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TCI: From 11 to 30 COVID cases in a week

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#TurksandCaicos, July 20 2021 – One week ago, Turks and Caicos was at 11 active cases of the Coronavirus. Today, that figure has nearly tripled with 30 active cases and most of these new infections are guests to the country.

Nine new cases were recorded over the weekend; at least seven were tourists. When TCI was at 21 active cases on Friday; one person who caught the virus worked at the airport, one worked at a bank, three were from the Civil Service and 12 were tourists.

When the health minister, E. Jay Saunders held a press conference on Friday he informed that 40 per cent were male, 60 per cent female; most of the 21 infected were from the age group of 20 to 59, 75 per cent and the large majority had no idea they had Covid-19 because they were non symptomatic. 

While it may have been a bit more reassuring to hear – at that time – that most of those infected were in the tourist category; it was still concerning to learn that three people caught Covid-19 because they were in contact with an infected person. 

The other five cases were community spread; people whom the Department of Epidemiology could find no link to the current cases. 

Hon Saunders, Deputy Premier said there is concern though Health is neither panicked or surprised as the July 1 softening of restrictions allowed people to come together in party environments, which would naturally result in a spike. 

All of the new Covid-19 cases are charted for the island of Providenciales. 

Party Responsibly; Roll Back could be Rapped Back!

The current relaxed restrictions are not written in stone; residents could see the roll back, rapped back if cases were to begin an exponential boom. 

Deputy Premier E. Jay Saunders, who is also the Minister of Health on Friday assured there would be no change to the current curfew (which is set at 1 a.m.) or business operation hours, (which is midnight) and capacity rule (which is 70 per cent) if residents looked at Covid-19 control as a partnership and helped to keep numbers of infections down. 

The Minister is asking people to be responsible amidst the pandemic and there is still a pandemic going on. 

Cases are surging globally, again particularly as a result of the Delta variant which is 60 per cent more infectious.  Turks and Caicos, said Saunders has not seen the Delta variant.  What Turks and Caicos will see, however, is a departure of the Cuban medical brigade by the end of July and the hospital is now trying to find ways to fill the personnel gap this group leaving will create.

Currently, no one has had to be hospitalised for Covid-19 among the 30 new infections recorded.  Turks and Caicos’ daily increase remains in the single digits but if that were to change to double digits and grow to 30 to 50 cases active; then more stern restrictions will be re-introduced, promised the Minister.

Health Department needs boost; Contract Tracing not done on Tourist infections

At least three tourist families make up the cases of Covid-19 which have been recorded among guests to the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Such an unusual occurrence is this,  it has many asking questions including whether or not the guests were vaccinated and whether these guests were exposed to the coronavirus at the same resort or at the same event or while enjoying the same service. 

The latter fact is unknown, and in speaking with E. Jay Saunders the Minister of Health, Deputy Premier he revealed that the health team is concerned.  He also said, the fact that he is unable to report what is ground zero for these cases, exposes a defect.  That defect, is the Epidemiology Department must be better resourced so that it can carry out its contact tracing activities more vigorously.

Saunders says he is prepared to make the investment to improve the capacity of Epidemiology. 

So, at this stage… it is unclear if the three guest families are connected in any way, which could explain the anomaly.  None of the infected in this recent rash of new infections are break-out cases, which means the people now appearing as new infections for Turks and Caicos are all unvaccinated, said Hon Saunders.   

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US Deaths to COVID higher, Dr. Fauci floundering on Fully Vaccinated definition

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#UnitedStatesofAmerica, November 24, 2021 – Vaccine manufacturers are predicting that booster shots for Covid 19 will be needed every six months for years to come, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, US infectious disease expert and advisor to the president has gone on record with the hope that this will not be the case.  But anytime Dr. Fauci says he hopes something won’t happen in relation to the vaccines… it always certainly does.

“We’ll continue to follow the data, because right now when we’re boosting people, what we’re doing is following them,” Fauci said. “We’re going to see what the durability of that protection is, and as we always do, you just follow and let the data guide your policy and let the data guide your recommendations.”

The vaccine is not working to keep Covid-19 deaths lower; more Americans have died in 2021 due to Covid 19, than in 2020.  CDC data says 14,700 more people have died in 2021 than last year due to COVID-19 — and there’s still more than a month left in the year for that number to grow.

Overall, the US has lost 770,000 people to the coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci is also floundering on the definition of fully vaccinated; saying people who have taken the third shot are being monitored to see how long efficacy holds up; he simply does not know if it will wear off again in six months.

“…fully vaccinated right now, by definition, is the original two doses… of the Pfizer and Moderna and a single dose of J and J.”

Media reports indicate there are plans to redefine fully vaccinated as having received three shots, evidence however could prove that in six months, the inoculated are back to square one.

