Jamaica Health Minister anticipating greater turn-out for Upcoming Coivd-19 Vaccination blitzes
#Jamaica, April 5, 2021 – Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says he is anticipating a greater turnout for the upcoming island-wide coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination blitzes, as additional stakeholders come onboard to assist in encouraging more persons to get inoculated.
“We have included in the mix, the very important role of the political representatives… and the intention is to roll that out across the country where, in another week or so, we are going to have a national blitz in every parish. Essentially, what it is about is to mobilise all stakeholders, to encourage in the first instance, our vulnerable groups to be a part of the… immunization blitz,” he said.
Dr. Tufton was speaking with journalists during Saturday’s (April 3) staging of the second vaccination blitz at the National Arena, where just over 400 persons received the first of two doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The blitz is the mass vaccination plan being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to inoculate 1,000 persons in a day at a single location.
Persons, 75 years and older, are now being targeted for vaccinations islandwide, with a reserve list to include members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) and individuals over 60 years.
Minister Tufton noted that while Saturday’s turnout was affected by rainy conditions, there is also a “strong vaccine hesitancy” in the country towards COVID-19 vaccinations. Consequently he said the Government is working with several stakeholders, including the church and senior citizens groups, to assist in getting persons inoculated.
“What we really want to get out of this is a unified message to the country, to the people of Jamaica that this is a risk that affects all of us and so it requires a solution from all of us,” he emphasised.
Dr. Tufton also expressed gratitude to several parliamentarians whom he said assisted with Saturday’s proceedings. He further noted that a key player in the mobilsation effort was Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, and Member of Parliament for Kingston Western, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, who he said was instrumental in getting approximately 80 of his constituents vaccinated.
In his remarks, Mr. McKenzie said he was optimistic that the Local Government Ministry’s involvement in the vaccination drive “will go a far way in enhancing the programme.” He advised that he will be enlisting the assistance of all 63 Members of Parliament and 230 Municipal Councillors across Jamaica in further bolstering the initiative.
Mr. McKenzie further informed that on Tuesday, April 6, he will be meeting virtually with the Mayors, Inspectors of Poor and other key Ministry stakeholders, adding that Dr. Tufton will also be participating.
“I am giving the full commitment of Local Government in the process as we try to vaccinate as many Jamaicans as we can,” he said.
Mr. McKenzie encouraged Jamaicans not to dispel the false narrative regarding COVID-19 vaccination, stressing that “I took it”, adding that he experienced mild side effects for a few days.
The Local Government Minister said he felt gratified to have been able to bring out a significant number of his constituents to get vaccinated, despite falling short of the 100 targeted. He said when the persons who were inoculated go back to their respective communities and others see that they are fine, this will encourage more individuals to get vaccinated.
Other notable participants in Saturday’s proceedings included: State Minister in the Health and Wellness Ministry, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, and Permanent Secretary, Dunstan Bryan, as well as Government Senator, Natalie Campbell-Rodriques.
Contact: Alecia Smith
Millions to come from FSC
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way. It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination.
“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said. He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue. Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders.
“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M. By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M). So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.”
This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors.
Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again. Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.
Debrief on Haiti Caribbean heads visit
#Haiti, March 17, 2023 – When a CARICOM delegation visited Haiti earlier this month, conspicuously absent was the Turks and Caicos Islands despite being one of the nations most directly affected by the multi-dimensional crisis there. There is no comment, as yet from the Premier, to say why this was the case.
Still, from the expedition, CARICOM heads of Government have informed that there will be lobbying in Africa for assistance in Haiti. They say they have decided that the best course of action for the Caribbean country is to bolster the Haitian National Police and act as intermediaries with Africa and the world. The decision follows a one day visit on February 27th, and a March 5th meeting chaired by the Bahamas.
CARICOM says during the trip delegates ‘met with a broad range of Haitian stakeholders to hear their views on the way forward to a Haitian-led solution’. With that in mind it has made a decision on how to proceed.
“The Heads of Government agreed to support the Haitian National Police in their efforts to address the security situation. The focus of the Community will be the provision of training for the HNP and the provision of humanitarian assistance to HNP and the wider Haitian society, taking into account the challenging humanitarian and security situation”
It’s not clear yet where and how this training will take place. Also distinctly absent from the report, no more mention of boots on the ground from other countries despite CARICOM Member States indicating they were ready and willing should it come to that.
In addition, recognizing ‘the common historical experiences and the strong African-Caribbean relationship’ CARICOM says,
“Heads of Government also agreed to seek support from African countries for Haiti. They also agreed to work with the Governments of Canada and the United States as well as the UNDP”
Magnetic Media has reached out to the Premier’s Office to get a full debrief of the February 27th visit (led by Jamaica; including The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago) to learn of Turks and Caicos’ posture following the critical sessions.
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
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