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Explosion coming! Curfew announced as take cover measure

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#TurksandCaicos, February 9, 2021 – The weekly trend of new Covid-19 cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands points to a frightening likelihood that the number of infections will explode and ahead of what could be a catastrophic shock to public health, the Government is cutting days short with the earliest curfew yet.

“We’re experiencing a distressing increase in the trend of cases being experience in the TCI. 

What has been worrisome this time around is that the number of cases being detected from one day to the next, has surpassed what was seen over the Summer months. 

There is no indication that we have seen the peak, so it is likely that the high numbers will continue,” said Dr. Shandey Malcolm, National Epidemiologist with the Ministry of Health.

The curfew daily curfew is from 6pm to 6am and begins today, February 9.

So far in 2021, the Turks and Caicos recorded its largest single-day leap in new infections; 75 positives were charted on January 26.  And the record-setting positives for the virus continued to be found.

The surge over the past four weeks has been more dangerous, with more deaths and more hospitalisations. 

Week one; there were 84 detections of the coronavirus. 

Week two; surged to 111 positives for COVID.

Week three; a record 183 new patients were added to the chart in an unwelcomed boom.

Week four, climbed again by 34 more positive diagnoses over the previous seven days; the Turks and Caicos charted 217 cases.  

The figure not only broke records but roped-in islands including Middle Caicos and Ambergris Cay which are both experiencing the coronavirus for the first time.

“Nobody, nowhere is safe.  It could be your family, it could be your co-worker, it could be your significant other, it could be your very close friend that affects you,” said Dr. Jeremy Myers, Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health during a national press conference on Monday.

“Covid-19 is with us and best believe that it is surely not showing any indication of going anywhere soon,” Dr. Meyers warned, “We are in a very delicate position that could easily erupt in a catastrophic situation.”

While the country was today also pleased to announce there are 6,433 people who have taken the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine; it was tempered by the fact that 1,695 cases including nine deaths have been recorded for the UK overseas territory of under 40,000 people.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR FLOW CUSTOMERS IN GRAND TURK, SALT CAY, SOUTH CAICOS, NORTH & MIDDLE CAICOS

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Home Internet customers to receive special 2-month rebate

 

Dear Valued Customers:

As we move into the final phase of our post Hurricane tower restoration project in the sister islands, we are looking forward to delivering on our promise of a better broadband and mobile experience for our customers.

We recognize that many of you have experienced multiple service interruptions or less than desired service levels over the duration of the project and we thank you for your continued patience, support, and loyalty during this time.

As a token of our appreciation, Flow will implement a two-month waiver of rental charges for ALL Flow Home Internet customers in these islands which will be automatically applied to your account. Flow will also consider additional actions for Flow Post Paid customers on a case-by-case basis.

  • For Internet customers, no action is required, as credit will be automatically applied by our Billing Team for October and November; customers are to resume payments on January 3rd, 2023;
  • For Postpaid customers, please report any ongoing service issues at our Flow Retail store or to an agent for credit consideration.

We appreciate your business and look forward to offering an enhanced service experience following the completion of this important project.

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Bahamas News

UK pays for New Air Surveillance for TCI; Gvnr updates that Five Boats coming for Border Security

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 9, 2022 – Several boats in the RTCIPF Marine Branch fleet were upgraded with new radars and thermal imaging capability recently and Governor Nigel Dakin says more is expected including a new base in 2023.

Dakin explained that the thermal imaging capability now on the vessels was a first for the TCI and while it was not unusual for Police vessels to have radars the new ones provided enhanced capability.

“They don’t replace but compliment the land based Radar both helping the vessels lock on to a suspect sloop or fishing boat that the land based radar has identified. However they can also independently extend our radar range as the radars are, of course, mobile and can go out to sea,” he said.

The Governor also indicated that the procurement process has begun for five more boats; a further three vessels for the Police and two for the Regiment.

