#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2021 – The appearance of variants is part of the normal cycle of viral infection and replication and should not be considered an unusual process. Because the variants appear more frequently the more subjects become infected, it is essential to maintain all the measures that prevent the occurrence of new infections (use of masks, washing hands, social distancing, avoiding crowds, etc.).
The appearance of new variants does not justify in any way the interruption of the vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2. Cutting the transmission chains through preventive measures and the application of vaccines should be the primary objective at this stage of pandemic. Both the measures mentioned above, and the mass vaccination of the population will help in the fight against the disease and the eventual end of the pandemic.
CARPHA remains committed to providing technical support and advice and continues to conduct tests for suspected COVID-19 cases for all CARPHA Member States (CMS) routinely as requested. In collaboration with the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, CARPHA started conducting whole genome sequencing for CARICOM countries in December 2020. So far CARPHA has detected cases of the UK variant in several member states. No cases of the Brazil or South Africa variant have been detected.
Earlier today, CARPHA met with the Region’s Chief Medical Officers to discuss several public health issues, including those related to the fight against COVID-19 disease.
CARPHA continues to work with its regional and international partners and CMS, towards a harmonised regional response. The overarching goal is for all countries to control the pandemic by slowing down the transmission of disease and reducing mortality associated with COVID-19. In this regard, we urge countries to continue ramping up their surveillance capacity to rapidly screen, identify, test, isolate and trace contacts of new cases supported by public health prevention and control measures of social distancing, wearing of masks, and hand hygiene.
We also recognise the important role that the vaccination programmes will play and are quite pleased with the efforts of the countries so far in vaccinating the vulnerable older persons in their population and front-line workers.
New License Plates rolled out for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – The long-awaited new license plates for the Turks and Caicos have arrived, and notable changes have been made to them. The new license plates were gazetted to come into effect on December 1st, along with the new rules regarding tints. Wilbur Caley, Head of the Department of Motor Vehicles, shared the updated designs with Magnetic Media.
Each inhabited island now has their own specific plate, and so too do the highest public officers in the country, including the Governor and his Deputy; the Premier and his Deputy; Speaker; Attorney General; Opposition Leader; and all Ambassadors, Ministers and MPs.
The island-specific plates apply to all private vehicles, charter vehicles and taxis. The new Grand Turk plates feature a cactus on a green background; the North Caicos plates feature; Providenciales plates have what appears to be Grace Bay Beach; Middle Caicos plates show a native basket weaving; Salt Cay shows a depiction of a TC Islander working the salt flats and South Caicos has a red lobster on an orange background.
New plates are also in store for company vehicles, rentals and car dealers.
All drivers in the TCI must get these new plates affixed to their vehicles. Caley explained that over 16,000 pairs were in stock, and the DMV had 4,000 more on the way.
The DMV has had trouble with residents not outfitting their vehicles with the proper plates before. The public has had trouble with the DMV not having sufficient plates in stock, waiting months to be handed a plate.
The Department had explained those days of shortages are in the past, they now have sufficient plates for both front and back end tagging of vehicles. It is also touted as being part of a crime prevention strategy by Police.
Back in June, Caley had told Magnetic Media that an estimated 3,000 vehicles were driving around the islands with incorrect plates; an offence which incurs a $300 fine.
Residents without license plates have roughly a year to apply for and affix the new plates to their vehicles. Residents must do so between December 1st 2022, and November 30th 2023.
Barbados to host the 12th staging of the Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM)
By Sherrica Thompson
#Barbados, December 6, 2022 – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit (CU), in collaboration with its partners, will be hosting the 12th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) from December 7-9 at the Savannah Beach Resort & Spa in Barbados.
The event is being delivered under the theme: “CDM Road to Resilience: Checkpoint 2022 – Advancing a Risk-based Multi-hazard Approach during COVID-19 & Beyond” and is scheduled to bring together over 1,000 delegates in person and online.
The conference will also be focusing on several matters throughout its duration. These include:
- Facilitating knowledge exchanges on pathways to resilience using a risk-based multi-hazard approach.
- Highlighting progress towards the achievement of CDM results within the priority areas of Institutional Strengthening, Knowledge Management, Sector Mainstreaming and Community Resilience.
- Showcasing relevant research and applicable tools for the advancement of CDM in the region
- Highlighting challenges and opportunities for CDM based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and the multi-hazard environment in the Caribbean
- Providing a forum for the engagement and empowerment of youth in supporting the DRM agenda
- Strengthening DRM capabilities of CDM Stakeholders
Dominica VOTED today
#Dominica, December 6, 2022 – Approximately 81,000 citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica were registered to vote for a new government today in the country’s general election. A total of 45 candidates were on the ballots across the 21 constituencies.
The Dominica Labour Party (DLP) had a six-seat lead in the National Assembly as they were unopposed in six constituencies. The DLP, Team Unity Dominica and several independent candidates competed in the elections.
However, the country’s main opposition parties, the United Workers Party and Dominica Freedom Party, boycotted the elections. Neither of the parties had a candidate contesting in the elections. Polls closed at 5 pm. The country is now waiting to see who will be announced as its leader.
(CARICOM) sent Election Observation Mission to oversee Dominica’s election
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has sent the CARICOM Election Observation Mission (CEOM) to monitor Dominica’s General Elections on Tuesday, December 6.
The CARICOM Election Observation Mission proposes to meet with leaders of political parties, the electoral officials and other stakeholders of Dominica and will monitor the voting process, including the opening of the poll, the casting of votes, the closing of the poll and the counting of the ballots.
The Team arrived in Dominica between December 2-3 and will depart on December 8.
Leader of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, last month announced a snap election two years before the constitutional deadline.
The snap poll has received backlash from opposition parties who have announced that they will boycott the elections.
The opposition parties have also been calling on supporters to protest the polls and the international community to not recognise the government that emerges after this Tuesday’s election.
OAS Election Observers also welcomed in Dominica ahead of national poll
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, welcomed the representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) election observer mission for a courtesy call at the Office of the Prime Minister on Saturday, December 3, 2022.
Former Prime Minister of Bahamas Perry Christie, the chief of the Electoral Mission of OAS in Dominica, met with OAS specialists to discuss the current status of the electoral organization, technology & justice, political finance & women’s participation in the electoral process.
Furthermore, Perry Christie heard the perspectives of the members of the Electoral Reform Coalition on the electoral process in Dominica.
He met with others to listen to their concerns about the upcoming snap general elections. The Chief of the Electoral Mission of the OAS in Dominica met with the Political Leader of Team Unity Dominica, Carlos Charles, to hear his impressions regarding the General Elections.
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