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TCI Ministry of Health update on increase in Covid-19 recoveries

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – September 14, 2020 – Over the weekend, the general public would have noted on the Covid-19 dashboard that there was a significant increase in the number of recoveries from Covid-19. The Public Health Team had, until recently, largely depended on a manual system for tracking COVID-19 cases in the TCI. This process ran seamlessly at the beginning of the epidemic when the number of daily cases reported was minimal. However, as the number of cases and the associated contact tracing work increased the manual process of data collection became difficult to maintain. While it did not impact the tracking of positive cases, it did cause a delay in the reporting of persons being released from quarantine and persons being considered recovered.  

To facilitate more efficient data collection, and to prevent delays in reporting, the World Health Organization’s Go.data system, an electronic data processing system, is being implemented throughout the islands. The Go.data system is an outbreak investigation tool for field collection during public health emergencies. It includes functionality for case investigation and contact follow up and is designed for flexibility in the field. With the new system, contact tracers throughout TCI are equipped with tablets for the purpose of data collection and up-to-date reporting. This system is already being utilized in Providenciales and Grand Turk, following a brief training session, and will be rolled out to the other islands throughout the week.  

Latest TCI Ministry of Health Covid-19 dashboard

As a part of the data transfer process, i.e. from the old system to the new system, an exercise was undertaken to update all case and contact records. This led to a significant increase in the number of recoveries being reported and a significant reduction in the quarantine numbers being reported. It is important to note that with the up-to-date recording, facilitated by the Go.data system, releases/recoveries will be reported in a timelier manner. It is also important to note that all recoveries were reported in accordance with the new policy which was recently adopted by the Government. Persons have been released in accordance with this policy, however there was a lag in updating and reporting active cases due to the high workload of the public health teams.

The Ministry of Health wishes to acknowledge the hard work of the National Epidemiology and Research Unit who were integral in implementing the Go.data system as well as the Public Health Team for their continued efforts in the field. This positive development will greatly assist in timely data collection and reporting going forward.

Press Release from the TCI Ministry of Health

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Bahamas News

Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam 

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

 

February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.

The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.

The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent  or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.

Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.

Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.

Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.

Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.

The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.

The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.

For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.

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Bahamas News

TCI Office in Bahamas identified 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 7, 2023 – An office space has already been identified for an all-new TCI Immigration office in The Bahamas according to Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services.

Musgrove told Magnetic Media that the ministry was “almost there” in regard to securing the space; it indicates the Government is moving full speed ahead with plans for the passing of the new Immigration Bill which will allow third-generation TC Islanders citizenship, even as the public awaits consultations on it.

The announcement of the bill had caused some skepticism among islanders, some of whom wanted the government to focus on keeping TC Islanders at home instead of recruiting others.  Musgrove however had made it clear that the TCI was in a population crisis and would need to slow down PRC naturalisation rates and naturalise people with historical, familial and cultural connections to the land or risk going ‘extinct’.

The office will work to deepen the relationship between the two sister countries even more and help increase the TCI’s population offsetting the need for masses of external labour according to the government.

When passed, the rule will apply to third-generation islanders everywhere, not only in The Bahamas giving them a free ticket to come home.

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Caribbean News

The Shore Club makes Travel + Leisure 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 7, 2023 – The Shore Club is the perfect place to escape the cold with your family according to well-known travel magazine, Travel + Leisure at least.  The Turks and Caicos resort was featured in the worldwide magazine’s January feature last month.

“It’s hard to overstate the grandness of our accommodations,” travel writer Hannah Selinger gushed as she described the luxurious Shore Club experience that retails for around $750 per night.

The resort owned by Stan Hartling, 2021 TCI Humanitarian of the Year, was lauded for its use of local materials including coral harvested in Long Bay on which the property resides.  The writer was particularly impressed with the expansive space and multiple amenities at the resort which even when significantly booked “never feels even remotely full”.

She described the food and the entirety of her experience as ‘extremely satisfying’.

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