The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas advised on Friday, April 10th, 2020 that a shipment of ‘COVID-19 medical supplies’ headed to the island nation of about 400,000 people that were withheld by the United States, last week, has been released.

According to the statement, the shipment of medical supplies, that were aboard a vessel named, “Betty K” were returned to the Port of Miami last week, on order by US authorities.

The Bahamas as of Friday, had just under 500 persons in Quarantine, 42 confirmed cases and 8 deaths. It has taken strict spacial distancing measures in an attempt to protect its’ population. Prime Minister Minnis has urged that that those who are not front-line medical personnel should refrain from purchasing or wearing health masks. These masks, he said, are reserved for health workers on the front-line. The country has also banned the importation of non-medical masks in support of local production. It has also conducted limited COVID-19 tests, throughout its’ archipelago to-date.

The release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs read:

“H.E Sidney Collie, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States of America has informed that following consultations with US Competent Authorities in Washington DC., the shipment of COVID-19 medical supplies on the Betty K that were returned to the Port of Miami last week, on order by US authorities, has been released and will head to Nassau on the 14th April, the first available day for shipping by the Betty K.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes this opportunity to thank US Embassy Officials in Nassau and in Washington DC., for responding quickly to our demarche to have these medical supplies released so that they can be added to our critical stock as The Bahamas continues to protect its citizens and residents from the spread of this terrible scourge of COVID-19.”

Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs