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TCI Tourism Industry In A Sizzling Comeback says Grace Bay Resorts

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#TurksandCaicos, April 6, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands’ tourism and hospitality industry in a major comeback following the government’s massive efforts to get the vast majority tested for Covid-19, and more than 40 percent of the population vaccinated.

After a year of uncertainty, strict Covid-19 restrictions, and a crumbling economy due to lockdowns and business shutdowns, the massive number of tourists visiting TCI signals new dawn.

In an interview with Fox Business reporter, Nakheel Advani, the Chief Operations Officer in Grace Bay Resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands, revealed they receive many calls each day as people continue streaming in for spring holidays.

Nikheel acknowledges the dramatic shift in the trend from about 10,000 guests last year (2020) to a huge influx in the past four weeks.

“The phones are ringing off the hook. We’ve had about a year, which has been quiet. We opened our shores in the Turks and Caicos Islands on July 22 (2020); it was slow to start with. But it gave us time to kind of understand how CDC guidelines are working, working with our Ministry of Health,” said Nikheel Advani.

“Our Governor, Nigel Dakin, took a very proactive role to open up the Island in the most sensible way. So, this is not new to all of us. Since then, we’ve got about 10,000 guests,” said Advani in response what the flock of travellers to islands of the Caribbean, in particular Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, means.

“It’s the thing you’ve mentioned, the pent up demand.  Our market is mainly the US, North Americans (and Canadians who haven’t been able to travel).  We have opened our doors from day one and said, Americans are welcomed.  There were so many places saying you can’t go here, you can’t go there.  We decided, you are our key market, let’s do this safely; we’ve got great advice from the CDC and our own Ministry of Health, so we’re going to do this with you.”

Even though it has been tough to find the rooms, the trend seems to carry on through the summer with the supply and demand conditions. 

More than a million people went through American airports informed the TSA; compared to the last year’s 331, 483.  As of March 23, the TSA recorded a total of 1,076 453 commercial airline travellers.

The overwhelming number of tourists received in the Turks and Caicos Islands is attributed to the ramped-up testing and vaccinations, making many guests feel comfortable and safe amidst the pandemic.

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TCI Hospital’s Magnetic Resonance Imagining (MRI) upgrade is on schedule

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#TurksandCaicos, June 16, 2022 – InterHealth Canada Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital will soon have a new GE SIGNA™ 1.5T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, a development expected to significantly reduce wait times for patients visiting the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre.

First, the existing scanner was de-installed and required a crane to deposit the 20,000 pounds machine from the radiology department through a specially-cut hatch at the side waiting room wall for the safe navigation and removal of the old machine.

An intensive undertaking also included removing and replacing the RF Cage, which paves the way for quick installation of the new machine. The TCI Hospital’s RF Cage, which prevents radio frequency noise from entering the room and distorting the image of the MRI scan, is already on-site and is scheduled for installation by the end of June 2022 by the installation team from the United States. The works include the construction of the side walls, panelling, ceiling, illuminated picture and connections to ventilation.

In preparation for the day of delivery of the new MRI Machine by early July 2022, the TCI Hospital have also completed all electrical works.

The next step is the safe installation and connection of all components of the unit by GE contractors, followed by the final internal and external finishes, including the installation of fixtures and fittings such as coil storage cabinets and external cupboards and furniture. Once these last finishing touches are completed and checks completed, the MRI will be operational in early August 2022.

The radiology team have spent the past several months working in a much-reduced space to allow building work in preparation for the new MRI. In addition, the Imaging team have also undergone training and certifications in new software applications and MRI safety, with the IM&T and Biomedical Engineering teams to follow. All staff at the TCI will undergo safety MRI training.

The TCI Hospital is grateful for the support and understanding of the public and TCI Hospital colleagues during the disruption caused by this critical upgrade to the MRI Unit at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre.

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Major Shortage; White House says hunt is on for Baby Food

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, May 14, 2022 – An Infant formula shortage in the U.S. exacerbated by the formula recall by Abbott Nutrition is  threatening the lives of babies and worrying parents.

Last week 40 percent of  formulas were out of stock in the U.S. White House Press Secretary Jen Pesaki says the FDA is working hard to address the issue.

“What the FDA is doing includes working with major infant formula manufacturers to ensure they’re increasing production, because part of this issue is, of course, making sure there is stock on the shelves and working with the industry right now to optimize their supply lines, product sizes to increase capacity, and prioritizing product lines that are of greatest needs.”

Meanwhile Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which provides formula and other goods to low income mothers is warning against trying to make formula at home saying too much could go wrong.

“Your baby could suffer long-term harm if they do not get the right blend of nutrition. Even a short period of poor nutrition can be harmful.  Do not try to make more formula by adding extra water. Adding extra water to formula is dangerous and can lead to very serious health problems.”

The Guardian reports that parents who are now traveling over state lines and using Facebook and EBay  to secure formula, describe the situation as a ‘nightmare.’

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Earth Day Immersion at Graceway Communities Marketplace  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 12, 2022 – The second staging of Graceway IGA’s Earth Day celebration was a success. It was hosted by the Graceway Communities (the philanthropic arm of Graceway Supermarkets) in association with the National Trust, Graceway Supermarkets, Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) and Department of Agriculture.

The Market was designed to educate people about the environment, promote conservation, and encourage them to get involved and invest in the planet, act boldly, innovate and implement.

The event was supported by the community and others who came out in their numbers to buy fruits, seedlings, trees, plants, and other earth-friendly items, like ocean-friendly products that were being sold.

The winners of the Graceway Supermarkets Earth Day Art Competition 2022 were also announced. In first place was Chanel Missick from the Mills Institute, second place was Enarij Dickenson from Eliza Simmons Primary, and third place was Mavalicia Mullings from the Mills Institute.

Minister of Environment, Maritime and Disaster Management Josephine Connelly was also present at the celebration.

In giving her address at the event on April 22, Connelly said climate change is real and the Turks and Caicos Islands are low lying areas. As such, “we are susceptible to flood and high seas.” Therefore “the necessary mechanisms must be put in place to cope with what’s going on in our country.”

The Minister noted that the Charter launched at the Climate Change Summit is a guideline to mitigate what is happening in the TCI. She further mentioned that the TCI will be collaborating with all stakeholders and international organizations to unite as one where climate change is concerned.

Minister Connelly congratulated Graceway IGA for hosting the celebration, noting that they should continue to do this because “it is good for us.”

She also encouraged everyone to play their part in Climate Change, stating that the easiest thing to do is to plant a tree.

Travel Designer at Luxury Experiences Turks, and Caicos, Val Kalliecharan, was also present at the Earth Day celebration. He said the initiative was impressive, and Graceway Supermarkets should “keep up the good job.”

The Turks and Caicos National Trust were the charity participant in the Earth Day celebrations.

The Trust expressed its gratitude to the Graceway Supermarkets for partnering with the organization’s mission to protect our environment.

“We are honoured for this recognition and most charitable donations that will help us to continue our important works, entrusted to us by our communities, we implore you to visit our website and become members of TCNT. More importantly, please contact us and find out how you can help us to preserve and protect our Wetlands, our environment and our beautiful by nature TCI,” said the Turks and Caicos National Trust.

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