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Overseas COVID-19 case with TCI travel history activates local contact tracing

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(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Monday 23 March, 2020): The Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital received a public health notification that a temporary worker who visited the country on March 8th – 13th 2020 to facilitate mandatory training with a group of hospital employees tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after his return home to the United States.

The temporary worker is a 35-year-old American male and he is currently being isolated at home in the USA in stable condition. Whilst the male is classified as an overseas confirmed COVID-19 case, the decision was made to share the circumstances surrounding the case in the public’s interest. The training sessions with hospital employees were held on March 9th – 12th at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre.

The Turks and Caicos Islands and the primary U.S. state from which the temporary worker travelled and resided had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the time of travel. In addition, there were no causes for concern identified during his screening upon entry to Providenciales and he was asymptomatic while on island. Investigations are ongoing to determine how and at what point in time the male may have contracted the virus.

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Since becoming aware of the result and out of an abundance of caution, contact tracing was immediately activated by the TCI Government Ministry of Health Public Health Department in partnership with TCI Hospital and with guidance from Public Health England. 

According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control, people are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic. However, given the scientific speculation surrounding whether it might be possible for asymptomatic persons to spread the virus in small amounts, Providenciales-based hospital employees and other persons who were in contact with the affected male were placed under quarantine as a precaution pending test results from samples collected. These tests are being expedited and thus far two results have returned as negative. 

Temporary and resident health care workers and patients returning to the Turks and Caicos Islands from overseas medical care facilities have been required to undergo a risk assessment process to prevent the risk and spread of COVID-19. Based on the risk level, this may include a requirement to quarantine as determined by TCIG MOHAHS Public Health Team. 

File Photo, TCI Hospitals Emergency Room entrance

The Ministry of Health and TCI Hospital continues to be engaged in dialogue throughout this public health challenge. The Ministry fully supports these prudent and necessary measures as we fight the risk and potential spread of COVID-19.

JOINT PRESS RELEASE; TCI HOSPITALS & TCI MINISTRY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

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EXCLUSIVE!  Police black CID Vehicle shot up by bandits in Five Cays

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Wilkie Arthur

Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 15, 2024 – It was an uneasy night on Tuesday May 14 for some residents of Five Cays, Providenciales owing to continuous, serious fire power with gun shots blaring in various areas of the community.

Some say they heard shots in Granny Hill and reported a man walking around with a gun, randomly shooting at unidentifiable targets. Some say shots were heard behind the Enid Capron Primary School.  Some say they heard gun shot sounds coming from a residential area as well.

The most compelling accounts, however, were on reported events in another area called “The Wells”; a community in the depths of Five Cays and South Dock.

Criminals took on law enforcement in a gun battle involving the armored truck and a CID vehicle.

No members of the Royal TCI Police were hit.

Not the same for the other side.  One person was hit, a young man not known to police and it’s not clear if he was one of the men shooting at the police or an innocently caught in the crossfire.

The man was arrested as a possible suspect.  He is also in hospital with an “entrance and exit” gunshot wound.

During the shootout in The Wells, the CID vehicle was shot at repeatedly, disabling its movement as gunfire damaged the engine. Concerning to us, these shootings were at different times and locations but came in rapid succession; one right after the other, I was told.

Most described the sounds as coming “from some big guns.”

Police the morning after allowed me in to see up close.

Video, photos feature my EXCLUSIVE, close-up look at the damage done by criminals; it is clear high powered rifles were used by these suspects still at large.

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Charred Remains Found in Back Seat of Completely Burnt Vehicle

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – A gruesome discovery was made around midday today (Sunday, May 19th, 2024) when police and fire rescue teams responded to a call at a location on Blue Hills Back Road, off Millennium Highway. The area, situated next to the Fortis Sub-Station, is accessible via a long, secluded dirt road.

Upon arrival, authorities found a vehicle completely engulfed in flames. The vehicle was later removed by police after being alerted by an anonymous source to its burnt-out location. Local residents indicated that the fire had been ignited around 2-3 a.m. earlier that morning, but authorities were not notified until later in the day.

Residents could not provide details about the individual inside the vehicle or even discern its color due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. Videos of the discovery location are available, but footage of the vehicle itself will be provided once it has been located. The vehicle was reportedly still burning when police arrived at the scene.

Official Royal TCI Police Report:

Media Release – May 19th, 2024: Active Investigation Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) are currently on the scene of a vehicle fire in the Blue Hills, Providenciales area. Acting on received information, officers arrived at the location along North Side Close and discovered a burnt vehicle with what appeared to be a body inside.
The RTCIPF is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of this incident. As this is an active investigation, more details will be provided to the public as they become available.

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NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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