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Critically Ill Infant Suspected of COVID-19 Passes Away in Turks & Caicos

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Cheshire Hall Medical Centre, file photo

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Friday, 3 April, 2020: The Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital is saddened to advise that an infant passed away shortly after admission to Cheshire Hall Medical Centre. 

The infant was transported to the facility via private vehicle on 2nd April 2020. She was admitted to the inpatient unit around midnight in critical condition. Although COVID-19 infection is statistically rare in this age group, given the presence of the pandemic and out of an abundance of caution, she was classified as a suspected case and met the latest case definition of COVID-19. There were other medical findings, which also could have potentially accounted for the infant’s passing.

The public health team was notified and a sample was taken as a differential for posthumous overseas testing. Due to patient confidentiality no further details can be released. 

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government – Ministry of Health Team commenced immediate contact tracing and persons identified in the process are required to undergo quarantine and/or screening as a precautionary measure. The Department of Social Development has also been engaged as per protocol. TCI Hospital and the Ministry of Health wishes to offer our most heartfelt condolences to the grieving parents. Further support and guidance have also been provided.  

A travel history is no longer needed to meet the criteria for COVID-19 given the closure of national borders. A suspected case is someone who meets any of the following revised case definitions: 

(a) A patient who presents with acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation. 

(b) A patient who presents with any acute respiratory illness and having been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case in the last 14 days prior to onset of symptoms. 

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(c) A patient who presents with severe acute respiratory infection – fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease (e.g., cough, shortness breath) and requiring hospitalization and with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation.​​​

​A probable case is a suspect case for whom testing for COVID-19 is inconclusive. ​​A confirmed case is a person with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 contagion, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms.

The Ministry of Health is working closely with the TCI Hospital in regard to the matter.

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Bahamas News

Tropical Storm Owen in December?

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 8, 2022 – A low-pressure system observed in the Central Atlantic Ocean has led the National Hurricane Center to believe there is a 50 per cent chance a subtropical or tropical storm will develop. They reported on Tuesday,  the system was 800 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands.

NHC said that by Thursday or Friday, the system should move northeastward, where it will interact with a mid-latitude trough, thereby limiting the chances of development.

The potential subtropical or tropical storm would become the 15th named storm of 2022 and will be called Owen.

Here is the very latest forecast:

Central Subtropical Atlantic

Showers and thunderstorms have increased since last evening near a

large non-tropical area of low pressure located over the central

subtropical Atlantic about 850 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.

However, the system remains embedded within a frontal zone, which is

expected to become more pronounced later today as the low begins to

move east-northeastward at 20 to 25 mph toward colder waters and

interact with a mid-latitude trough.  Therefore, while the system

could show some subtropical characteristics today, its chances to

fully transition to a subtropical or tropical cyclone appear to be

decreasing.  Nevertheless, significant non-tropical development of

this low is expected during the next couple of days, and additional

information, including hurricane-force wind warnings, can be found

in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service.  The

next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued

by 9 AM EST Thursday.

 

* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days…low…30 percent.

 

Photo Credit: ACCUWEATHER

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News

Minister Doubles Down on need for Population Plan, says TCIs facing EXTINCTION

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 8, 2022 – After a firestorm of comments from residents across the Turks and Caicos regarding recent announcements that third generation TCI residents would be able to apply for citizenship, Minister of Immigration Arlington Musgrove now doubles down on the need for an intentional population growth or local islanders could go extinct.

He is now summoning patience and clarifying that more than TCI descendants in The Bahamas are being considered in the plan.

Acknowledging the polarizing nature of the announcement Musgrove said, “The simple truth is that the population of our country is growing by leaps and bounds year on year, through accidental status, if you will, work permit holders attaining PRC who are then naturalized as BOTC.  In the same token, Turks and Caicos Islander Status numbers have largely remained flat in comparative periods.”

He said through this type of naturalization the TCI is growing much too fast, at a rate of between four and five percent when the country should be maintaining a steady two percent rate.

“Even if we manage the rate down to two percent, it is projected that by 2040, the population will be near or about 50,000 with tight immigration control measures, but it is still estimated that Turks and Caicos Islanders will only be 15,000 in number, less than a quarter of the population, maximum.”

Describing this as unsustainable he cautioned that TCI citizens could disappear completely in the coming years.  “As a people, based on today’s birth and death records, could be near extinction if certain steps aren’t taken. So, we are looking at how this can be balanced.”

Musgrove reiterated that the new policy is in an effort to ‘strengthen ties with the diaspora and to welcome them as the first option for population expansion for the future.’

The intention is to amend the law to give these grandchildren and great grandchildren the right to become Turks and Caicos Islanders.

He explained that data was currently being collated by the Immigration and Population Council, tasked with developing a policy for the controlled growth of the population.

Any proposals made by the council he said, would be taken to public consultation in time, but something needed to be done immediately.

“As a Government– we are of the view that it is better to increase the number of Turks and Caicos Islanders with descendants of our own flesh and blood in the first instance, and then by other means – be it local child birth to foreign parents, or by grant.”

In the two weeks since the announcement, residents have cited anxiety over criminal records, and the dangers they think may exist from opening the doors to the diaspora.  To those concerns Musgrove said this,  “The Government is not deaf to the concerns of our people.  We understand that there is inherent risk in opening our country to further generations, but we must recognize that there is inherent risk in opening our doors to anybody.”

He made it clear this was open to all third generation TCI Islanders not just Bahamians and promised that immediate Turks and Caicos citizens would not be left out under any circumstances.  He promised more incentives for young people to remain in the TCI ,as well as incentives to encourage childbearing among Turks and Caicos Islanders.

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Caribbean News

Not long now, North Caicos Airport has equipment and staff says Minister

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 8, 2022 – Long awaited upgrades are finally being put into the North Caicos airport starting with a new terminal according to Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services who confirmed staff and equipment for the facility.

The Minister, who also oversees airports and sea ports, made the announcement at a November 29th town hall meeting in North Caicos, prompted by questions from residents.

“We’re sending out an IFP this week or early next week for the demolition and construction of a new terminal building.”

The minister explained that they had already acquired a firetruck and security guards were in the works for the new airport.  In addition air traffic controllers are being trained and firefighters were being secured as well.  He maintained this wouldn’t just be a government only airport as they were sending out multiple Invitations for Proposal.

“It’s not only the terminal building, there’s going to be an IFP for a Fixed Base Operator.  The FBO is going to be privately owned, customs and Immigration will be there from the government.”

In terms of how long it would all take Musgrove, who is the Member of Parliament for the twin island district said this, “We’ll start next year for the FBO but the small terminal building, as soon as we get the tender ready that’s gonna start.”

The minister also mentioned the new developments for Dellis Cay,  which he hoped would push traveller traffic on the islands.

 

Photo credit North Caicos airport:

PHOTO BY VISIT TURKS & CAICOS 

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