The University of the West Indies (UWI) recently launched a task force to assist with the mobilization of the region’s public health providers to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has so far killed more than 40,000 people and affected more than 800,000 in 200 countries around the world.

The region’s premier educational institute said that the task force will be chaired by Professor Clive Landis, pro-vice chancellor for Undergraduate Studies and former director of the George Alleyne Chronic Disease, who has considerable experience in the field of Caribbean public health.

Professor Landis said the primary emphasis of the COVID-19 task force will be to provide accurate and reliable information through UWItv and other channels and other channels of communication.

The University is currently delivering a software engineering degree program at its joint institute in Suzhou, China and has a large registered cohort of Caribbean students. It is engaged directly with public health officials in Suzhou, Caribbean diplomatic corps in Beijing and the leadership of its partner university, the Global Institute for Software Technology (GIST).

The university said that the membership of the task force is drawn from the regional UWI medical facilities and external experts experienced in the laboratory and field deployment of an active scientific approach.


American e-commerce giant, Amazon, has started applying a Value Added Tax (VAT) at a rate of 17.5 percent on goods shipped as of last month, Barbados Today reported.

Amazon Web Service (AWS) reported to its customers with Barbadian shipping addresses to inform them that the island’s VAT would be applied to goods shipped from March 1, 2020.

The Seattle-based company detailed its intention in an e-mail correspondence titled, “Important Announcement” in which it noted that the new measures are consistent with tax legislation which came into effect on Dec. 1, 2019. The company said that a tax compliant invoice would be issued to Barbadian customers from April 1, this year.

The correspondence was reportedly sent to all AWS customers whose records indicate that their billings address or contract address is in Barbados. It explained to customers that the website calculates taxes based on the customer location, which is determined by Amazon’s account location hierarchy.

To ensure compliance, Amazon has urged Barbadian residents whose accounts are not listed in Barbados, to update their details by visiting the billing address and contact address page of the AWS billing console.

In 2019, legislation introduced to allow the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) to outsource tax-collecting powers to an online third- party and the measure was to be introduced by July 1, but this also was unsuccessful.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is working “expeditiously” to honor a request from Haiti for urgent aid amid the coronavirus (COVIV-19) pandemic.

Managing director of the Washington-based financial institution, Kristalina Georgeiva said the IMF staff is working expeditiously to respond to this request so that a proposal can be considered by the fund’s executive board in the coming weeks.

“Our objective is to provide rapid support to help Haiti address the effects of a mounting health crisis and support spending on health and social benefits to limit the human costs of COVID-19,” she added.

She said the Haitian government is seeking to help protect the people of Haiti from the impact of this rapidly-evolving global pandemic and to prevent the further spread of the virus.

In light to the urgent need to step up action to protect the Haitian people and the economy, the IMF director said the Haitian government has requested the IMF’s financial support through the Fund’s Rapid Credit Facility.


Suriname-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Competition Commission (CCC) says while the coronavirus pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge for the small economies of the region, it nonetheless believes those challenges to commercial and consumer welfare can be minimized.

CCC, which was established to help enforce CARICOM Rules of Competition and to regulate competition in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) said; “with member states closing borders, recommending social distancing and closure of main economic activities such as dining out and other community gatherings, it is fair to say that COVID-19 has not only impacted the very social fabric of member states, but also commercial and consumer welfare within the region.”

The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labor and services across the 15-member regional integration movement.

The CC said it is natural that small to medium businesses would be required to scale down their operations to protect employees, resulting also in disruptions in the delivery of services and products to consumers.

It said there have also been notable surges in the demand for groceries, personal protective equipment, and healthcare items in recent weeks across the region, leading to shortages in supplies of these products.

“These demand and supply shocks have invariably led to price increases throughout the member states, to the detriment of their most economically vulnerable consumers, mainly the impoverished,” it said.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia’s Acting Commissioner of Police, Milton Desir has warned criminals that law enforcement officials will take threats against their lives seriously after an escaped prisoner was shot dead on Dennery Bbeach, east of the capital, Castries.

