Connect with us

TCI News

Governor promotes health and economic advantage of Covid vaccine coming from UK in January

Published

on

Nigel Dakin, Turks & Caicos Islands Governor

#TurksandCaicosIslands – December 23, 2020 – Turks and Caicos is hoping the batch of free vaccines which will arrive in the territory early in the New Year will run out so quickly that the TCI would be in line for more, enough even doses to inoculate the entire population.

A first batch of Covid-19 vaccines for Turks and Caicos can immunize ten percent of residents and strong support for the voluntary shot could lead to enough vaccines for everyone.

“If we can’t demonstrate there is demand for the vaccine on the island or if we fail to use those vaccines to deliver the best possible effect it will be hard for myself, the premier and others assembled around me today to make the case that more should be set to us.  If we get this collectively wrong, we will end up with a very small and I daresay a very privileged group while the majority are not. We want to avoid that outcome,” explained the Governor in a midday press conference held at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales, TCI.

Advertisement

When British Airways touches down at the Providenciales International Airport on January 7, it will have more than sun-seeking passengers on board; there will be precisely 9,750 doses of the Covid-19 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on board. 

It is one of four such dispatches of the coveted CoVax fanning out to UK Overseas territories in a demonstration of support from mother England.

Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Nigel Dakin on Wednesday on national radio and live social media stream made the announcement.

“In the first delivery, we will receive 9,750 doses.  Since each person requires two doses, administered 21 days a part, this is enough to vaccinate 4,875 people around ten percent of our population, if we get this right, more will follow.”

While senior residents, medically vulnerable and health care workers have long been touted as first in line for the vaccine once it was available, the territory’s governor  will lead the pack by getting the first jab along with his wife.

Happy New Year from All of Us at Magnetic Media – Your News Leader

“Having discussed with the CMO myself and Mandy will be the first to take it, we feel privileged to be in this position.  We go into Christmas as a family therefore looking forward to the first weeks of January when we will be able to protect our health and most importantly we both want to take the first step which benefits every resident of these islands.”

The governor said the goal is to get the Turks and Caicos as quickly as possible to herd immunity and he hopes for a rush of residents who will see the vaccine as the way to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“To do that, all of us have to think not only of ourselves but also of the contribution we’re making or not to the these islands. If we get this right, we will give a huge economic boost to TCI. We’ll steal business from others as we increasingly become known as one of the safest destinations in the world.  We are not just securing health, we are generating employment and future prosperity and we can get there long before others.”

In considering the fear mongering which has for months been linked to vaccine and the skepticism which exists in the marketplace, he aimed to quell concerns by labelling the act of taking the CoVax as the smartest approach; he also did some myth busting.

“The vaccine we are receiving is the Pfizer vaccine,” he added, “the vaccine does not inject Covid-19 into you.  It instead uses RNA to trick the body into producing viral proteins, which then delivers immunity.”

The RNA, scientists have confirmed, cannot alter one’s DNA.

“We have been chosen because we have direct flights in from the UK. Important because the vaccine has to be transported as minus 70° and there is a belief we are ready and prepared to use the vaccine to good effect.  This should be seen as another vote of confidence in TCI. Work has already begun on the complex logistics and we are confident we can roll this out across the islands.”

Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar will also receive the vaccine from the UK in January.

“This is an enormously generous offer from the UK and a quite extraordinary opportunity for the TCI.  Given this is a voluntary program, it’s a moment for us to individually but also collectively seize or to lose.  Our destiny is in our hands, we can never say we were not given the opportunity.”

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.

Education

Education Minister announces Platinum Partnerships for internet and tablet program amidst COVID surge

Published

on

By Shaniek Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – Schools did not resume in person learning in the Turks and Caicos on January 4, instead it was back to virtual classes for 7,400 children in the British overseas territory due to an omicron-driven surge in Covid-19 infections.

It was announced on the New Year’s Day holiday for TCI, January 3 in a press conference hosted by Rachel Taylor, the Minister of Education, and attended by Jamell Robinson, Minister of Health and supported by Premier Washington Misick, who was also at the live event.

In a promised update, parents got the not-so-good-news, virtual classes would resume at least until the end of January due to the surge and staff shortages being experienced.  Turks and Caicos, up to Thursday January 14 had over 800 active cases, five new deaths and a 600 per cent increase in hospitalisations.  The Minister said the decision was in the interest of safety.

The Minister also promised to get devices and internet to students in order for them to participate in learning during this virtual-only season.  The press conference on January 13, welcomed partners Flow, Digicel and the Pine Cay Project.

In her address, chair of the Pine Cay Project, Marie Landel, said that an urgent call from Dr. Carlton Mills, a member of their board of trustees revealed that about 750 students would be without internet connection and devices.

The Pine Cay Project responded to that information and has agreed to pay for internet for 30 days students, with its partner in the initiative, DigicelTCI.  It is an $18,000 investment in education continuity for hundreds of children.

“We had strong discussions on what we should do with the money that we collect every year, so yesterday we agreed to the funding in emergency situation of 300 internet connections and devices that are going to help the students in need, and we’re very proud to be able to act quickly,” Landel expressed.

Additionally, the Marketing Manager at Digicel TCI, Mr Drexler Smith, said Digicel has partnered with the Ministry of Education to provide about 1,000 tablets for public schools. Smith added that 75 MiFi devices valued at 7,000 dollars were provided; they come with free data services for up to three months for students in need.

