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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.

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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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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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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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