Police said Markin Marquis, a murder suspect, was planning to leave the island by boat and was armed at the time of the confrontation with the lawmen.

“This is not what we want,” Desir told a news conference, making it clear, however that all other persons who claim to be “bad men” and openly threaten police officers will be dealt with “accordingly.”

He said from all indications, Marquis himself had claimed to be a bad man sending threats to police officers and members of the public who were witnesses in his criminal case as well of his friends.

Marquis was arrested in December last year in connection with the shooting death of Lyndon George, 27, who was shot in the head while at a dance hall in the southern town of Vieux-Fort a month earlier.


Standard and Poor’s has downgraded Trinidad and Tobago over the fall of oil prices.

While lowering T&T’s sovereign credit rating to BBB- from “BBB” it said this country’s economic outlook is stable, S&P cautioned that the rating could be lowered “should lower oil and gas prices, or the effects of covid-19 on demand, contribute to a larger economic contraction; a deterioration of external liquidity or debt beyond our current expectation.”

S&P made the statement in its March 26 research update on T&T. It said T&T’s rating could also be lowered, “should balance of payments outflows be larger than expected; or weaker fiscal position; and if we believe that the government will take longer to unwind the deterioration in public finances expected this year, causing larger increases in the net general governments debt or interest burden.


Source: Barbados Government Information Service

A COVID-19 update featuring Acting Prime Minister, Santia Bradshaw – April 7, 2020. (PMO)

A 95-year-old man, who was very ill when he presented with symptoms of COVID-19 last Sunday, passed away early this morning, becoming the third Barbadian to die from the viral illness.

His death was announced by Isolation Facilities Manager, Dr. Corey Forde, at a press briefing this morning.  The deceased was infected after coming into contact with a known case.

Dr. Forde further announced that three out of 45 persons tested yesterday were positive, bringing the tally of cases in Barbados to 63.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness identified the three new cases as Barbadians – a 28-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman, who returned from overseas, and a 33-year-old woman, who is the wife of a known case.

Currently in isolation are 53 persons.  Dr. Forde reported that three of them, who are on ventilators at the Enmore facility, were critically ill, including a 52-year-old man, who the medical professional deemed extremely ill, with the added complication of diabetes.

He outlined that there were 17 persons in isolation at Paragon, eight females and nine males, who are all in stable condition.

At the Blackman and Gollop isolation facility, he revealed, that there were 29 patients, 16 females and 13 males, including four in the High Dependency Area, ranging in age from 60 to 80.  Four patients are in isolation at hom



Ground & 1st Floor, Marpin House

5 – 7 Great Marlborough Street

  1. O. Box 293, Roseau

Commonwealth of Dominica, W.I.

Tel: 767 448 2045; Fax: 767 448 5840



Dominica COVID 19 Update – April 7, 2020

Roseau, Dominica – (April 7, 2020) Dominica’s Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre announced an additional case on COVID-19 in Dominica.  The announcement was made during the 2nd meeting of the 1st session of the 10th Parliament on Aril 6, 2020.  This brings the total number of positive COVID-19 cases to 15 with one person having recovered.  To date, a total of 293 persons have been tested and there are no COVID-19 related deaths.  A total of 109 persons are in quarantine at a government manned facility, however some persons are expected to be sent home once they have completed their 14 days at the facility.

The Parliament of Dominica further approved legislation granting that the current Curfew be extended for an additional 21 days when it expires on April 20, 2020, and that the State of Emergency is extended for an additional 3 months to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Attorney General Levi Peter explained that these regulations can be amended if the situation improves.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website:, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube


Belize Press Office

Phone: 822-0094 or 0092 ; Fax: 822-2671;  website:

Two More Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed

Belmopan. April 6, 2020. 

The Ministry of Health has continued to scale up testing for COVID-19 and a further 26 samples were tested on Sunday, April 5th. That scaled up testing has identified two further cases, both males residing in San Ignacio.

