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NHIP controversy sparks rumors of PDM unrest, Premier denies allegations

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Premier Sharlene Robinson.

Providenciales, TCI June 9, 2017 – Six months in office and the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) Government is suspected of being in a damaging turmoil.  Possible dismissals of ministers, cronyism and alleged drug problems are all rumours flaring around a reported internal battle within the party. The accusations have been sparked by the National Health Insurance Plan (NHIP) controversy and death of premature baby, Konnor Smith.

Konnor is the son Chamber of Commerce President Kyle Smith and Rachel Gregory, a respected hotelier. Konnor required overseas care, but was unable to access it in time due to an NHIP policy on using only regional hospitals in the abroad care programme. Konnor’s parents had requested that he be treated in the US, which was eventually organized, but unfortunately not quickly enough to save him.

Both NHIP and the PDM government by extension, including Premier Sharlene Robinson, have been the bud of criticism following the baby’s death. Magnetic Media understands that the baby is a relative of a prominent PDM minister and the Deputy Governor. Among claims being thrown about are that the Premier is set to fire a minister who was integral to the PDM winning last year’s election; that the Premier and the PDM are heavily suppressing criticism; and most shockingly, that another prominent PDM member is a drug addict.

When asked about the PDM’s internal struggles, Robinson told Magnetic Media her party was “intact” and that recent personal attacks were unfounded. “We are not distracted. We are united on the path forward as a Party…Imploding? Never. External factors cannot impact the oldest party in the country this way,” she said.

Robinson also denied that she suppresses criticism saying: “I will continue to encourage persons to speak out so I can know what is on the minds of our people.”

#MagneticMediaNews

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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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