#October 28, 2020 – Letter to the Editor
The Editor, I listened to the press conference today (October 27 – Premier Press Conference) and heard a lot about nothing at all. The TCIG continues to act like an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand, talking a whole lot of fluff while not talking about the one thing people want to hear about which is, when will Beaches opening and what are you doing to get Beaches open.
Everywhere you go the talk is about when Beaches will open, but not one word in today’s press conference until the reporters had to ask. Why is the government acting blind to the suffering of people who are without jobs, and without incomes. Why is it always kicking the can down the road, and acting clueless whenever someone ask about the closure of the hotels particularly Beaches.
People are fed up. People want to get back to work and people want to see money flowing again. It is no wonder that the people in Beaches are fed up too, and you can see it in the public statements the resort is making. So why did Beaches have to take off its gloves to get any response from the TCIG. It is like the what Magnetic Media wrote just a few weeks ago this is the no reply government.
All the talk of what a good job the government has done and diversification and reserves and all of that is just fluff, it does not impress anybody, and certainly not those people who have no job to go to when tomorrow comes. It is almost insulting to hear the TCIG say that this process is going as fast as it can. The media personnel themselves seemed taken aback by this response, because if this issue can’t be resolved after three or four years then heaven help us.
As for continuing to blame COVID for all the problems, well while that may have been true early in the year, the fact is that hotel sector in countries all over the Caribbean are opening up now and guess who is leading the charge to open, none other than Sandals and Beaches.
Antigua is open. Jamaica is open, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia. Beaches and Sandals have brought back out thousands of people in those islands, and they had to work with those governments to get it done. So when they complain of incompetence on the part of the TCIG is it so hard to see why. The TCI has the biggest and best of the resorts but yet we can’t get it reopened. That means no airlift, no jobs and no revenue.
Saying you care about restoring the economy is one thing, but being able and competent enough to do it is another. From all we have heard about this issue it seems like a very straightforward matter. It does not seem to be as impossible as the government continues to claim.
People are tired of hearing about matters before the courts, and now we hearing of mediation. In fact with respect to the mediation Beaches said it was ready for November 8th and then we hear TCIG pushed it back November 18th. If the resort is to open on November 18th, how could you push back the mediation to November 18th, Make no sense. Is the TCIG serious? Isn’t this exactly what the resort has complained about?
In any event mediation does not promise a solution; it just promises that this matter is going to drag out further, because if it has to go to Cabinet and to the House of Assembly as is reported, then we may not see Beaches reopen this year AT ALL. Let that reality sink in, because the TCI could be facing a very blue, blue Christmas and an uncertain New Year.
Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.
The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.
The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.
Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.
In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.
The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.
Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.
Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.
Photo Caption: Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG
New Rules for Turks & Caicos JPs
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Rules governing Justices of the Peace in the Turks and Caicos are now significantly stricter after the passing of the amendment to the Magistrates Amendment Bill in July 2022.
Despite the fact that Justices of the Peace are allowed the same powers as a magistrate previously the only requirement for their appointment was the discretion of the Governor and that they be under 65-years-old.
Justices of the peace have always by law been allowed to receive complaints, sign charges and issue warrants for the apprehension of persons charged with criminal offenses. They can also issue search warrants summons and administer oaths.
Considering the potentially unchecked execution of these powers, the attorney general’s chambers lobbied for a change in the system.
“These are very wide powers and there is no framework for the supervision and regulation of the whole of justices of the peace in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
The amendment rectified this and the Chief Justice now has the power to make binding rules and regulations governing the appointment of JPs, a code of conduct disciplinary action and orientation and periodic training for JPs.
In addition, to maintain separation of powers the governor will be stripped of the power to disallow laws made by resident magistrates. That power now belongs to the Chief Justice.
Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, TCI Attorney General maintained that the amendment was short but necessary.
Young People in TCI are having sex, Rapport wants to ensure they’re doing it safe
By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Young people in the Turks and Caicos are very sexually active and while there are no concrete statistics, the newest members of the Rapport all said “Yes” to the question about whether there is rampant sexual activity.
“As a young person I totally agree that they are having a lot of sex,” Arean Louis said.
This is particularly concerning given wider statistics point to a very young age group which is still contracting HIV/Aids.
“Caribbean statistics are showing that between the ages of 15 and 25 those have the highest amount of HIV rates.”
Young adult members of Rapport TCI all agree that youth in the TCI must be made aware of HIV and other STIs. Arean Louis, Denae Dennie and Arielle Neely spoke to Magnetic Media on their way to the International AIDS Conference.
All three agreed that our young people are having a lot of sex.
“I would say that our young people are having sec the only thing that I would say is I hope that they are letting their partners know their sexual history, their status, and that they’re being safe.” Dennie said.
Louis added, “As we talk about HIV and AIDS in the Turks and Caicos Islands we most definitely need to bring awareness to our young people because there is no set age— kids nowadays just like to experiment.”
He stressed safe sex, using protection and abstinence to maintain sexual health.
“What we aim to do is keep them safe here, we’re tired and we don’t want to see anymore STD and STI new cases in the Turks and Caicos.”
Dennie says she still thinks there is fear surrounding HIV but with education and protection, the world can get to zero new cases and it was something she was looking forward to.
The final member Arielle Neely explained that there were not enough tools and resources to educate youth.
“There are not enough tools or enough record to educate them. Our parents think they’re doing a good job by telling us don’t have sex but telling us don’t have sex isn’t enough. You have to teach us about birth control planned parenthood.”
The three members had high hopes for Rapport and stressed that they need more members to make an effective change on sexual health in the TCI.
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