FILE - In this January 28, 2018, file photo, Pink performs "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" at the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York. Pink says she had COVID-19 and is donating $500,000 each to two emergency funds. In a pair of tweets posted April 3, 2020, the singer says she tested positive after she and her three-year-old son started displaying symptoms two weeks ago. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

The singer Pink had tested positive for COVID-19, she said on April 3, also announcing that she is donating USD $500,000 each to two emergency funds. In a pair of tweets, she said she and her three-year-old son were displaying symptoms two weeks ago, and she tested positive after accessing tests through a primary care physician. Her family had already been sheltering at home and continued to do so, she said. They were tested again "just a few days ago," and were negative. The Grammy Award-winning artistbehind eight studio albums and hits like "Get the Party Started," "What About Us," "Raise Your Glass" and "Just Give Me a Reason" calledfor free and widespread testing. "It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible," she wrote. "This illness is serious and real. People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities." She announced she's donating onemillion dollars across two coronavirus-related relief funds, with $500,000 each going to the Temple University Hospital Fund in Philadelphia and the COVID-19 response fund run by the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles. The Temple University donation honours the singer born Alecia Moore's mother, Judy Moore, who worked at the hospital's cardiomyopathy and heart transplant centre for nearly two decades, she said. She called health care workers "heroes" and ended her post with an appeal to the public. "These next two weeks are crucial: please stay home," she wrote. "Please. Stay. Home."

n this June 21, 2006 file photo, singer-songwriter Bill Withers poses in his office in Beverly Hills, Calif. Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine," died in Los Angeles from heart complications on Monday, March 30, 2020. He was 81. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to The Associated Press. He was 81. The three-time Grammy Award winner, who withdrew from making music in the mid-1980s, died on Monday in Los Angeles, the statement said. His death comes as the public has drawn inspiration from his music during the coronavirus pandemic, with health care workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own renditions on “Lean on Me” to help get through the difficult times. “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. A solitary man with a heart-driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other,” the family statement read. “As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.” Withers’ songs during his brief career have become the soundtracks of countless engagements, weddings and backyard parties. They have powerful melodies and perfect grooves melded with a smooth voice that conveys honesty and complex emotions without vocal acrobatics. “Lean on Me,” a paean to friendship, was performed at the inaugurations of both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.“Ain’t No Sunshine”and “Lean on Me” are among Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. “He’s the last African-American Everyman,” musician and bandleader Questlove told Rolling Stone in 2015. “Bill Withers is the closest thing black people have to a Bruce Springsteen.” His death caused a torrent of appreciation on social media, including from former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who said Withers' music has been a cherished part of her life. “It added to my joy in the good times, and also gave me comfort and inspiration when I needed it most,” she tweeted. Singer José James said, “we need his message of unity now more than ever.” Withers, who overcame a childhood stutter, was born the last of six children in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia. After his parents divorced when he was three, Withers was raised by his mother’s family in nearby Beckley. He joined the Navy at 17 and spent nine years in the service as an aircraft mechanic installing toilets. After his discharge, he moved to Los Angeles, worked at an aircraft parts factory, bought a guitar at a pawn shop and recorded demos of his tunes in hopes of landing a recording contract. In 1971, signed to Sussex Records, he put out his first album, “Just As I Am,” with the legendary Booker T. Jones at the helm. It had the hits “Grandma’s Hands” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which was inspired by the Jack Lemmon film “Days of Wine and Roses.” He was photographed on the cover, smiling and holding his lunch pail. “Ain’t No Sunshine” was originally released as the B-side of his debut single, “Harlem.” But radio DJs flipped the disc and the song climbed to number threeon the Billboard charts and spent a total of 16 weeks in the top 40. Withers went on to generate more hits a year later with the inspirational “Lean on Me,” the menacing “Who Is He (and What Is He to You)” and the slinky “Use Me” on his second album, “Still Bill.” Later would come the striking “Lovely Day,” co-written with Skip Scarborough and featuring Withers holding the word “day” for almost 19 seconds, and “Just the Two Of Us,” co-written with Ralph MacDonald and William Salter. His “Live at Carnegie Hall” in 1973 made Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time. “The hardest thing in songwriting is to be simple and yet profound. And Bill seemed to understand, intrinsically and instinctively, how to do that,” Sting said in “Still Bill,” a 2010 documentary of Withers. But Withers’ career stalled when Sussex Records went bankrupt and he was scooped up by Columbia Records. He no longer had complete control over his music and chafed when it was suggested he do an Elvis cover. His new executives found Withers difficult. None of his Columbia albums reached the Top 40 except for 1977’s “Menagerie,” which produced “Lovely Day.” (His hit duet with Grover Washington Jr. “Just the Two of Us” was on Washington’s label). Withers’ last album was 1985′s “Watching You Watching Me.” Though his songs often dealt with relationships, Withers also wrote ones with social commentary, including “Better Off Dead” about an alcoholic’s suicide, and “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” about an injured Vietnam War veteran. He was awarded Grammys as a songwriter for “Ain’t No Sunshine” in 1971 and for “Just the Two Of Us” in 1981. In 1987, Bill received his ninth Grammy nomination and third Grammy as a songwriter for the re-recording of the 1972 hit “Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 by Stevie Wonder. Withers thanked his wife as well as the R&B pioneers who helped his career like Ray Jackson, Al Bell and Booker T. Jones. He also got in a few jabs at the record industry, saying A&R stood for “antagonistic and redundant.” Withers also was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. His music has been covered by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones, Linda Ronstadt, Paul McCartney, Sting, Johnny Mathis, Aaron Neville, Al Jarreau, Mick Jagger, Nancy Wilson, Diana Ross. His music has been sampled for BlackStreet’s “No Diggity,” Will Smith’s version of “Just the Two Of Us,” Black Eyed Peas’ “Bridging the Gap” and Twista’s “Sunshine.” The song “Lean on Me” was the title theme of a 1989 movie starring Morgan Freeman. His songs are often used on the big screen, including “The Hangover,” “28 Days,” “American Beauty,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Crooklyn,” “Flight,” “Beauty Shop,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Flight.” “I’m not a virtuoso, but I was able to write songs that people could identify with. I don’t think I’ve done bad for a guy from Slab Fork, West Virginia,” Withers told Rolling Stone in 2015. He is survived by his wife, Marcia, and children, Todd and Kori.


Apple in The Loop, a cocktail by Ovando Gayle.

This week’s cocktail special was made by mixologist Ovando Gayle, a specialist in his field and an alumnusof the Academy of Bartending, Wines & Spirits. Gayle is a man of few words, who lights up when guests express satisfaction after the first sip. Tonight’s cocktail is the Cinni Martell, a sensuous and elegant special, made with – among other tangy additives – a combination of Malibu coconut rum and our very own Jamaican Otaheite apple. Here’s how you can recreate Ovando Gayle’s Apple in The Loop… Ingredients ½ oz Campari 1 oz Aperol ½ oz Malibu Coconut Rum ½ oz Otaheite Apple syrup ½ oz lime juice 2 oz Pineapple juice Method Add ice Shake Pour over ice Garnish with Otaheite apple and Maraschino cherry Always remember to drink responsibly!

Kingston Public Hospital surgical resident Dr Phillip Coombs

In light of the discussions surrounding COVID-19, and despite the timely updates shared by Ministriesof Health and Wellness across the region, hearing positive messages that confirm "What the Doc said" from one of the most popular doctors on social media is exactly what people seem toneed. The affable Jamaican Dr Phillip Coombs obliged a sit-down with the Loop News team to answer, among other things, questions that continue to boggle the mind. Today (April 1), Dr Coombs is back with more tips and advice for all.The most relevant question of the day is: "Can you catch the COVID-19 twice?" Here’s what he had to say: Tomorrow, find out what Dr Coombs thinks about the nationwide lockdown and more.


The government of Dominica has partnered with Digicel to ensure that all citizens have access to telecommunications services. Minister of Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Oscar George said the novel coronavirus is testing the ability of telecommunication operators to adequately respond to the increasing traffic demand in terms of capacity and the quality of service. He believes that the pandemic presents an avenue for increased innovation while encouraging us to maximise use of existing technologies. In a statement, Minister George boasts of the government’s foresight and pro-active planning in this regard. According to the statement, the government of Dominica signed an agreement with Digicel in January of 2019 to enhance the telecommunication infrastructure services at all government facilities inclusive of schools, police stations, hospitals and health centres. Minister George said: “This network will provide multiple layers of redundant connectivity including underground and overhead fibre, and cloud services to host Government data and services. The contract, through the Learning Hub technology, facilitates students and teachers to connect online to pursue classes without being charged. Additionally, health professionals, through the “Connected Health” facility are able to provide patient care via both audio and video facilities from the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital to 30 rural health centres strategically located around Dominica.” After extensive consultation, local telecommunications operators have come on board, committed to support the government’s response to the coronavirus. The Telecommunications Minister said: “While the Operators will be engaged in monitoring online traffic in an effort to manage increased traffic, it is also anticipated that special arrangements will be included to lower the cost barrier in order that as many citizens/customers as possible gain the required access to the service during this period.” Minister George said Wi-Fi networks have already been established in 56 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. He said the bandwidth in schools in communities that do not currently have access to broadband connectivity, will be increased above the stipulated range. Telecommunication operators have also partnered with the Ministry of Health to keep consumers informed through the distribution of SMS (text) messages. The hospitality sector also stands to benefit from these concessions. Minister George said the government is doing all in its power to ensure that all Dominicans have access to affordable telecommunications services irrespective of geographic location, economic or social status.

Barbados Defence Force rep collects 6,000 meals donated by Chefette for the frontline essential workers.

Chefette Restaurants has opened 15sets of doors across Barbados, and tomorrow it will close them all in compliance with the Government's new restrictions for restaurants due to the spread of the novel coronavirus locally. [related node_id='357c3105-86eb-481a-9232-3f4a04123b92'] Restaurant closures are but one of the measures in Barbados' survival plan to reduce, manage and contain cases on COVID-19 on island. To date, Barbados has 46 COVID-positive patients. Effective April 3, at 5 pm, under theEmergency Management(COVID-19) Curfew (NO. 2) Directive, 2020, restaurants which fall under the category of non-essential services,shall remain closed until April 15. Unless another Directive is issued, restaurants should resume serving the public from the morning of April 15, 2020. In a social media post, Chefette announced: "In light of the latest COVID-19 update, we are temporarily closing all branches until April 15, 2020. We sincerely look forward to serving you in the near future. Stay safe Barbados and continue to practice#SocialDistancing" In six short hours, close to 1,500 persons liked the post. But before its closure, a week ago Chefette announced that it had donated BBD $100,000 (USD $50,000) towards the Government's Barbados Adopt a Family Programme to assist 55 families during these challenging times. And the post was captioned: 'We’re in this together#OneBigChefetteFamily' View this post on Instagram In light of the latest Covid-19 update, we are temporarily closing all branches until April 15, 2020. We sincerely look forward to serving you in the near future. Stay safe Barbados and continue to practice #SocialDistancing A post shared by Chefette Restaurants (@ilovechefette) on Apr 2, 2020 at 2:06pm PDT Chefette has been complying with each update as Barbados transitioned from Stage 0 to Stage 1, 2 and 3 in its COVID-19 Response Plan. On March 22, when gatherings were banned, Chefette took the decision to suspend indoor-dining to safeguard their staff and customers, and within days they launched their new curbside pickup service. Loop Business asked Chefette Restaurants Ltd Managing Director Ryan Haloute how was it making the switch. He said: "Overall, we were very pleased to be able to launch the Curbside Pickup last week to adapt very quickly to the current situation in the island and offer this service through our Online payment from our Website." Then on Wednesday (April 1) after more stringent measures were implemented, despitethe hours of operation beingreduced further with the island's first curfew, Chefette stepped up to the plate once more. Chefette was "pleased" to donate 6,000 meals to frontline personnel who are managing the country through the COVID-19 virus. The caption read: 'We're happy to help where we can. We’re all in this together#OneBigChefetteFamily#SocialDistancing". Over 4,500 people liked this Instagram post. With its'We'll be back April 15, 2020' poster triggering crying emojis from many, Loop asked Haloute if on their return Bajans could hope for a delivery service, to which he said, "[I] Prefer to wait until we reopen and then we can focus on what we will be doing then."