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TCI: UK Variant spreading in TCI; five new cases confirmed

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#TurksandCaicos, April 17, 2021 – Five more UK variant cases of Covid 19 were confirmed for Turks and Caicos said the Ministry of Health in a late day media statement on Wednesday; however the statement stopped short of revealing any other details.

“On Monday, 12th April 2021, the Ministry of Health received the results of genomic sequencing which was conducted through the Caribbean Public Health Agency on samples from the TCI.

These samples were shipped by the National Public Health Laboratory in the TCI from positive samples identified through PCR testing locally.”

In a batch of 10 suspected cases sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA, 50 per cent of them or five of the samples were found to be the more aggressive strain of the coronavirus. 

“Todays results were not unexpected due to the TCIs borders being open to international and regional travel as well as the spike in the number of confirmed cases which took place at the end of 2020 into early 2021. This evidence of COVID-19 variants being detected locally does highlight the need for all TCI residents to remain vigilant in protecting themselves and one another through the use of face coverings, social distancing and getting vaccinated.”

Warnings for upkeep of public health protocols and encouragement to take the Pfizer vaccine came stronger in the statement. 

“The Pfizer vaccine, which is being rolled out in the TCI to residents, has been shown to be effective against this variant; however, the general public is reminded to be vigilant in adhering to all public health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the community.

All residents are urged to be vigilant in practicing the public health measures at all times in light of the ongoing pandemic and surges being experienced in a number of countries both regionally and internationally.”

Health says Pfizer has been proven to be effective against B.1.1.7 or the UK variant. On February 27 the first detection of B.1.1.7. was recorded for the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

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Dog Tales to rescue 500 dogs from the Turks and Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Stray dogs in the Turks and Caicos will be getting a new lease on life in the coming months as Dog Tales Rescue will be coming to the islands. Up to 500 stray Dogs will be recovered from Grand Turk and flown to Canada in a bid to control the dog population and give the existing strays better lives. The visit has been approved by the Turks and Caicos Islands government who revealed the project in a cabinet meeting on May 31st.

Dog Tales rescue is a Canadian-based rescue mostly focusing on dogs, cats, and horses. The sanctuary is massive, sitting on over 50 acres of land. It was started in 2014 by husband and wife duo Rob and Danielle Eden-Scheinberg.  The animals at Dog Tales Rescue get the 5-star treatment (as they should!) while they wait to be adopted into their forever homes.  The rescue provides a space for neglected and abused dogs to heal with resources including kilometers of walking trails, therapy pools, a grooming spa, and medical care if needed.  Dog Tales does not put dogs down, those who are not adopted immediately remain with the sanctuary permanently.  Since 2014 more than 2000 dogs have passed through the sanctuary.

Rather than kennels the dogs at Dog Tale have rooms that they share or occupy alone and the sanctuary really jazzes up the spaces making them as luxurious as possible.  The volunteers at the sanctuary also actively use social media to campaign for potential adoptees by doing photoshoots to entice families to take the chance to adopt animals. Soon strays from the Turks and Caicos will be in that number.  You can see Dog Tales’ most recent photoshoot here.

Dog Tales even had a TV show back in 2018 that lasted for 2 seasons!

The TCIG says they will provide “logistical and regulatory support” for the program but Dog Tales will be funding the recovery and everything else on their own. You can donate to Dog Tales here

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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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Education

TCI Agriculture launches Plant Clinic

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – These days anything can be online, even a plant clinic! The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Agriculture wants to help budding and experienced farmers with any plant issues they may have and their new Online Plant Clinic is their solution to help as many Islanders as possible.

Launched on Thursday, June 16 the clinic will operate through Facebook. Individuals with sick plants or pest issues will be required to take a photo of the issue and upload that photo to the department of Agriculture’s Facebook page.

Answers to issues will be given once a month, on every third Thursday, via a public video so all Islanders can have access. The launch was attended by Chief Plant Protection Officer-CPPO Roneta Huntley Thomas, Director of Agriculture Wilhelmina Kissoonsingh, Minister of Agriculture Josephine Connolly, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Cheryl Ann Jones.

Connolly urged residents to “grow your own food and grow TCI.”

Attendees of the launch were allowed to participate in games trying to identify different diseases for a chance at prizes. Residents can now immediately start sending in their photos on the Facebook page.

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