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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

Monkeypox NOT a Public Health Emergency, but watch out, its changing says WHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

June 27, 2022 – The World Health Organization says while Monkeypox is not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (the highest alert the body can give) they are concerned about the rapid spread and data gaps in the current outbreak.

“I am deeply concerned by the spread of Monkeypox, which has now been identified in more than 50 countries, across five WHO regions, with 3,000 cases since the early May,” said Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

There had been fears that the WHO would declare the outbreak an emergency of international concern going into a June 23 meeting. He maintained that the world had neglected Monkeypox research despite the fact that it had been circulating in Africa for many years. He stressed that this approach to neglected diseases must change as the world is an interconnected population. This inter connectivity could prove disastrous for vulnerable people.

“What makes the current outbreak especially concerning is the rapid, continuing spread into new countries and regions and the risk of further, sustained transmission into vulnerable populations including people that are immunocompromised, pregnant women and children,” he said.

In order to combat this he called for the communication and collaboration between member states and a collective response.

So far the disease has been exhibiting different symptoms than usual including rashes localized to the genitals instead of the entire body like usual. This prompted the US Centers for Disease Control to change the requirements advising doctors to test anyone who appeared with a rash seeming like Monkeypox.

Ghebreyesus revealed Monkeypox was an evolving health threat that the WHO was following extremely closely and maintained that countries should use surveillance, contact tracing, isolation, and ensuring health tools were available to at risk populations as ways to control the spread.

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Health

Moderna & Pfizer approved for toddlers in US

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 25, 2022 – Toddlers can now be vaccinated with either Moderna or Pfizer in the United States following the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee vote to authorize the jabs for the youngest humans.

Some 2.5 million vaccines were ordered for these youngsters from Pfizer and 1.3 million are on order from Moderna.

The authorization committee voted unanimously on both vaccines and it comes as a relief to millions of parents who opted to keep their children away from family gatherings, even school

The lowest age a US resident can now get vaccinated is 6 months, Pfizer says their shot is ready for children six months to four years old and Moderna goes one year higher at 6 months to 5 years.  Both Pfizer and Moderna say the toddlers will need boosters in the future.

As of June 2, there have been 442 children between the ages of 0-4 years old who have died as a result of Covid-19 in the United States.

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Health

Listeria kills three in UK

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, June 25, 2022 – At least 3 people have died in an ongoing listeria outbreak in the United Kingdom linked to smoked fish.  The Food Standards Agency in the UK says,  “Listeria is widespread in the environment and can contaminate a range of food at low or standard refrigeration temperatures.  It can be destroyed by thorough cooking.  It is of most concern in chilled, ready-to-eat foods that do not require further cooking, such as smoked fish.”

At least 12 cases, six of them since January, are linked to the fish.  Vulnerable individuals were especially affected by the outbreak including a pregnant woman and several elderly persons.  The three victims who died were all over 65 years old.

The agency said there was no need to avoid smoked fish but to cook it thoroughly.  Contaminated food may not look or smell spoiled but it can cause severe illness in pregnant women, cancer patients, children, and the elderly.

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