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Private Companies donate 27 smart TV’s to inpatient rooms at TCI Hospital

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#TurksandCaicos, November 13, 2021 – Patients can soon view their favorite TV shows and movies in high definition following the purchase of 27 smart televisions by a group of private companies for installation across every inpatient room at the Cheshire Hall and Cockburn Town Medical Centre as part of a project called ‘Just Like Home.’

A press conference was held at the health care facility on Monday, November 8th, 2021, to announce the donation and recognize the sponsors. The following companies donated the 43″ smart televisions: Fortis TCI, Graceway IGA, Royal West Indies Resort, Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, Discovery Tours, Tuscany Resort, and The Source. FLOW TCI has committed to providing internet and cable services to support five televisions at each medical centre. Representatives of the various companies were in attendance along with the Minister of Health and Human Services, Honorable Jamell Robinson, and Keno Forbes, a longstanding member of the TCI Hospital Community Advisory Committee.

TCI Hospital Community Advisory Committee members, Mrs. Stacy Cox and Mrs. Rosemary Jolly, steered the plea for sponsors and praised the support received during the press conference. Clinical experts agree that a patient’s hospital room plays a role in the healing process and overall patient satisfaction ratings. Entertainment technology such as video-on-demand and internet-enabled units offer a welcomed distraction during a medically challenging time.

The average inpatient hospital stay is 4-5 days. However, patients with complex medical conditions, including COVID-19 disease, may remain in the hospital for up to 14 days or longer with limited or restricted visitation from friends and family as a safety precaution. The ‘Just Like Home’ project recognizes that patients seek out amenities that provide the comforts of their home while away from home, and additional enhancements are being explored.

The installation of the televisions will continue over several weeks as more inpatient rooms become vacant and accessible to IT technicians, based on the flow of patient admissions and discharges.

The hospital also recently introduced free WiFi for all building users and wall charging stations for devices in the emergency and outpatient department waiting reception areas.

Commenting on the tremendous support received from the private sector, Dr. Denise Braithwaite-Tennant, Chief Executive Officer at InterHealth Canada – TCI Hospital, stated: “While the donation may appear to be small to some persons, this is a significant development in the eyes of our patients, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Televisions can serve as an entertainment and educational tool to share health and other related information. Due to other large scale competing clinical priorities such as human capacity, infrastructure, technology and capital equipment projects, procuring these televisions was not possible at this time. Hence, I wish to extend our deepest gratitude to the private sector for this donation that impacts on the patient experience in a positive way.”

Commenting on the donation, Maureen Brown, Inpatient Services Manager at InterHealth Canada – TCI Hospital, stated: “I cannot express the joy and gratitude expressed by our staff members after learning about the donation. It feels like an early Christmas gift, and for our patients, this is a commemorative occasion. Where possible, nurses have spent a considerable amount of time keeping patients engaged and entertained during their inpatient stay. The installation of televisions will now serve as a form of emotional therapy.”

During the press conference, Honorable Jamell Robinson, Minister of Health and Human Services, stated: “I would like to thank all of the corporate sponsors who participated in this project. This is what good corporate citizenship looks like and this is what we need more of. We need this type of partnership in meaningful ways. Today’s donation is definitely meaningful. I understand the Community Advisory Committee was established in 2017… and I would like to encourage the team on the committee to continue to push for the betterment of the community. I am pleased to be a part of this special commissioning.”

 

Press Release: TCI Hospitals

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Bahamas News

Celebrating World Diabetes Day 2021

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ACCESS TO DIABETES CARE: IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

 

November 13, 2021 – The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is access to diabetes care.  100 years after the discovery of insulin, millions of people with diabetes around the world cannot access the care they need. People with diabetes require ongoing care and support to manage their condition and avoid complications.

The centenary of the discovery of insulin presents a unique opportunity to bring about meaningful change for the more than 460 million people living with diabetes and the millions more at risk. United, the global diabetes community has the numbers, the influence and the determination to bring about meaningful change. We need to take on the challenge.

Fundamental components of diabetes care include:

  • Access to insulin: 100 years after its discovery, millions of people with diabetes cannot access the insulin they need.
  • Access to oral medicines: Many people with diabetes need oral medicines to manage their condition. These remain unavailable or unaffordable in many low- and middle-income countries.
  • Access to self-monitoring: Blood glucose monitoring is a fundamental component of diabetes care. Many people with diabetes do not have access to the equipment and supplies they need.
  • Access to education and psychological support: People living with diabetes need ongoing education to manage their condition. Many do not have access to diabetes education.
  • Access to healthy food and a safe place to exercise: People living with or at risk of diabetes need access to healthy food and a place to exercise. Both are fundamental components of diabetes care and prevention.

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