Mr. President and Members of the Senate; Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly; Specially invited guests, ladies and gentlemen.
This Parliament reconvenes today, in circumstances that none of us could have imagined. It is therefore appropriate for us to pause as a nation and give fresh thought to our future.
In March of this year, Barbados like most countries across the globe, was forced into a national lockdown propelled by the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic that continues to plague the world. With over 29 million cases worldwide and almost 1 million deaths to date, Barbados stands among the countries that have attacked this silent enemy head on. Having conducted 18,000 tests, and with less than 200 confirmed cases recorded nationally, although regrettably 7 deaths, Barbados has been lauded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for this country’s resolute fight against this deadly and crippling disease. When we, as a nation, consider our economic standing on the global stage, this is nothing short of a phenomenal achievement. However, we recognize that this would not have been possible without the work and sacrifice of Barbadians and the assistance of our global and regional partners. To you, we wish to convey our heartfelt gratitude.THRONE-SPEECH-2ND-OPENING-OF-PARLIAMENT-SEPT-15-2020
While we as a people, should be proud of the way we have sought to address the pandemic thus far, we must remain vigilant. With England, and other countries in Europe beginning to experience a surge in cases over the past two weeks, we are constantly reminded that the virus is very much still with us. This is of particular concern to us, especially when we juxtapose it with the reality that our tourism industry is very dependent on the European market. With thousands of tourism industry workers currently unemployed, this pandemic becomes a frightening reality for us as it relates to our economic recovery, but particularly, to our ability to feed and provide for our families.
Indeed, there are many reasons for our stability and success during this trying period. Grounded in our resolve as a nation and a people, to fight this pandemic, is our belief that success comes when we all play our part to make Barbados better. As a people we may differ in many ways, but we are fundamentally the same when it comes to our commitment to the continued development and safety of this nation. Operating under the global recession brought on by the pandemic that has brought economies to a screeching halt worldwide, Barbados continues to be an example to the world of what resolve, kindness and being our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper can achieve.
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