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Fulford calls for establishment of COVID19 Medical Council

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – August 26, 2020 — SUBMITTED – After a careful analysis of the daily Ministry of Health (MOH) COVID-19 updates for the week of August 17th, one needs no convincing that the Ministry of Health needs urgent nonpartisan private sector help in tackling this pandemic.

In our beloved TCI, concerns have heightened to uncontrollable levels, as we continue to observe the tremendous increase of positives cases. During the week of August 17th, 2020 in the midst of daily double digit increases of COVID19 positives, we have seen a number of troubling signs such as:

  1. The key MoH Lab Official charged with testing was terminated, without any public explanation for his immediate dismissal. Many are suggesting this is cause for concern;
  1. Private facilities were directed to stop doing covid19 tests due to the abrupt introduction of a new policy without wide consultation with the industry.
  1. The Police Force announcement of positive covid19 cases within the Force administration where several members were placed into quarantine.
  1. The MoH temporarily shut its office in the epicenter of the virus- Provo, for deep cleaning because its own staff tested positive.
  1. The public was advised that community spread continues.
  1. Without any explanation we note a drastic and sudden increase of recoveries on the dashboard in the past 48 hours.
  1. The MoH ran out of COVID19 Tests; the Minister was warned about this happening, when my article scrutinised the donation of 10,000 of our country’s much needed Covid19 test kits to the Bahamas.  I had specifically asked for an inventory check of test kits on hand and had questioned whether we were giving away supplies that we ourselves needed in order to increase our on-island testing capacity. To date, the only answer received from the Minister of Health in that regard, is still in question, as the amount he stated had been given to the Bahamas was extremely lower than the amount officials in the Bahamas declared they received from our Government.
  1. The MOH Covid19 dashboard continues to show it is not adhering to key established guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) which is “to test and isolate all confirmed cases, even mild cases in health facilities, to prevent transmission and provide adequate care”.

So my question to the Minister of Health and the MoH Oofficials, is why are we not isolating all COVID19 positives in a facility? this is a crucial part of WHO’s recommendation that seem to be falling on deaf ears in the TCI and clearly is one of the main reason contributing to the rise of this dreadful disease within our communities.  If we are to tackle the fight of COVID19 head on, this  government must be seen as one that is spending the people’s funds on the necessary facilities and systems to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our people.

A PROPOSED SOLUTION

I am recommending the MoH immediately establish a Nonpartisan Covid19 Medical Council (CMC) made up of Physicians and Health Care Professionals from both the Private and public Sector. The CMC should be tasked with effectively monitoring and responding to covid-19 pandemic in the TCI. The CMC responsibilities should also involve a range of efforts relating to the diagnosis, response, and treatment of COVID-19 and supporting solutions to bring an end to this crisis. 

The MoH must remember, that this pandemic is far from nearing an end, as there are various other aspects it will need a pool of resourceful professionals within the industry to lean on in the coming months, with regard to new tests for COVID-19, new therapeutics, and the long awaited vaccines which may soon be available.

Covid19 is EVERYBODY’S business and if we are to combat this pandemic, the government must find a way to enlist as much of our own local expertise to overcome the widespread effects of this illness and save the health and overall wellbeing of our nation’s populace.

The CMC  will allow for a wider Action-Tank to provide swift and rapid suggestions including a way forward for facility isolation of COVID19 positive patients. Whilst I welcome this week’s MOH  most notable adjustment of the dashboard role reflecting cases by island, it is evident that this fight cannot be undertaken by them alone. The hope is that the CMC will greatly assist MOH as the challenge to combat COVID19 continues to evolve. We are all in this fight together and must remember that the health of our nation is the wealth of our nation.

We can only emerge from this emergency be working together. It is my sound advice that the MoH should establish our own Covid19 Medical Council and should do so now.


Mark A Fulford

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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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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Caribbean News

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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