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“I confidently predict more deaths…” says TCI Governor in plea for residents to take the Vaccine

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#TurksandCaicos, April 3, 2021 – The Governor of Turks and Caicos Islands “confidently predict more deaths” in the coming days due to the ever-increasing new Covid-19 infections and deaths.  Speaking during the first Covid-19 anniversary on  March 23, Nigel Dakin expressed his fear of a possible high, future death rate in TCI if the Islanders do not take the responsibility to get vaccinated.

“I confidently predict more deaths, there is no reason to think any other way. The restrictive measures we have in place clearly are reducing contagion but not eliminating it, and those catching the virus are becoming more likely to die,” said the Governor.

While the government can impose a raft of new stringent measures, including total lockdown, business shutdowns, and curfews, HE Dakin emphasised that TCI residents can take the precaution and go for the readily available vaccines instead of having the country shut.

“There is no action Government can now take – in terms of restricting your behaviours or closing down parts of the economy that offers the protection that an individual can now take, themselves, by taking the vaccine,” added Governor Dakin.

Even though pleased with TCI residents who were on the frontline in the fight to keep the country safe, the Governor expressed his displeasure at the flattening curve of people taking vaccines when they need it the most. And with such behaviour, there is a great risk of overrunning the hospitals, which are already strained.

With “an extraordinary roll out of the vaccines – efficiently delivered and administered” and the high chances of those who contract the virus dying, the Governor revealed that TCI has got a golden opportunity that other Caribbean countries admire. But they aren’t lucky enough to have it.

Even more worrying, there’s already a warning of a possible vaccine shortage. Those who shall not have seized this opportunity to normalcy may not get any other opportunity to get after the vaccine supply stops. 

 “This future is ours to have if we have the collective courage to seize it.  Please (please) register for the vaccine and, more than that, encourage those you care about to do so too. This is a moment for all of us to be leaders and recognise that the power of one, the power of individual decision making, has the power to change these Island’s future,” the Governor concluded. 

As of March 2, 12,935 persons have been vaccinated, without any incident, which is 34 per cent of our population; and that was a good start!

TCI Governor, Nigel Dakin and his wife, Mandy were the very first to take the Covid-19 vaccine in the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Health

New Healthy Sail rules to ensure transparency and safety kick in, but not all Cruise Lines are on board

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

January 20, 2022 – The US Centers for Disease Control Cruise Sailing Order expired on Saturday January 15th and it means cruise lines will now be able to choose whether or not they want to participate. This “Healthy Sail” program is a set of guidelines for cruising which the CDC says will provide transparency about COVID management on ships.

Cruise lines which chose to participate in the “healthy sail” voluntary program will be subject to CDC guidelines. Cruise lines which opt out of the program will still have to adhere to masking mandates and report all COVID cases.

However, the ships opting out of the CDC Healthy Sail program, will not be required to make public their testing regimes for crew and passengers.

“There will be a lot of unknowns about what risk mitigation measures are being used on board because they will really be able to set their own protocols for testing of passengers and crew,” said Aimee Treffiletti, CDC representative to USA Today.

Naturally, this raises several questions about whether these ships will be required to make onboard protocols and findings public to ports of call.

Up to Monday, Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines had opted into the program. Noticeably absent from the roll call: Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

 

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