“The UK will be supplying the maritime surveillance aircraft that, along with our Radar (now under command of the Maritime Police), will help direct these vessels. That will all be controlled from what we expect to be a multi-agency Maritime Operations Centre and we hope ground will be broken on that next year.”

During the National Budget debate in the House of Assembly, Turks and Caicos residents learned of a $1 million commitment by the UK to expand border security through new assets.

All of this comes as the country moves toward creating its own coast guard to protect its waters and forms deeper security bonds with The Bahamas and the United States.

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Bahamas News

Mobile App brings unprecedented access & opportunity to Persons with Disabilities in The Bahamas

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#TheBahamas, December 8, 2022 – Opportunities and services previously out of reach for many Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) in The Bahamas are now easier to access with groundbreaking upgrades to the ‘AccessAbility’ mobile app innovated by the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), through a Bahamian APP developer.

As of January 2023, PWD’s registered on the App will be able to book accessible transportation, allowing unprecedented freedom of movement.

For now, services available on the App include free interpreter services for the deaf and hard of hearing; disaster alerts from NEMA; free registration with NCPD which includes mapped location of registered PWD’s in times of disaster; complaints mechanism; bus routes showing street by street movement ; request for adaptive equipment and other services; business directory for organizations compliant with the Disabilities Act; Career/job listings; as well as trending local and international news and resources.

Financing for the App and the related public education programme was contributed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Multi Country Office located in Jamaica which serves The Bahamas among five English-speaking countries in the northern Caribbean. The App is available for free download from Google Play and the App Store and is also preloaded on all new devices purchased from local telecommunications provider Aliv in partnership with NCPD.

At the launch event on Sunday (4 December), Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon.  Philip Davis said that The Bahamas aimed to achieve inclusion and accessibility on a level playing field for persons with disabilities and that the App was one of the means through which this could be achieved. He lauded the services provided through the app and highlighted the accessible transportation, one touch access to emergency services and sign language interpretation.

The Prime Minister announced that the Department of Labour will enable job listings in the AccessAbility app, and further reminded employers of provisions in the Disability Act for the employment of one person with a disability for every 100 employees. “I am asking corporate Bahamas to join the Government in recognizing the potential in persons with disabilities and providing employment opportunities that may never have been considered before,” he said.

Other major disclosures made by the Prime Minister included The Bahamas’ ratification of ILO Convention 159 establishing the right of PWD to vocational rehabilitation and employment opportunities, and the successful implementation of the Nassau Airports Development’s Sunflower Laynard programme offering empathetic and specialized service to travelling PWD’s

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, said exclusion of PWD’s over the years has been troubling, but the mobile app will help bring the community closer to realizing inclusion and becoming part of the normalcy of the country. “We are elated and moved. PWD’s are celebrating because we have come a long way and UNDP is helping to make a difference” Minister Wilchcombe stated.

UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio said recognizing that Disability Inclusion is a development issue requires continued attention and investment, UNDP supported the Government’s mission to expand digital inclusion to marginalized groups through the Digital Access for All (DAFA) Bahamas Project, specifically focusing on the AccessAbility Mobile App and public education.

She reiterated UNDP’s commitment to improving ICT infrastructure and digital access with and for PWD’s in The Bahamas; advancing gender equality and the empowerment of PWD’s in The Bahamas and forging partnerships to identify challenges and potential solutions to reduce inequalities against Persons with Disabilities.  “It is crucial for governments, public and private sectors, to collaboratively find innovative solutions with and for persons with disabilities, to make the world a more accessible and equitable place,” the Resident Representative noted.

She encouraged Persons with Disabilities to register with the NCPD through the App to ensure they benefit from a wide array of services.

The launch of the AccessAbility mobile app will be immediately followed by a multimedia public education campaign to encourage awareness, downloads, and usage among PWDs.

Technology and digitalization are considered enablers in UNDP’s global service offer of six signature solutions focusing on leaving no one behind. To this end, UNDP partners with countries to develop appropriate digital solutions which help advance poverty eradication, inclusion, equality and crisis resilience.  UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica serves Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

Release: UNDP

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