#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.
“Today’s 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.
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
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.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“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.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”
Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.
Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour. Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands. In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”
Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.
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