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TCI: Bight Hotel by Dream Hotel group back on track for Lower Bight, Providenciales

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#TurksandCaicos, May 12, 2021 – Construction can now begin on the Dream Hotel, an eco-styled resort which has claimed the lower Bight as home.  A second attempt to halt construction has failed for the complainants ‘The Yard Limited’ as the Appeals Court upheld the judgement that there is no harm done in construction of the six story, 87 room luxury escape along the famous Grace Bay Beach.  

The Infrastructure Minister Akierra Missick congratulated the Planning team for continuing to adhere to the Planning Laws that guide the sustainable development of the Country. This in turn brings about development that is beneficial to residents and visitors alike.

The Minister acknowledged there is much work to be done in updating the Physical Planning Ordinance, she said at this time she is pleased with the planning and legal team in proving the project’s value.  I quote her now: It was a long battle; however, I had complete faith in our team and was confident that the procedures followed were in accordance with the Physical Planning Ordinance and Regulations.” 

The Appellants were Eric John LeVin, Daniel Joseph LeVin and The Proprietors, Strata Plan No. 84 all of whom were represented by Mr. Jonathan Katan QC of Miller Simons O’Sullivan Attorneys in Providenciales. 

The Court of Appeal unanimously found that the Outline Development Permission that was the focus of the judicial review proceedings was “valid and there was nothing unlawful in the decision of the Cabinet or the Physical Planning Board in granting the Dream Hotel approval. 

A statement from the Minister’s office said the appeal was dismissed in its entirety and The Yard Limited is expected to cover the legal costs.

Ministry of Infrastructure’s Full Statement:

The Court of Appeal unanimously upholds the ruling of the Honourable Chief Justice

On May 3, 2021, the Court of Appeal handed down its unanimous judgment dismissing the appeal brought by Eric LeVin and others challenging the ruling of the Honourable Chief Justice handed down in the Autumn of 2020. The Appellants initially brought judicial review proceedings before the Supreme Court and subsequently the Court of Appeal as they were aggrieved by the decision to grant Outline Development Permission brought by the Interested Party, “The Yard Limited”.

The application and grant was for the development of a $23 million six-story full service hotel with 87 rooms and infrastructural amenities to be built on parcel 60801/76 in the Lower Bight, Providenciales.  The Appellants did not succeed in either Court.  The Honorable Minister Akierra Mary Deanne Missick congratulated the Planning team for continuing to adhere to the Planning Laws that guide the sustainable development of the Country. This in turn brings about development that is beneficial to residents and visitors alike. The Honorable Minister acknowledges that there is much work to be done in updating the Physical Planning Ordinance in the near future, but noted that at this time she is pleased with the team and thanked them for their hard work and dedication.

Commenting on the outcome of the appeal, Director of Planning, Mr. Danier Lightbourne said, “Congratulations to our Planning Team on our victory. It was a long battle; however, I had complete faith in our team and was confident that the procedures followed were in accordance with the Physical Planning Ordinance and Regulations.  Finally, it would be remiss of me if I did not mention the excellent representation of the legal team.”

The Appellants were Eric John LeVin, Daniel Joseph LeVin and The Proprietors, Strata Plan No. 84 all of whom were represented by Mr. Jonathan Katan QC of Miller Simons O’Sullivan Attorneys in Providenciales.

The Respondents were the Director of Planning, the Physical Planning Board, the Cabinet of the Turks and Caicos and HE, the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands, all of whom were represented by Senior Crown Counsel Libby Charlton de Rotte of the Attorney General’s Chambers, Grand Turk. 

The Interested Party also made arguments in both Courts was represented by Mr. Conrad Griffiths QC of Griffiths & Partners Attorneys also based in Providenciales.

The Court of Appeal unanimously found that the Outline Development Permission that was the focus of the judicial review proceedings was “valid on its face and having regard to all the surrounding circumstances nothing expressed therein reflects an unlawful decision of the Cabinet (the Governor in Cabinet) or the Physical Planning Board and there is nothing to challenge the valid use of the s. 39(2) procedure.” In light of this and other findings, the appeal was dismissed in its entirety and parties are to make submissions as to costs.

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TCI Health Launches COVID Booster Shot program

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#TurksandCaicos, October 6, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands launches its COVID-19 vaccine booster programme commencing on Monday 4th October 2021.  This comes following the approval by Cabinet, of the COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Strategy which was submitted by the Ministry of Health for consideration.

Members of Cabinet including the Governor, Deputy Governor, Honorable Premier, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health were in strong support of the vaccine booster strategy which will provide greater protection to those vulnerable individuals within the country who had previously been fully vaccinated more than six months ago and who are most at risk of severe effects of the disease.

The strategy is based upon the UK guidelines and focuses on priority groups who would benefit from a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. These groups are as follows;

1) Chronic non-communicable diseases clients

2) Elderly – Adults 50 years and over

3) Health care and frontline workers

4) Caregivers of the vulnerable

All persons in the groups listed above would have to have completed the two-dose series more than 6 months ago to be eligible for the booster dose of the vaccine. Eligible persons should reach out to their health care providers to schedule their booster dose.

