KINGSTON, March 15 (JIS): The Ministry of Health has provided additional resources to its main hospitals in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine to treat persons who have been affected by the smog from the Riverton City disposal site.
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock-DuCasse, informed a press briefing at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Kingston, on Sunday (March 15), that additional supplies and equipment have been provided to the Spanish Town and Kingston Public hospitals, as well as the University Hospital of the West Indies, and Bustamante Hospital for Children.
“Equipment and supplies provided include nebulisers, humidifiers and pharmaceuticals to deal with persons with respiratory symptoms,” Dr. Bullock-DuCasse said.
She also informed that five health centres were opened on Saturday (March 14), four in Kingston and St. Andrew and one in Spanish Town; and two on Sunday(March 15).
Dr. Bullock-DuCasse further said that the Casualty Department of the National Chest Hospital is now operating on a 24-hour basis as at Saturday (March 14), noting that the institution usually opens only in the days.
“This is to allow easy access to persons who require health care,” she said.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer reported that 642 persons were treated at health care facilities between Friday (March 13) and midday Sunday (March 15), four of whom were admitted.
“I must point out that no deaths have been reported or recorded in any health facility associated with this event,” the Acting Chief Medical Officer said.
The Ministry is also responsible for air quality testing in collaboration with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), and Dr. Bullock-DuCasse informed that two additional sampling sites have been established. These are located at the Jamaica Fire Brigade in Half Way Tree, and at an office on Spanish Town Road.
“Both 24-hour samples were retrieved yesterday and testing for particulate matter is being conducted by the Bureau of Standards,” Dr. Bullock-DuCasse said, explaining that the results should be available by late Sunday (March 15) or Monday (March 16) morning.
She further noted that testing for other chemicals, such as volatile organic compound, will be done by a Canadian company and the results should be forthcoming by Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer continues to recommend that persons, especially those with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, avoid the affected areas as much as possible or remain indoors. “Keep windows and doors closed; andcover nose and mouth with a damp rag or cloth,” she stressed.
Dr. Bullock-DuCasse also advised that “at the first sign of any symptoms, such as shortness of breath or any difficulty in breathing, take your medications as prescribed by your doctor and make a visit without delay.”
The Acting Chief Medical Officer assured that the Ministry continues to monitor the situation and will provide further updates.
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
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.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“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.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#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.
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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