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TCI Restrictions Relaxed, Residents ‘thumbs up’ the changes

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#TurksandCaicos, July 6, 2021 – The 28-day COVID 19 positivity rate for the Turks and Caicos Islands was .03 per cent, up to June 28, 2021 and the surging popularity of the destination and the encumbrances created by the now former raft of restrictions have led to the softening of public health regulations since July 1st according to E Jay Saunders, the Minister of Health and Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

During a June 28 press conference, Hon Saunders gave a run-down of recent cabinet meetings but for those watching live via social media, the keenest interest was in whether the public health milestones and approaching expiry date of restrictions would work to see a ‘change’, given the impressive data amidst the ongoing pandemic.

And change they did.

There were over 200 comments and many of them approving of the judgement call of the Cabinet; though restrictions are not completely lifted, to give businesses the green light to open later, curfew is shorted to four hours each night and capacities are more than doubled for events and boaters.  As close to pre-pandemic living the Turks and Caicos has er been in seven months.

Curfew, as of July 1 is 1 a.m.; businesses can remain open until 12 midnight; churches, weddings, funerals, restaurants, outdoor bars and pleasure boats can now take 70 per cent of capacity and people can now sit around bar counters but are encouraged to keep the closeness limited to their pax.

Additionally, 50 per cent capacity indoors at bars is as of July 1st and in the new regulations, functions like concerts or larger scale events of 100 people or more, require the host apply to the Environmental Health Department for approval. 

Deputy Premier Saunders also said the agreement to change the public health protocols is hinged on trust.  He beckoned to residents to end the illegal villa parties and to manage the coming changes responsibly.

The former restrictions expired on June 30.  It is still required for people to socially distance, sanitise and wear face coverings.

Caribbean News

PAHO Calls Americas to Increase Aedes aegypti Mosquito Control

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#PAHO#Dengue#Americas, February 23rd, 2024 – With nearly seven thousand cases of dengue and 102 deaths reported in the Americas as of early February 2024, the Pan American Health Organization is once again calling for stronger measures to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the main transmitter of dengue. These numbers indicate a 157 percent increase in cases over the same period in 2023.  In the first five weeks of 2024, Peru, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay reported an increase in cases.

 

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Government

Ministry of Health and Human Services in Collaboration with UK Health Security Agency conducts Migrant Health needs Assessment  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – The Ministry of Health and Human Services has partnered with a team from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) Public Health Programme to conduct a health needs assessment for communities in informal settlements throughout the TCI.  This project was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and has taken place through a series of consultations and meetings in order to assess health needs and propose recommendations to address gaps in access to health care.

A steering committee supported the preliminary discussions on developing the scope and direction for the assessment and included representation from the TCI from Dr. Dawn O’Sullivan, Dr. Camelia Clarke (Director, Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit), Mrs. Aldora Robinson (Former Director, Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit) and Dr. Nadia Astwood (Chief Medical Officer).

This project culminated in an in-country visit by a team which included: Annabel Grieve (Programme Management Lead), Dr. Amoolya Vusirikala (Public Health Registrar) and Allegra Chatterjee (Epidemiologist) with earlier support provided by Dr. Natalie Wright, Health Protection Lead and Consultant in Global Public Health with the UK Overseas Territories, Global Operations. The visit, which began on January 21st 2024 and concluded this week, saw a number of in-person consultations with key stakeholders across sectors, as well as community focus groups conducted in Providenciales and Grand Turk.

Following the visit, the team paid a courtesy call to the Hon. Minister of Health and Human Services, Shaun D Malcolm and the Executive Team from the Ministry of Health and Human Services, to provide a high level debrief and presentation of the preliminary findings of the assessment. Following further analysis of the findings of the visit, a final report will be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Human Services which will provide a number of conclusions as well as evidence-based recommendations for consideration by the Government.

Commenting on the visit, Hon. Shaun D Malcolm stated that “we welcome this support from UKHSA and FCDO with whom the Ministry of Health has enjoyed a close working relationship and technical support over the years, to formally assess the health needs of this population in order to ensure that the overall health of our population can be addressed in a holistic manner to ensure that universal access to health care is addressed.”

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Caribbean News

Irish Humanitarian Organization in Haiti – Address Hunger Crisis and More

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Crisis#ConcernWorldwide, February 2oth, 2024 – Seeing that Haiti’s humanitarian crisis worsens day by day with too many Haitians, hundreds of thousands, edging the line to severe deprivation of food, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide is addressing major food insecurity. 

 The organization in a release said “ “We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens.”

They are also working to provide Haitians with clean water and sanitation as the waterborne disease Cholera continues to threaten lives, killing more than 1,150 people in 2023.

And, they provide referrals for cases of sexual and gender based violence in Port au Prince.

Concern is supported by funding from USAID, receiving €2.1 million (euros) to help over 30 thousand people in the hunger crisis as well as €1 million (euros) yearly from the Irish Government for its work in Haiti.

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