The booster vaccine programme rolled out in the UK on 20.9.2021 and in the USA on 24.9.2021. On 9th September, Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), which regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK, issued the following statement; “We know that a person’s immunity may decline over time after their first vaccine course. I am pleased to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be used as safe and effective booster doses. This is an important regulatory change as it gives further options for the vaccination programme, which has saved thousands of lives so far. The regulatory decision followed a careful review of available data on safety and effectiveness of booster or supplementary vaccine doses by the MHRA and the independent Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), which advises the government.”

The TCI is currently progressing on its fifth tranche of the vaccine which was received from the UK and anticipates the receipt of additional doses of the vaccine to support the ongoing roll out of the vaccine to all eligible residents as well as the booster programme.

The vaccine is critical to the ongoing national response to the COVID19 pandemic. The vaccines are safe and can prevent severe illness requiring hospitalization. All eligible persons are encouraged to get vaccinated to continue protecting themselves, their loved ones and the wider community. All eligible persons who are unvaccinated are encouraged to take the vaccine.

 

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JAMAICA: Bustamante Hospital for Children Gets Specialty Beds From Chase Fund

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#Kingston, September 28, 2021 – A bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture in any healthcare facility and forms a large part of patient care and recovery.  The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, through a generous donation of $4.4 million, has gifted the island’s only public children’s hospital, the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC), with 15 specialty beds.

The beds will improve the standard of care received by patients and shorten recovery time, thereby increasing bed availability for new patients.

“Those beds were used a day after they were delivered and have helped BHC tremendously, because they came when we started to see an increase in the patients,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BHC, Camile Wallen-Panton, tells JIS News.

“The BHC, unlike other hospitals, has not been badly impacted by the patient load due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but at the same time we have seen a rise in other illnesses,”  she added.

Mrs. Wallen-Panton points out that the beds were allocated to the various wards and explains how they met the required bed specifications.

“The beds that we received were the right specifications. They have the required two-side rail that can be adjusted, and they also have safety wheels that can be locked to make the bed immobile. The beds are outfitted with an Intravenous (IV) stand and are beautifully coloured, which brightens the ward,” she notes.

The CEO shares that the donation was greatly welcomed by staff, patients and parents.

“It is very important that our local hospitals are fitted with adequate beds. You can see the added stress on the patients, parents and caregivers whenever there is a shortage of beds,” Mrs. Wallen-Panton says.

“Our patient load is always growing, and from time to time, furniture and equipment outlive their useful time and they must be taken out, so when an institution such as the CHASE Fund answers our needs, patient, parents and staff salute them. They have made a huge difference in how we serve,” she adds.

Mrs. Wallen-Panton highlights that the hospital administration believes continual improvements in patient care are crucial and welcomes partnerships and collaborations to achieve this.

“As the only dedicated children’s hospital that serves Jamaica and the other English-speaking Caribbean islands, the BHC has to be prepared at all times to accept referrals that require secondary care,” she explains.

“The hospital currently has 23 services, including emergency, medical and surgical, and the social services that cater to the holistic needs of the patients we serve, and we are always trying to find ways to improve on our service delivery,” she notes.

The CEO reiterates her appreciation of the CHASE Fund’s investment in the healthcare sector and wishes the entity success in all its current and future projects.

Acquisition of the beds for the BHC forms part of a larger project by CHASE Fund, valued at $110 million, to purchase beds for secondary-care institutions within the South-East Region.

The facilities include Kingston Public, Victoria Jubilee, Spanish Town,  Linstead, Princess Margaret and National Chest Hospitals, Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, and Hope Institute.

Meanwhile, CEO of the CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven, tells JIS News that the donation of beds to hospitals, including the BHC, falls under the CHASE Fund’s Health mandate.

“In funding health projects, we are always mindful of how many people a project will benefit, whether it will improve access to healthcare and will result in better healthcare delivery and how our intervention can improve efficiency and the overall health system in Jamaica,” Mr. Heaven says.

He notes that the CHASE Fund is pleased to have aided the operation of the only specialist paediatric hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean, which sees approximately 70,000 patients per year, catering to children from birth to 12 years of age.

 

By: Colleen Dawkins

 

 

 

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Cuban Nationals Apprehended in Bahamian waters

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#TheBahamas, June 24, 2021 – A group of Cuban Nationals are currently being detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Center after they were apprehended in the south west Bahamas by a US Coast Guard vessel earlier this week.

The fifteen individuals were captured after being sighted on Anguilla Cay on Tuesday 22 June. They were taken aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter, CHARLES SEXTON, and handed over shortly after 7:00 pm to the Defence Force patrol craft, HMBS DURWARD KNOWLES, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Jataro McDonald.

The Cubans were subsequently brought into the capital early Thursday morning, where they were handed over to the relevant authorities. The Cuban Embassy has since been notified. 

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to maintain a vigilant presence while patrolling and protecting the territorial waters of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and working with other law enforcement agencies.

Photos shows: Cuban nationals shortly after their arrival at the Defence Force Base, Coral Harbour on Thursday June 24, 2021. (RBDF Photo by Petty Officer Al Rahming)

 (For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and view our Youtube channel)

-rbdf-

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