One of the males identified is a contact of patient #4. He developed minor signs and symptoms that included diarrhea and loss of sense of smell. This patient, the sixth case, has not required medication and is currently in self-isolation at home. Another male person, who is being treated as a pneumonia case, was also swabbed this weekend and is also positive for COVID-19.  The patient is currently hospitalized at the Western Health Region and remains stable. Mapping exercises are currently underway for both cases.

The total number of confirmed cases is now seven out of a total of 268 tests done. Some of the samples tested included contacts for patient #4, so that through the weekend a total of 128 samples were tested. Further screening tests are anticipated contingent on mapping exercises and enhanced surveillance activities.

Prime Minister Announces Lockdown of Cayo District and Additional Nationwide Measures

Belmopan. April 6, 2020. 6:15 p.m.

This evening during a live address, the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow announced additional measures including a 14-day lockdown for the Cayo District. These measures will go into effect at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Further details on these additional measures will be forthcoming as soon as the statutory instrument is signed.


Email at or call us on +590 590 875721

PRESS RELEASE April 6th 2020

The entire world is going through serious turmoil with an unprecedented health crisis.

Every country is impacted.

Patience and confinement seem to be the only appropriate response.

As the President of the French Republic, E. Macron stated when solemnly addressing the nation, “The world is at war against an invisible enemy”.

Given this context we are sharing the latest updates for St-Martin.

A certain number of restrictive measures have been taken at all points of entries and for public and private establishments.


Travel restrictions have been imposed by the authorities.

Only cargo flights are authorized to land.

For further information, please follow the links below.

Facebook :

Website :

An updated flight schedule is available on the airport’s Facebook page and website.

Facebook : Princess Juliana International Airport

Website :

At Grand Case Airport,

By decree, and in order to maintain regional territorial links, commercial flights are operated since March 23rd by Air Antilles Express.

Flights will be operated by Twin Otter 17-seater aircraft on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Flights are reserved to:

  • Someone accompanying a very sick person
  • Those that need urgent surgery, chemotherapy, dialysis…
  • Those traveling for professional reasons in link with the crisis.

Yet, they will have to show proof of residency on their travel documents.

Also, they will have to produce two documents proving the exactitude of their motivation to travel.

For further information please refer to:

Facebook: Aeroport Saint Martin Grand Case




Inter-island ferries

The rotations between Saint-Martin and the island of Anguilla are suspended until further notice from the Ferry Station of Marigot.

There is one rotation per day between Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy,

Facebook: Voyager St Barth

Marina fort louis

The Fort Louis Marina in Marigot is closed to the public.

In case of emergency please call +33 690 66 19 56.

From 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to noon on weekends.

You can also contact them by email:

Private boating is now restricted in French waters.

Dingy navigation is authorized for groceries and fuel, but boaters need to fill in the same form as car drivers.

Galisbay Port

The reception of cruise ships is prohibited since the publication of the Ministerial Decree on March 13th.

All activities at the commercial port, considered a vital structure, are maintained.

There is no cancellation or modification of the schedule in terms of reception of goods.


At the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, precautionary measures have been taken to limit access to the hospital with exception of the ER.

Circulation on the territory

Both French and Dutch governments have agreed to a “Friendly Border Control” in order to restrict non-essential movements. This is in an effort to reduce the possibility of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

On Sunday, April 5th, 2020. The Dutch side of the island has enforced a FULL SHUTDOWN for two weeks.

Exempted from shutdown:
1. Governor
2. Government Officials
3. Medical personal
4. Media Outlets
5. Garbage services
6. Shipping and freight companies
8. Pharmacies

Able to operate in case of emergencies:
1. Supermarkets
2. Gas stations (two will remain open only for emergency vehicles)

For all waver requests, a letter must be addressed to M. Karl John MBA, chief of police

via email :

(Govt. of St. Maarten)

On the French Side, Both the Prefecture and the Collectivité issued a decree stating that all outdoor recreational activities such as going to the beach, hotels pools and shared pools in residences are prohibited until further notice.


