Port of Spain, PRESS RELEASE (January 25, 2021) – The Ministry of Health (on January 21) advised the population that Trinidad and Tobago has its first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Variant of Concern (UK) – Variant B117.
The patient is a returned national who travelled from the United Kingdom. As per existing quarantine protocols, the national provided a negative PCR test which was taken 72-hours prior to departure from the United Kingdom. Upon arrival in Trinidad and Tobago, the national was immediately placed in state quarantine, in a single room. The patient was transferred directly to an isolation area at the Couva Hospital and Multi-training Facility once the positive COVID-19 result was confirmed.
The presence of the variant was confirmed via a gene sequencing study at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, which has been testing COVID-19 positive samples collected since September 2020.
The population is reminded that previously, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago updated its quarantine protocols for retuning nationals from the United Kingdom from 7 days to 14 days state quarantine. This protocol will continue to be implemented and returning nationals from all other high-risk countries will be subject to 7 days state quarantine and 7 days home quarantine.
Members of the public are asked to note that research has suggested that this strain of COVID-19 is more easily spread from person to person than previous strains (estimated to be 50% more transmissible).
Bwa Kalé movement striking back against gangs, nearly 3,000 murdered
#Haiti, September 29, 2023 – In eight months, nearly 3,000 Haitian people have been slaughtered in their home country due to the upsurge and uprising of gangs in the republic which is struggling to hold its democracy in check.
‘Bwa Kalé’, it’s a vigilante movement that has sprung up in Haiti, and the UN says it is driving up murders.
A recent report following an expert visit detailed it.
“Certain groups have formed allegedly to protect their neighbourhoods from gangs. In some instances, these groups have summarily executed people suspected of being gang members. The Bwa Kalé movement demonstrates the population’s lack of trust in the State, especially in the police and the courts. The expert has learned that some members of the police and the judiciary have been complicit with gangs.”
Despite the obvious fear among residents, the UN is warning them not to take justice into their own hands. However, that is easier said than done as Haitians have demonstrated their feelings of abandonment by fleeing the island in mass numbers on illegal voyages and standing up to the gangs themselves.
In the same report, one said: “The State is absent, there are no police or other officials operating there.”
According to AP, a new report to the U.N. Security Council indicated that 2,728 intentional killings were recorded between October 2022 and June 2023, including 247 women, 58 boys, and 20 girls. Bwa Kalé is blamed partially for the increase, as life in the country is described as unbearable.
Jamaica declares DENGUE OUTBREAK; control measures amped up
#Jamaica, September 29, 2023 – As Jamaica battles a dengue outbreak, the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is taking steps to fortify the country’s resilience to the mosquito borne disease.
The Department announced it will be providing funds for the emergency response to contain the dengue outbreak, according to Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government, as reported by JIS.
McKenzie was in talks with Journalists at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston this past Wednesday, September 27th when he revealed that the resources will come from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
In fact, work, he expressed, is already being done as he informed that discussions have started with Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness to see to the roll out of clean-up programmes to ensure communities do not morph into breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
It was reported that: “International health authorities have reported elevated dengue fever activity across multiple areas in Jamaica, with more than 560 suspected cases (78 confirmed) reported Jan. 1-Sept. 22. This is compared to the 59 cases reported over a similar period in 2022. Majority of the confirmed cases were reported in Kingston, Saint Andrew, Saint Catherine, and Saint Thomas. The Jamaican Ministry of Health & Wellness has deployed vector control workers across the island to high-risk communities. This report represents the most complete data available as of Sept. 29.”
These clean up initiatives, the minister points out, will be in operation in the days to come and they will commence in areas identified by the Ministry of Health; the plan is to later extend the efforts other communities.
In continuation, Audley Gordon, Executive Director of the NSWMA, spoke of vulnerable areas which he termed the “problematic sites”, informing that they are scheduled for action, including the removal of bulky waste by his teams, adding that the “NSWMA is fully ready to play its part in what we are asked to do, starting this weekend”.
Not only will the programmes clean the respective areas, they will call community members to practice proper garbage disposal, as people often fail to acknowledge the importance of these hygienic habits.
Guyana President says Global Aim for Net Zero is Out of Reach
#USA, September 29, 2023 – Dr. Irfaan Ali, Guyanese president informed that the global aim for Net Zero by 2050 is unrealistic due to the cost of transition and the pace of the financing commitment thus far.
He was speaking at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, providing numerical data, which he shared with the other attending world leaders, as he backed up his reasoning.
Before going into intricate details, summing up the costs which led to his view of the unrealistic goal of net zero by 2050, President Ali brought forth what he described as “the critical question of a just, affordable and equitable transition.”
He starts, maintaining that Bloomberg, financial information, software and media firm Bloomberg, estimates that reaching the global net zero emissions status by 2050, roughly 26 years from now, would require annual investments that triple those of 2021, to $6.7 trillion annually.
Ali narrowed down his analysis and specifically referred to global temperature, now a major issue and worsening, saying that to limit its rise to less than two degrees Celsius, the [IEA] estimates that investments in the energy sector, on its own, would need to be increased by approximately 1 trillion dollars yearly.
In continuation, the Guyanese President referred to the issue of availability of electricity in developing countries, as close to 900 million people worldwide have no access to it, he says, adding that this is “against the backdrop of a widening financing gap in achieving the SDGs, one of which is for affordable and clean energy; another clear factor highlighting the unrealistic nature of reaching all the desired goals by 2050.
Ali further highlighted the money that would go “with adaptation alone, estimated at $160 to $340 billion by 2030 and $315 to $565 billion by 2050, he says, according to UNAP further bolster his point.
Moreover, with more than 90 countries, he says, committed to Net Zero emissions, achieving this goal would require even more changes than what are currently happening, adding that the IEA gauges that for it to be so by 2050, more than 85 percent of buildings “must be net zero carbon ready,” and over 90 percent heavy industrial production, must be low emissions and almost 70 percent electricity would need to be generated from solar [photovoltaic].
“Based on these targets, renewable share in the generation of electricity will have to increase from 29 percent in 2020, to 88 percent in 2050. Meanwhile, to remove carbon from the atmosphere, the world would need to simultaneously halt deforestation and increase tree cover, again two times faster by 2030.”
Considering this, he said by 2050, 7.6 gigatons of carbon will have to be captured and stored compared to 0.4 gigatons in 2020.
He then concluded with a powerful plethora of statistical info, doubling down on the unrealistic target the world has set.
“According to Mckenzie and Company, it would cost $375 trillion dollars, in cumulative spending on physical assets to transition to net zero by 2050.”
Firming up the point by the President of Guyana, that it is completely unrealistic that these even more monumental targets would be reached, when countries failed to achieve even lesser goals laid out since the Paris Accord, signed nearly a decade ago in 2015 by 196 nations.
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