#TurksandCaicos, May 25, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital is pleased to announce the gradual resumption of additional visiting consultant services over the next several months, given the relaxation of COVID-19 related travel and quarantine restrictions on physicians in some countries abroad.
Unfortunately, some countries are experiencing the COVID-19 third wave. Some countries also strongly discourage travel and have a mandatory quarantine upon return. Our visiting consultants are from North America, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean.
Oncology and Urology services have been operational since April 2020 through virtual consultations. Due to the high-risk nature of patients, these clinics were prioritized for continuation early in the pandemic. There are some services for which virtual consultations would not be clinically beneficial and must be delivered via face-to-face examinations.
Cardiology services resumed in February 2021 through virtual consultations, and some diagnostics needed to support the service have been available locally. A further virtual clinic session is scheduled for June. The transition back to in-person consultations for several of our visiting consultant services is dependent on quarantine requirements in the specialists’ home country, which have made travel to TCI away from their primary place of employment impossible thus far.
Neurology services resumed in March 2021 with in-person consultations following changes to the travel and quarantine restrictions in the specialist’s country of origin. The service will continue as usual, and visits have been planned for the rest of the year.
Ophthalmology services for patients in need of surgical procedures related to the eye are scheduled to resume in June. Patients will be processed in the order of clinical priority, and this service is traditionally in high demand. The specialists will also conduct as many outpatient clinic consultations as possible during the visit.
Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) is the next specialist service under active planning. Plastic Surgery services are primarily elective and remain under review. An update will be provided once these services resume.
Our visiting specialists continue to monitor the COVID-19 activity levels, vaccination rates, travel advisories, flight availability, and post-travel quarantine requirements internationally and in their home countries.
The TCI hospital plans to increase the frequency of specialist visits and/or extend the duration of regular clinic sessions, where possible and justified, to provide greater patient access and compensate for the unavoidable interruption of services.
Patients are encouraged to visit their primary care physician or the emergency department for any medical concerns that may arise during the waiting period.
The hospital extends deep appreciation to patients for their understanding as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic environment.
World at a Tipping Point, Mottley of Barbados doubles down on her Climate Crisis message
December 10, 2023 – There is an urgent need for a global methane agreement to drive the fight against worsening the climate crisis. Otherwise temperatures will continue to increase and more lives will be lost.
Mia Amor Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, known for her firm advocacy and award winning dedication to vocalising the path toward creating a safer planet, made the remark at this year’s Cop28 conference in the UAE.
With 180 seconds to speak, Mottley made powerful points regarding the needs for winning against climate change effects.
She expressed that without change in the approach to the climate crisis, the results will be catastrophic.
Regarding the global methane agreements, which she says the world needs, to help drive “concrete action,” to control methane, as the damage I can cause in the near future, exceeds that of Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
For progress to be made with methane control, she says oil and gas companies need to agree to fix leaks in their pipelines as well as stop flaring.
Mottley highlights this against the fact that “oil and gas operations are the largest sources of methane methane emissions from the energy sector,” according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In continuation, Mottley continues to speak about other factors in relation to methane, that need reform to cater to a safe and more resilient earth in light of climate change.
The prime minister refers to farming and waste management practices which she maintained must change in order to control the level of methane that the world is seeing.
Emphasizing her argument she said, “ the science is simple, to turn down the heat, you simply have to turn down the methane, and until we accept that, we will go over a tipping point.”
Tying the issue of capital into her argument, Mottley, expressed that she has exhausted the point that long term capital is needed to stop the world leaders from choosing between people and planet. Regarding this, the attitude towards access to capital must change, she also said.
Calling attention to the Bridgetown Initiative and the Paris Plan for action, she said they all outline that the issues of methane and capital are “tipping points” that the world needs to pass.
Several earthquakes felt in region over the weekend, cause for concern
December 10, 2023 – Multiple earthquakes were felt last weekend, Friday night into Saturday, a cause for concern among citizens.
Recorded near Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda and Monsterrat, was a 6.0 magnitude at around 4:48 am at a depth of 16 kilometers (km).
