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TCI Ministry of Health confirms ‘Lab’ termination; 125 new cases in 9-days

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File Photo (March 2020) - Public Health staff in training dons PPEs

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – August 23, 2020 – It remains a mystery, the reason for the sudden departure of the two-year director of the National Public Health Laboratory, NPHL but today the Ministry of Health confirmed the contract of Samuel Johnson was indeed terminated on Friday August 14.

Already, the search is on for a new director explained the Ministry of Health in a statement to Magnetic Media on Saturday.

“The substantive Director post which recently became vacant, has been advertised in the latest recruitment batch as a part of TCIG’s recruitment programme.”

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In the past nine days, the Turks and Caicos has recorded 125 new cases of COVID-19; the spike and regular reports of offices and businesses having to close as a result of positive diagnoses of staff had also spiked concern about the timing of the termination.

 “…the National Public Health Laboratory continues to carry out testing as necessary under the leadership and direction of the Acting Director of the NPHL, Mr. Samajeo Williams, who is a TC Islander that is a highly trained and qualified Chief Medical Technologist.”

Samajeo Williams, new Director (Acting) National Public Health Laboratory (file)

Samajeo Williams, a Turks and Caicos Islands native, was added to the NPHL team in November, with glowing commendation from the Office of the Deputy Governor.  Williams is now the acting director.

“Mr. Williams, a former recipient of the ‘Best Performing Student’ award in 2007 (External Exams), completed his A-levels at the British West Indies Collegiate shortly after.  He later enrolled in Newcastle University in pursuit of a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Psychology which he completed in 2012.  In 2016, he graduated with Honours from the University of the West of England with a Bachelor’s of Science in Healthcare Science – Infection Sciences. While working as a registered Biomedical Scientist in the United Kingdom, Mr. Williams also attained the accreditation of a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Microbiology.”

Manpower has been strained at the lab; a fact which has waylaid plans for progressive community testing. The National Public Health Laboratory is overwhelmed by the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which has been 30 times worse than the first wave for the TCI.

A molehill has certainly turned to a mountain for the Turks and Caicos Islands as data exposes the country is currently averaging more cases per day, than the total number of positives charted in the entire first wave of the pandemic.

Between August 14 and August 22 – nine days – there have been 125 cases of COVID-19; that’s an average of 13 new cases per day. 

TCI Ministry of Health COVID-19 Dashboard – August 22

In the first wave, the Turks and Caicos recorded 12 positives for the coronavirus.

Over the same period, testing has been erratic, ranging from no tests done to as many as 168 tests performed in a single day.  The daily average for August 14-22 is 50 tests, which exceeds a previously divulged daily COVID-19 testing capacity of 47.

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Within the same period, the lab was able to inform that 48 people were recovered from the virus; from 54 recoveries charted on August 14 to now 102 patients who are COVID-19 free.

The rate of work at the NPHL appears to have not been stymied by the loss of the director given the data provided by the TCI Ministry of Health.

Still, the expeditious action to advertise the director vacancy underscores the need to shore up human resources at the lab, which is the key agency guiding and influencing national decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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Ms. Camilla Lightbourne joins Experience Turks and Caicos team  

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Ms. Camilla Lightbourne

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 22, 2024 – Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Ms. Camilla Lightbourne to the post of Executive Assistant to the CEO effective February 06th, 2024.

Ms. Lightbourne is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree a DeVry University in Florida and previously worked as an Import Logistics Associate at Graceway Trading Ltd. Where she supported department goals and initiatives through the generation of reports and a Business Account Executive at Digicel where she managed daily and monthly reports and helped resolve customer issues.

In welcoming Ms. Lightbourne to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos said Ms. Lightbourne’s appointment underscores the growth of the organisation.

“Experience Turks and Caicos is growing as an organisation to meet its mission and goal.  The Executive Assistant to the CEO is critical to support the CEO Office for the effective and efficient day-to-day administration to assist the CEO manage the scheduling and timely completion of Strategic Projects and Programmes.   I look forward to working with Ms. Lightbourne as the Change Manager/Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos in this regard,” she said.

Ms. Lightbourne said she is pleased to be part of the Experience Turks and Caicos team.

“I am elated to join such a dynamic organisation and working with the CEO’s office where I will have an opportunity to implement many of the project management and organisational skills I have learned over the years. I am looking forward to making my mark on the future development of our country’s tourism product,” she said.

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Town Hall De-briefing

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#TurksandCaicos, February 21, 2024 – Acting Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre held a meeting with Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris, today (February 21st) at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The debriefing was to discuss concerns raised by residents during last evening’s Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting at the H.J Robinson High School, Grand Turk.

Commissioner Eyre expressed his deep appreciation to Her Excellency and Hon Morris for their attendance, saying that work was already underway to address the community concerns.

Commissioner Eyre said: “I acknowledge the challenges raised and wish to assure you that the Executive of the RTCIPF remains steadfast in ensuring the TCI is safe. We listened to your concerns, and I assure you that rebuilding trust and strengthening community-policing relations are top priorities.

“The RTCIPF has taken a holistic approach in the fight against crime. Increased visibility, greater stakeholder collaborations and ongoing dialogue forums to appraise you will occur. We are accountable to you.”

 

Photo Captions

Header: Town Hall Meeting Head Table (l-r) Superintendent of Prisons Michael Woodbine, HE the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, Deputy Commissioner Rodney Adams, Superintendent Dean Holden, ag Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre.

1st insert: HE the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, MP Grand Turk North Hon Otis Morris and ag Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre during this afternoon’s debriefing at Police Headquarters.

2nd insert: Grand Turk resident Derek Been addresses the head table during the Question and Answer segment

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Two Charged With Firearm Offences

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JERREAL MISSICK

#TurksandCaicos, February 21, 2024 – JERREAL MISSICK, 22, of Over Back, Grand Turk and SHAQUAZE FORBES, 21, also from Over Back, are expected to appear before a Magistrate charged with the following offences.

1) Gang Membership;
2) Possession of a Firearm;
3) Possession of Ammunition and
4) Discharging Firearm

Both Mr. Missick and Mr. Forbes were charged under the Anti-Gang Ordinance (2022) following an investigation into the discharging of a firearm incident that occurred on February 13th 2024, in Over Back.
The charges came after police officers consulted with the Office of the Director of Public
Prosecutions.

SHAQUAZE FORBES

Head of Crime, Safeguarding, and Public Protection Superintendent Dean Holden said: “This is another example of the Police Force’s relentless pursuit of those suspected to be involved in gang-related crime, specifically the criminal use of illegal firearms. This latest charge also demonstrates our continued use of the Anti-Gang legislation to target individuals who cause harm to our communities”.

The RTCIPF is asking the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842,Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously give any information on illegal activity.

Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app from the Google Play store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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