaica has recorded 42 deaths with health authorities reporting 140 new cases last week. They say the number of confirmed cases are 3,323.

Trinidad and Tobago’s active COVID-19 caseload has climbed to over 3,000 following a total of 197 cases last week.

The Ministry of Health has put the death toll so far as 53. The total number of positive cases for the virus was over 2,600.

Suriname has recorded 91 deaths with 20 over the past 24 hours last week. Health authorities said the total number of people who tested positive for the virus was 4,360.

Caribbean: 

Trinidad and Tobago-owned Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) will begin services between Barbados and Dominica later this month, pending regulatory approval from the T&T Civil Aviation Authority.

In a release CAL said Dominica’s addition to the airline’s network is part of the airline’s current strategic plan to expand into the Eastern Caribbean. The increase in commercial flights will do well for trade and economic activity in the region, the airline said.

The flight schedule times to facilitate easy connections to regional and international destinations including London via expanded interline (transiting) agreement with Virgin Atlantic.

The release said that the airline has set up a temporary base in Barbados, providing much needed airlift to Dominica, St Vincent, Grenada and St Lucia, with more destinations to be added in the coming weeks.

Cayman Islands:

The Governor of the Cayman Islands, Martyn Roper, has approved a law making same-sex partnership legal.

“Today we will end the discriminating being suffered by Caymanians and others on our islands whilst protecting the institution of marriage,” he said, adding, “this action does not alter or undermine the strong Christian heritage and values of the people of the Cayman Islands. No one is being asked to change their long-held beliefs”.

The governor said this is in line with instructions from the UK government ministers to use his reserved powers under Section 81 of the Constitution. The changes to the law came effective on Sept. 4, after being gazetted.

However, the civil service requires a delay of 21 days before starting to accept and process applications for registration of civil partnerships. Roper said he hopes that citizens can now move forward with their lives and come together as a community.

Guyana:

Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali says his administration is committed to the survival of the sugar industry and will soon implement a comprehensive strategy to that effect.

He said the approach to the sugar industry is one in which the government has to bring back three estates into operation, which would require capital investment, field investment and infrastructure investment.

The president said the survival of the sugar industry depends heavily on government’s intervention, and accused the former administration of failing to conduct a socio-economic study on the viability of the industry before closing the estates.

“We have to look at the economic and social impact of the industry and the communities. We have seen the tremendous impact on the communities in which these estates were closed,” Ali said.

He added his government remains committed to the re-opening of the estates and assured steps, make the necessary interventions and earmark resources aimed at reviving the industry and putting people back to work.

Jamaica:

The only woman who was convicted in Grenada for the 1983 murder of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop is dead.

Phyllis Coard, 73, who was born in Jamaica died at a hospital in Kingston last week.

She was the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, who was believed to be the mastermind of the bloody coup in which Bishop was killed.

Shortly after the uprising, Coard, her husband and several government and army officials were rounded by troops from the United States and Caribbean forces that stormed the island on October 25, 1983.

Six days before the invasion, Bishop was executed at Fort George along with three ministers.

As one of the “Grenada 17,” Coard was convicted in 1984 for her role in the murder of Bishop.

In February 2000, she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor which doctors said would require treatment by an oncologist. At the time, Grenada was without an oncologist or facilities to treat cancer patients and Coard was released on medical grounds to seek treatment abroad for six months in the first instance.

She left Grenada for Jamaica to receive treatment where she was in and out of hospital until her death.

Trinidad: 

Trinidad and Tobago has ranked sixth in the region for suicide as a leading cause of death, according to Dr. Hazel Orthello, director of the Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health.

Speaking at the ministry’s virtual news conference about COVID-19, Dr. Orthello emphasized that while suicide is a generally spontaneous act, it could be prevented with a holistic and multi-sectoral effort.

She said for 2018, T&T recorded a suicide rate of 12.9 per 100,000 people, exceeding the global average of 10.5 people per 100,000 and 9.3 for the region.

She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world since the start of 2020 has brought on added fears and stresses, which may exacerbate negative feelings, including hopelessness and frustration.

The ministry, non-governmental organizations and activists last week observed World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 under the theme “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”

More from Around NYC

>