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Argentina and the UK host Joint Covid Vaccine Webinar with focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

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#Caribbean – December 17, 2020- Argentina and the UK hosted a virtual seminar on access to vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean addressing the portfolio of emerging vaccines against Covid-19, the challenge of equitable distribution and how best to tackle vaccine disinformation.

On 14 December 2020, Argentina’s Health Minister, Ginés González García and the UK’s Minister of State for the Americas, Wendy Morton MP opened the virtual seminar “Vaccine profiles, distribution challenges and countering vaccine disinformation in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

The event brought together senior officials and medical experts from across the region to discuss efforts to bring the Covid-19 pandemic to an end and how best to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

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Representatives from 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and 11 nations from other regions joined leaders from the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Caribbean Health Agency, and The Vaccine Confidence Project.

Doctor Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO, updated attendees on the rapid progress of the COVAX Facility, the global initiative working with governments and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that all countries, no matter their economic circumstances, will have fair and equitable access to vaccines. Both Argentina and the UK back the COVAX Facility and its work to pool the international community’s collective resources, to share and mitigate risks, and to expedite vaccine development and manufacturing.

Diverse Portfolio

The seminar reviewed the emerging portfolio of Covid-19 vaccine candidates and the importance of a diverse range of safe and effective vaccines to enable distribution and delivery at the scale required to end the acute phase of the pandemic. Given the global scale of that challenge, the answer will not lie with one successful vaccine or one single country; a wide range of vaccines, as is being supported by the COVAX Facility, is needed to take into account the many different country contexts and to ensure diverse population groups can be reached as quickly and effectively as possible. Participants addressed the urgent need for investment in specialised distribution infrastructure for that mass vaccination effort, both in the short and long-term, to ensure that we have the structural resilience in place to tackle Covid-19 and future health emergencies.

The event also shared emerging best practice on efforts to counter disinformation and vaccine hesitancy, factors which risk prolonging the crisis by inhibiting people taking up Covid-19 vaccines. Participants agreed transparency, openness and proactive and positive communications were key to overcome vaccine hesitancy and combat disinformation.

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This UK-Argentina seminar is the third in a series of joint events with the region. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Minister Wendy Morton, representing the UK, said:

“I am delighted that the UK is hosting this event with Argentina, a key partner in the global and regional response to Covid-19 playing a vital role in vaccines development and manufacturing in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The UK is committed to ensuring a truly global response to Covid-19, both through events like today’s and through our investment in the world’s multilateral response, including the COVAX Facility. We are proud backers of COVAX as the best mechanism to deliver a truly global response to the pandemic and to realise our goal of equitable access to safe and effective vaccines for all.”

Argentina’s Health Minister, Ginés González García said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is more than a health crisis, it is a human crisis that has revealed, as never before, the vulnerabilities of health systems around the world. However, it provides a unique opportunity to rethink more equitable, inclusive and sustainable societies”.

The UK has pledged up to £548m to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment, which supports access to vaccines for lower and middle-income countries. This is in addition to the UK’s commitment to COVAX as a self-funding nation.

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TCI News

Joint Operations Result in Interception of Illegal Migrants in Providenciales

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#RoyalTCIPolice, #Providenciales, June 10, 2024 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force intercepted an illegal sloop transporting SIXTY-SIX (66) irregular migrants on the evening of June 9th, 2024.

The detained group, comprising FIFTY-FIVE (55) males and ELEVEN (11) females, was
intercepted in TCI waters and handed over to the TCI Immigration Task Force for processing.

On June 8th, the Marine Branch of the RTCIPF intercepted a blue and white fibreglass boat
carrying thirty-two (32) irregular migrants.

The boat was spotted 27 miles east of South Caicos and found to be transporting twenty-six (26)
males and six (6) females. The irregular migrants were handed over to Immigration for
processing.

These successful interdictions came following information obtained from a US Customs and
Border Force aircraft.

A joint operation conducted on June 7th has led to the detention of irregular migrants in Blue
Hills. Acting on the information received, authorities detained forty-eight (48) individuals
running along a beach.

Officers conducted extensive searches of surrounding areas, and tragically, the body of a female
was found at Pigeon Pound. Further investigations are ongoing, but it is believed the incident is
linked to a vessel attempting to enter the country illegally.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (Specialist Tactical Operations) Mat Newton states, “I
wish to thank all law enforcement agencies for their invaluable assistance in intercepting illegal
sloops attempting to enter the TCI. Your dedication and collaboration have been instrumental in
ensuring national security and protecting our borders. Our Radar, Marine and Drone units, the
TCI Regiment, the Immigration Task Force, and the Customs Department conducted the
operations.

“The RTCIPF strongly condemns the attempts to enter the TCI illegally. Such actions violate the
law and pose severe risks to life, especially in adverse weather conditions.

“We urge those facilitating and encouraging these illegal attempts to consider the severe
consequences. Do not risk your life or the lives of others by embarking on such perilous
journeys.

“I am also grateful to those people from our communities who report suspicious activity relating
to illegal migration and would urge the public to continue keeping us informed.”
The RTCIPF asks the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime
Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to anonymously provide any information on
illegal entry into the TCI.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crimestoppers P3 app to share
information anonymously.

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Caribbean News

TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders

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TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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Crime

Male Charged With Murder

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#TurksandCaicos, June 7, 2024 – A 29-year-old male has been charged with the murder of BUTLER BRAVE PROPHETE. KERLY AGENOR, of Dock Yard, Providenciales, was charged today (June 06th) following advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In addition to the murder, the accused faces the following charges:

  • Possession of a Firearm
  • Possession of Ammunition
  • Discharge of a Firearm
  • Discharge of Ammunition

The charges against Mr. AGENOR state that on March 05th, 2024, in Providenciales, he murdered Mr. PROPHETE, Contrary to Section 3 of the Offenses Against the Person Ordinance Chapter 3.08.

At the time of his death, Mr. Prophete, 22, of Wheeland, Providenciales, was exiting his workplace on the Lower Bight and was shot dead.

Mr AGENOR remains in custody pending a Sufficiency Hearing.

In a brief statement, Superintendent in charge of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection, and Intelligence Dean Holden said: “I wish to thank the officers of the Serious Crime Unit for their dedication and commitment in bringing this case to a charge. Further, I wish to reassure the public and families that the RTCIPF is committed to bringing prosecutions against perpetrators and, when possible, closure to persons who have lost loved ones to these senseless homicides”.

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