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Turks and Caicos Premier says nation ‘elated’ over removal from Zika list; praises CARPHA and CARICOM

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#Providenciales,  Turks and Caicos Islands – October 20, 2018 – A record 30 million stay-over visitors to the Caribbean region in 2017 did well to mask the damage that a classification by the World Health Organization, as a region still laden with cases of the terrifying Zika virus, was having upon travel bookings.

Ever since the emergence of the virus within our hemisphere, there has been fear about the mosquito borne disease, which can result in, among other things babies being born with microcephaly or a small head.

It is a frightening risk that pregnant women and women wanting to become pregnant have steered clear of taking, especially once the American Centers for Disease Control added the Caribbean to the damning list.  It became immediately clear that Zika’s prevalence in our region – whether perceived or real – loomed largely in the decision of where people chose to spend their holidays.

Suffice it to say, CARPHA’s announcement on Thursday was a welcomed one for the Caribbean, including the Turks and Caicos Islands.

CARPHA’s statement explained:  “This removal by the WHO comes on the heels of data released by CARPHA, giving evidence that the Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean had been interrupted for over 12 months, or was at undetectable levels, thereby posing very little risk to residents and visitors to the Region.  This was matched by data shared with CARPHA by Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States of America, which showed that no Zika had been detected for over 12 months in travelers returning from the Caribbean to their countries.”

A year free of Zika and a letter penned to demand a re-classification has made all the difference for the region and CARPHA member states.  The member countries are now removed from Category 1, where Zika is prevalent to Category 3, which means there is no Zika transmission.

“Last year I had the opportunity to engage with travel agents from around the world and was told of the importance of having the Turks and Caicos removed from the list, especially as my Government through the Change Document, to market the Turks and Caicos Islands as a wedding destination.”

Premier Sharlene Robinson in a Friday media meeting explained that it was a team effort including the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the US Consulate, however Robinson gave highest commendation to the diligence of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA and CARICOM.

“Over the past year there have been efforts by my government to have the TCI removed, having had no new transmissions recorded and having seen other countries removed,” the Premier added, “But are thrilled at the positive results of the advocacy led by CARPHA and CARICOM which resulted in the removal of the entire classification.”

The Premier revealed that the tourism and travel agents of the Turks and Caicos Islands welcome the development.

In 2016, statistics shed an unfavorable light on Latin America and the Caribbean.  An April 2017 report in NPR or National Public Radio online quoted the Centers for Disease Control.  Figures exposed that in 2016 there were 1600 cases of Zika reported in pregnant women in the United States. Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries were cited as the places the women had visited and were considered the origin of the disease.

“Of those women with laboratory evidence of Zika virus, there were 77 reported pregnancy losses and 51 babies born with birth defects, including 43 babies with microcephaly or brain abnormalities. Other babies had eye abnormalities or neural tube defects,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the CDC at the time of the article.

The Turks and Caicos Ministry of Health reported in July that the country had gone 18-months with no new cases of Zika reported.

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.

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FortisTCI has requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to examine the reasonableness of the Company’s submission for revised electric rates

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FortisTCI has requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to examine the reasonableness of the Company’s submission for revised electric rates. The request was submitted to Her Excellency the Governor today. The Company’s submission proposed a 6% rate increase across service territories.
The appointment of an inquirer forms part of the rate review process outlined in the Electricity Ordinance. Interested persons can make representation during the inquiry. Once completed, the inquirer provides a report to FortisTCI as the public supplier and to Her Excellency the Governor with its recommendations.

The Company’s proposal for revised electric rates was submitted to the Governor on February 14, 2024, and was supported by substantial information. As part of the rate review process, Her Excellency, the Governor, requested additional information through the Energy and Utilities Commissioner, and the Company met all additional requests.

FortisTCI understands the difficulties that customers can face with electricity bills. For this reason, the Company works hard to ensure that electric rates have remained as stable as possible. The Company invests responsibly and maintains an efficient operation, providing customers with one of the most reliable electricity services in the Caribbean.

FortisTCI maintains that revised electric rates are necessary at this time to expand the electricity system and maintain reliable service to customers, amid rising energy demand as the Turks and Caicos Islands economy continues to grow. Like other businesses, external pressures such as persistent high inflation and high interest costs have also impacted the operation. These are the primary reasons for the electric rates review.

Before the current submission of revised rates, FortisTCI had requested one general rate review in twenty years. This was to help recover significant investments made after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The rate increase was granted after the appointment of an Inquirer, who determined that the Company’s request was necessary and reasonable. The inquirer’s report also highlighted that FortisTCI had prudently managed its costs and operation.

Similarly, the Company welcomes an open and independent examination of its current request for revised electric rates. FortisTCI will hold information meetings across the islands to discuss its proposed revised rates, providing customers with opportunities to have their questions answered. The schedule of meetings will be published on the Company’s social media pages.

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13th Annual Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament (WCGFT) Check Presentation Ceremony – 5th April, 2023

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#TurksandCaicos, April 10, 2024 – We are proud to announce that this year’s proceeds from the 13th WCGFT were presented to 3 youth-oriented organizations: Edward Gartland Youth Centre, TCI Amateur Athletic Association (TCIAAA) and TCI Swimming Federation (TCISF).

The Edward Gartland Youth Centre is a non-profit organization providing a space of learning for the youth of Providenciales with activities ranging from tutoring to sports and recreation, arts and craft and so much more.

TCIAAA and TCISF just represented the Turks & Caicos Islands in the CARIFTA Games in Grenada, 2024. We are proud of their achievements and happy that we could help in time.

The Charities were presented cheques totaling $70,000:

Edward Gartland Youth Centre:          $35,000

TCIAAA:                                            $20,000

TCISF:                                                $15,000

This brings the total donated by the WCGFT and its Sponsors to $530,000. We look forward to giving even more next year.

This concludes this year’s 13th WCGFT Event and Cheque Presentation. We would like to thank our sponsors and organizers who were key in our efforts to give back to the youth of the TCI Community.

We look forward with great anticipation to next year’s event.

Thank you all.

 

CONTACT: Desmond Williams, desmond@winecellar.tc, Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament

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Swearing-In Ceremony, six added to TCI Police Force

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Six police constables were today sworn into the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

Four experienced officers- Germaine Scott, Sandenia Francis, Tyrone Cox and Blake Hooker, along with Special Constables Rashaunda Cooke and Raymond Clare took their oaths during a brief ceremony at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The officers pledged to uphold justice, protect the community, and diligently serve their duties with pride and integrity.

Commissioner of Police (ag) Christopher Eyre addressed the constables, applauding the efforts of those currently serving and indicating that they are now part of dealing with the challenges facing the Turks and Caicos Islands, particularly that of illegal migration.

Mr Eyre said: “In this region, we face the humanitarian tragedy affecting Haiti, and our hearts go out to those affected on that island. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of Haiti’s government, we have seen the prisons being overrun and over 5000 prisoners escaping.

“We also face challenges from illegal migration to our shores. Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Rodney Adams and I have been working feverishly to coordinate with other law enforcement colleagues to secure the TCI borders.

“I am proud of this Force and how we have stepped up to the challenges. I look forward to seeing you and also seeing you excel as part of the team”.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams, Assistant Commissioner of Police Kendall Grant, Human Resource Officer Sgt. Tashauna Wilson, and Chairman of the Police Welfare Association Sgt. Jepson Victor were also at the swearing-in.

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