The University of the West Indies, Seismic Research Centre’s (UWI-SRC) Automatic Earthquake Location informed that it struck Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe at 71 km north-east, Saint John’s Antigua and Barbuda at 89 km south-east and Brades, Montserrat at 120 km east.
After this, another tremor with a magnitude of 4.4 was recorded northeast of Guadeloupe, southeast of Antigua and east of Montserrat at around 6:29 am local time, with a depth of 10 km.
On Friday, several earthquakes were recorded in the same chain of islands, reports say.
At 10:31 pm, a magnitude 4.3 hit in the same area with a depth of 7.7 km.
Then, a 4.4 magnitude was picked up with a depth of 34.8 km at around 11 pm local time; Pointe-à-Pitre, 120 km northeast, Saint John’s 131km east-south-east and Brades, 164 km east.
Not even 2 minutes after, a 3.6 magnitude occurred at 11:01 pm with a 5 km depth and shortly after another at 11:13 pm, with a 3.8 magnitude at a depth of 10 km; 115 km of Pointe-à- Pitre, north-east, 138 km, east-south-east of Saint John’s and 173 km east of Brades.
St Kitts and Nevis was also affected as a 3.8 magnitude struck near the islands as well as Antigua and Barbuda dams Montserrat at about 8:17 pm, a depth of 80.6 km.
As informed by the Automatic Earthquake Location from the UWI SRC, it is 70 km north of Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis, 133 km northwest of Saint John’s Antigua and Barbuda and 134 km northwest of Brades, Monsterrat.
Despite the multiple tremors felt, no injuries or damages were reported.
Responding to concerned citizens, the UWI SRC in a statement said, “please note that our region is a seismically active one and we can feel events in a short period of time. This is why we always urge persons to plan, prepare and practice for any earthquake event.”
Just about a month ago, Jamaica was struck by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake, one the strongest it has felt in about 30 years, leaving many shaken up.
The ISU explains its interest in Dock Yard
#TurksandCaicos, December 10, 2023 – As one of the largest irregular settlements in the Turks and Caicos, Dock Yard is dangerous not because of the people who live there, but because of the state of the community.
“Dock Yard is the textbook example of an informal settlement it reflects everything that the United Nations has identified as a danger; the density the inability to access, utilities, the inability to dispose of waste,” Carlos Simons, Head of the Informal Settlement Unit (ISU) told media during a November 27 briefing.
It is the ISU’s mandate to fix this.
While acknowledging that there were legal residents in the settlement, Simons said that it was very likely there would be individuals found living there without status; as for what the Unit is legally required to do in these instances, the KC attorney at law explained this:
“These persons will be referred to the Immigration Department to be dealt with in accordance with immigration laws. The objective of this exercise is not to expose illegal immigrants but to regularize the settlement of communities in the TCI.”
He stressed though that the majority of people who live in Dock Yard are ‘law-abiding, church-going, loyal residents.’
“We are not approaching the Dock Yard problem without bearing that in mind.”
And Carlos Simons would know, as a former Supreme Court Justice, he was specially selected to carry out this massive mandate for the Turks and Caicos Islands, which as it stands, is the only British Overseas Territory with the problem of squatting.
Simons, in managing misconceptions about the role and work of the newly formed ISU, described the majority of residents in the Dock Yard community in Kew Town, Providenciales as law-abiding residents who work and send their children to school; these are values that the Government wants to keep, but there are significant and well-placed concerns which threaten a healthy and peaceful existence in the area. Most of the country’s murders for the past two years have happened in Kew Town and Dock Yard has been at the center of it all.
“The threats of criminals hiding amongst them, the threat of an outbreak of disease, difficulties, disposing, waste, and so forth. The congestion does not allow for emergency services access. It’s just unsafe,” the ISU Head stressed.
The removal of illegal structures in the settlement has been paused; the original removal was set for December 8. However, according to a notice from the ISU on November 21st, any demolition will now take place beginning on January 8, 2024.
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