A personal derogatory waiver is needed for all circulation.

It can be downloaded from the following links

Facebook : Préfecture de St Barthélémy et de Saint Martin

Website :

It has to be filled in by each individual every time one goes out for a specified reason.

The non-compliance to these rules is punishable by a fine starting from 200€.

Since March 24th, and until further notice, The Simpson Bay Lagoon does no longer allow vessels in.

Educational institutions

Day care centers, kindergartens, schools, colleges and high schools in Saint Martin were closed on Monday March 16th. Schools in Sint Maarten were closed on Wednesday March 18th.


Establishments open to the public and non-essential businesses are closed until April 15th, 2020.

To view the list of establishments that are authorized to continue their activity please consult the following links:

Facebook : Préfecture de St Barthélémy et de Saint Martin


All stores are required to close at 6pm until April 15th, 2020.

A reminder for good hygiene practices.

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing and sneezing
  • Use disposable tissues
  • Greet without shaking hands and avoid kissing
  • Maintain a 4 FEET safety distance
  • Call EMERGENCY +15 if symptoms appear (cough, fever, etc.) and stay at home
  • Wear a mask if you are sic


The British Virgin Islands family wishes you well during this difficult time and invites you to indulge in a much deserved cocktail. Tune in to a Virtual Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 8 at 4:00 pm EST on BVI Tourism’s Facebook Live to learn how to make the legendary Painkiller Cocktail, the official cocktail of the British Virgin Islands and one of the most iconic beverages in the Caribbean.

Viewers can transport themselves to the beaches of BVI by making this signature cocktail at home! What started at the shores of Soggy Dollar Beach Bar in 1970 continued with the development of the Pusser’s Painkiller shortly after. As Soggy Dollar owner Daphne Henderson takes pride in her secret recipe, Pusser’s founder Charles Tobias went to work trying to match her flavor as closely as possible. He finally worked out his own recipe to be a ratio of four parts pineapple, one part cream of coconut and one part orange juice, adding Pusser’s Rum to suit and topped with grated nutmeg. More info about the cocktail’s history and ties to the BVI can be found here.

We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful BVI soon, but for now – we hope you enjoy this delicious treat. We encourage you and your readers to tune into the live stream on Wednesday from the British Virgin Islands with BVI Ambassador, James Kelly. He will be showcasing the views from his adobe, speaking on the history of the Painkiller and teaching us how to make the Pusser’s Painkiller!


Add liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a big glass or goblet filled with ice. Add/grate fresh nutmeg on top and enjoy!


Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority — P.O. Box W351 — ACB Financial Center —

High Street — St. John’s — Antigua, West Indies

Phone : 268 562 7600 — Fax: 268 562 7601 — E-mail:



Escape with Mills and Boon to the Island of Romance

  1. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA (APRIL 7 2020) – Date nights might be off the agenda and romantic trips away postponed, but Antigua and Barbuda is turning up the heat with five romantic tales all set on the picturesque island of Antigua. Widely regarded as the most romantic destination in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda’s palm fringed white and pink sand beaches, picture-perfect sunsets and crystal-clear seas have always ticked the boxes for lovers in search of an idyllic escape. This meant the twin-island’s dreamy backdrop could not be more perfect for the setting of five short Mills and Boon stories.

From holiday romances to second chances and happily ever afters, Mills and Boon is transporting readers to an exotic paradise in Antigua’s most beautiful spots. From the sleek yachts at Nelson’s Dockyard to the balmy peaks of Shirley Heights Lookout, readers can escape to an alternative reality of secluded coves, turquoise waters and tales of love and adventure.

The perfect inspiration to plan future trips and honeymoons, Antigua and Barbuda look forward to welcoming visitors back to the twin-island paradise once travel bans and government restrictions are lifted. But for the time being, an island escape is a click away: