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Health Minister Limits Media Questions, Walks out on Press Conference

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Providenciales, 07 Oct 2014 – Apologies coming from a thirteen member health team led by Health Minister Porsha Smith today in a packed room where a long overdue press conference was held… The Minister assured that her team is working hard behind the scene and promising to be more visual with the awareness campaign, more diverse in the educational style and more forthcoming with the media on what are arguably, three of the most talked about illnesses in the Western Hemisphere.

Chikungunya is now with about 100 suspected cases in the TCI, though getting that tally was tough as Epidemiologist, Dr. Terese Maitland danced around the actual figures. No new number given for Dengue Fever which is the worst of the two mosquito borne illnesses in the Turks and Caicos and as for Ebola, there are no cases, no suspected cases but already screening of European and American flight passengers who may have a history of travel to West Africa have begun. Permanent Secretary Desiree Lewis explained that over half a million dollars may have to be spent for protective equipment and gears for Ebola Virus, Dengue Fever and ChikV for health workers; this includes she said, legislative changes which are coming pretty soon.

Dr. Maitland confirmed that TS Critobal’s flood waters and the usual rains of September have made matters worse when it comes to the mosquito viruses… she also confirmed that the Turks and Caicos has not reported to CARPHA for 12 weeks, explaining that they are and I quote, “collating numbers…” this is what Magnetic Media was told over three weeks ago. The figures are changing frequently she explained. While the tone of the press conference started on an apologetic note … that turned to something different when reporters were informed that each media house would only get two questions and when that quota was surpassed, Minister Porsha Smith advised her Director of Medical services, Dr. Nadia Astwood not to respond to any more questions and even stood up and motioned to leave the press conference after a verbal squabble with press.

A startling move… We asked about the Ministry of Health’s stance in the matter surrounding the death of Annamae Williams, who tested positive for Dengue Fever… Dr. Astwood gave condolences and only a vague comment that she could not comment. It was confirmed that fogging supplies are low… it has been talked about in social media that there were no chemicals for spraying… Minister Smith said some chemicals will arrive by weekend and a local supplier has agreed to source the government as a back-up.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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