#TurksandCaicos, February 16, 2021 – The financial fall out will continue and so will the curfews and restrictions despite there being no evidence that they are actually working for the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“Currently there are 312 active cases; 193 in Providenciales; 42 in Grand Turk; 44 in North Caicos; nine in South Caicos; 23 in Middle Caicos and one in Ambergris Cay. Three-hundred and twelve active cases is the lowest we have been to since January 22 when we had 356,” said Edwin Astwood, Minister of Health during an evening press conference on Monday.
While this figure is lower, it does not mask the fact that the two worst months for Covid-19 so far in TCI, are January and February 2021; when restrictions were the most stringent they have been since the country re-opened to tourism on July 22, 2020.
On December 1, 2020 the Turks and Caicos Islands stood at 750 confirmed positives for the coronavirus.
On January 1, 2021 it rose by 158 new cases to chart 908 infections overall.
On February 1, 2021 the Turks and Caicos surged to 1,504 cases of Covid-19; which reflects a 596 patient leap.
Two weeks into February and already there are 370 new infections and the country’s deadliest day marked on February 12 with three individuals lost to Covid-19 in the span of 24-hours.
The Minister’s commentary only highlighted the upward trend of infections for Turks and Caicos; which was last month described by Dr. Shandey Malcolm, National Epidemiologist as “catastrophic”.
Dr. Malcolm characterized the trend as “distressing.”
Still the restrictions will continue and are particularly hard, this time around on restaurants, bars, lounges and commercial boaters.
No dine in service is permitted and no one is permitted to lounge or participate in gaming activities.
The rules announced by the Health Minister follow the theory that residents are catching Covid-19 at parties and social gatherings; supposedly at these lounges and on boat parties.
Again, there is little to no evidence provided to support this rationale.
“It’s to try and reduce the persons socializing together. That is (why) these measures are taken into place, to try and reduce social or person to person contact,” explained Minister Astwood.
Turks and Caicos returns to 8 p.m. business closure and a 9 p.m. curfew as of today, February 16; this new raft of regulations expire on March 3, 2021.
Major Shortage; White House says hunt is on for Baby Food
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, May 14, 2022 – An Infant formula shortage in the U.S. exacerbated by the formula recall by Abbott Nutrition is threatening the lives of babies and worrying parents.
Last week 40 percent of formulas were out of stock in the U.S. White House Press Secretary Jen Pesaki says the FDA is working hard to address the issue.
“What the FDA is doing includes working with major infant formula manufacturers to ensure they’re increasing production, because part of this issue is, of course, making sure there is stock on the shelves and working with the industry right now to optimize their supply lines, product sizes to increase capacity, and prioritizing product lines that are of greatest needs.”
Meanwhile Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which provides formula and other goods to low income mothers is warning against trying to make formula at home saying too much could go wrong.
“Your baby could suffer long-term harm if they do not get the right blend of nutrition. Even a short period of poor nutrition can be harmful. Do not try to make more formula by adding extra water. Adding extra water to formula is dangerous and can lead to very serious health problems.”
The Guardian reports that parents who are now traveling over state lines and using Facebook and EBay to secure formula, describe the situation as a ‘nightmare.’
Earth Day Immersion at Graceway Communities Marketplace
By Sherrica Thompson
#TurksandCaicos, May 12, 2022 – The second staging of Graceway IGA’s Earth Day celebration was a success. It was hosted by the Graceway Communities (the philanthropic arm of Graceway Supermarkets) in association with the National Trust, Graceway Supermarkets, Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) and Department of Agriculture.
The Market was designed to educate people about the environment, promote conservation, and encourage them to get involved and invest in the planet, act boldly, innovate and implement.
The event was supported by the community and others who came out in their numbers to buy fruits, seedlings, trees, plants, and other earth-friendly items, like ocean-friendly products that were being sold.
The winners of the Graceway Supermarkets Earth Day Art Competition 2022 were also announced. In first place was Chanel Missick from the Mills Institute, second place was Enarij Dickenson from Eliza Simmons Primary, and third place was Mavalicia Mullings from the Mills Institute.
Minister of Environment, Maritime and Disaster Management Josephine Connelly was also present at the celebration.
In giving her address at the event on April 22, Connelly said climate change is real and the Turks and Caicos Islands are low lying areas. As such, “we are susceptible to flood and high seas.” Therefore “the necessary mechanisms must be put in place to cope with what’s going on in our country.”
The Minister noted that the Charter launched at the Climate Change Summit is a guideline to mitigate what is happening in the TCI. She further mentioned that the TCI will be collaborating with all stakeholders and international organizations to unite as one where climate change is concerned.
She also encouraged everyone to play their part in Climate Change, stating that the easiest thing to do is to plant a tree.
Travel Designer at Luxury Experiences Turks, and Caicos, Val Kalliecharan, was also present at the Earth Day celebration. He said the initiative was impressive, and Graceway Supermarkets should “keep up the good job.”
The Turks and Caicos National Trust were the charity participant in the Earth Day celebrations.
The Trust expressed its gratitude to the Graceway Supermarkets for partnering with the organization’s mission to protect our environment.
“We are honoured for this recognition and most charitable donations that will help us to continue our important works, entrusted to us by our communities, we implore you to visit our website and become members of TCNT. More importantly, please contact us and find out how you can help us to preserve and protect our Wetlands, our environment and our beautiful by nature TCI,” said the Turks and Caicos National Trust.
Liver Disease Spreading in UK & US; Worrisome
By Dana Malcolm
#April 22, 2022 – In an extremely worrying trend cases of unexplainable liver disease in healthy children have spread to the EU and the US.
They tested negative for the viruses that cause infectious hepatitis. Doctors have no concrete explanation for what is causing the damage so far 74 children in Britain have fallen ill and now children in the US and Europe are following suit with children in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.
“mild hepatitis is very common in children for following a range viral infections but what is being seen at the moment is quite different.”
The expert said he was not convinced COVID was behind the infection because of the relatively small number of infections. British health officials say none of the infected children were vaccinated ruling out any link to vaccines.
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