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TCI: Covid-19 testing slumps, 6.5% positive

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#TurksandCaicos, April 5, 2021 – In the past seven days, there have been 190 PCR tests completed by the Turks and Caicos Islands National Public Health Lab; 12 samples returned positives for Covid-19 which is around 6.5% confirmed to have contracted the virus. 

While this scale looks good, testing figures are slumping; the peak for the week at only 87 PCR tests performed in a single day.  

Still, the Ministry of Health is forging ahead with a vigorous plan to make testing available in both the more populated and the isolated islands.

The schedule included five islands and as many as 10 sites during the month of April.

PCR testing in Grand Turk is every Tuesday between 2 and 4pm.  Testing in South Caicos, every Tuesday between 9am and noon.  North Caicos testing is every Monday from 9am to noon at the Kew Clinic, Every Thursday between 9am and noon at the Bottle Creek Clinic and every Monday and Thursday from 9am to noon at the Middle Caicos clinic.  Providenciales, testing is set for every Tuesday at the National Stadium on Venetian Road between 9am and noon; with the mobile clinic moving around throughout the month.  April 8 at Graceway IGA on Leeward Highway… April 15 at Sam’s Plaza Down town Provo; on April 22 at Sunny Foods in Five Cays and on April 29 at Sunny Foods in Blue Hills.

The hope is that more people will come out to be tested, given that vaccination is also seeing lackluster support particularly from more indigenous community groups. 

Currently, TCI is with 50 active cases of the coronavirus; two people are hospitalised. The island of Providenciales has 36 confirmed cases, North Caicos has four, South Caicos with six and Grand Turk with four people with Covid-19 on record.

Resorts cumulative testing is nearing 40,000; some 38,885 rapid antigen tests have been performed reveals the April 4th dashboard.

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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