Digicel has also created a special education plan for e-learning with specific zero-rated sites and applications. The company partnered with Pine Cay and other private entities in this regard. Various schools and educational facilities in South Caicos, Five Cays, and Providenciales have benefitted from laptops, data plans, MiFi’s, and e-learning kits.

Marketing Executive Flow TCI, Darron Hilaire, also shared the contributions Flow made to the education sector since the pandemic.

“Within the last three years, Flow TCI, through our charitable foundation, would have donated $130,000 worth of ICT equipment to 2 schools respectively in Grand Turk and in Providenciales for the outfitting of the new computer labs to help facilitate the ministry’s vision to foster an efficient e-learning environment for students,” he said.

Mr. Hilaire added that within the first year of the pandemic, Flow responded to requests from the Ministry to increase the bandwidth to public schools in the TCI. Hilaire said Flow home internet speed doubles automatically at no cost to its customers in early July.

He said that within the last 60 days, Flow TCI announced a recent donation of $25,000 dollars to two schools in North Caicos and one in Providenciales. The donation was in aid of increasing connectivity and infrastructural upgrades.

“As we come to the end of this phase of the project, our objective is to look at doing the same for other schools in the second phase of the projects to further arm our schools with the access to technology to provide the best quality education to students,” Hilaire added.

Amanyara Resort, not present at the press event, was said to be working on additional laptops for hundreds of children despite having already donated to several schools in Providenciales.

Minister Rachel Taylor and her team, including Eugene Grant, ICT Education Officer at the Ministry of Education and Mark Garland, Deputy Director of Education thanked the donors; they were labelled Platinum Partners by the Minister.

 

Continue Reading

Health

Government apologizes to Churches for NEW Covid-19 Testing rule

Published

on

#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – The TCI Government is apologizing for including the Church in a new raft of restrictions which mandates unvaccinated congregants be tested in order to be allowed to attend church events however, there is no change in the rule.  The rule is now delayed start for another two weeks following an announcement issued by the Ministry of Health on Thursday evening.

The apology came from Premier Washington Misick in a statement late Wednesday, where he apologized for bunching the church in with restaurants, lounges, bars and discotheques which also have to follow the regulation.

Church pastors speaking with Magnetic Media expressed shock at the announcement which was revealed, on Tuesday, as a cabinet approved decision which also includes mandatory testing for the unvaccinated to attend funerals.

While there has been no official statement from the Turks and Caicos Islands Christian Council or the Pastors Fraternity it was clear that some of the church community seemed prepared to stand firmly against the measure.

The Premier has promised that there will be consultation going forward; beckoning to Churches to comply with the temporary rule which he said would help to curb the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.

 

Continue Reading

Health

Cruising & Caring for Health and Wealth

Published

on

By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – As the cruising industry in Grand Turk continues to get back into full swing with an anticipated four cruises or more per week, Turks and Caicos Islanders who work in the industry will again be interacting with thousands of foreign nationals on a weekly basis.

Normally this would be a cause for celebration and it is, but with the world in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and especially in light of the newest variant, the rules have changed.

As researchers find more information in regards to Omicron it is becoming increasingly clear that while the variant may be slightly milder than others its transmissibility is a major treat to populations, economies and health systems everywhere.

The following are tips that will help balance TCI tourism workers’ income and their safety, or as government often puts it, “lives and livelihoods”.

 

Prior Preparation.

Masks have become a part of life since the beginning of the pandemic, some wear them for safety, others because they are mandated. Nearly all of us have experienced that ‘oh no’ moment when we realize we’ve left our mask behind, it’s a funny anecdote to represent our new normal in theory.

In reality it can be dangerous, life threatening even, to be without protective measures especially for vendors who interact with international visitors all day long.

This means prior preparation is key. Outfit your stall with masks and the recommended cleaning agents, have extras on hand so you never get caught without. If possible put the required distance between your own stall and your neighbors. If possible create dividers for yourself and tourists that will allow you to interact safely. Place reminders in the form of signs around your stall so guests are not tempted to flout safety measures.

 

In the Moment

Cruise days can be hectic, there are so many people and so little time but as you rush to make your sales or braid hair it is important to keep safety protocols in mind.

Always maintain social distancing between yourself and guests, this is especially important in high volume situations like this as guests can be asymptomatic.

If you operate a business that will not allow you to do so e.g. hair braiding, keep your mask on at all times and insist that your guests do so as well.

Limit the amount of guests allowed in your space at once.

Establish rigorous and frequent cleaning protocols, as guests move around in their excitement they may forget to sanitize. Clean surfaces regularly with the recommended products to prevent lingering traces of anything dangerous.

 

Aftercare

When guests have departed and it’s time to close up shop don’t skip any steps that could undo a successful day of safe practices.

Wash your money, it may seem strange but bills are made from durable paper that is not susceptible to tearing or water-wear. Washing your bills and coins gently will not hurt them but will protect you from any lingering viruses. Clean regularly touched areas and items. Get tested regularly, that way if you do get infected you will be in the know early. If you feel ill, immediately self-isolate and test to confirm if you have COVID or not. Deep clean your stall regularly, disinfecting as many areas as you can.

Covid-19 has forced us into a new normal but Turks and Caicos Islanders are resilient, it is possible to balance safety and profit, remember to wash your hands and obey all the protocols so the TCI can come out of this Pandemic with as little losses as possible.

 

Continue Reading

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

TRENDING