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One in 17 people have had Covid-19 in TCI; new herd immunity goal is 85%

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#TurksandCaicos, August 9, 2021 – Turks and Caicos has fallen from the Level 1 low risk for Covid-19 rating by the United States to return to Level 2, which is less desirable but certainly earned with the surge in new infections.

Health Minister E Jay Saunders led a press conference just hours after the country was alerted about 13 new cases detected in Providenciales and days following information that four cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in the TCI.

Seventy-four per cent of the new cases are local people; last press conference tourists were leading the new case count.

At this time, full vaccination is 66.4 per cent; a correction from our previously reported 67 per cent as informed by the Minister of Health Saunders earlier this week.

The Minister on Friday night shared that 72.3 per cent of adults have received at least one jab of the Pfizer vaccine; 780 young people have been fully vaccinated, these are between 16 and 25 years old; 36 youngsters 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated.

The outgoing minister of health informed, there were three breakthrough cases among the 46 active coronavirus infections up to Friday and nine of those infected are children age zero to 19.

On Saturday, Turks and Caicos shot up to 58 active cases of the Coronavirus.  On Sunday 11 recoveries were registered and with that, the number of new active infections dipped to 47.

At this stage, just about one in 18 people in Turks and Caicos has had the Coronavirus since the pandemic hit in March 2020; a total of 2,523 cases have been logged and 18 people have died.

Additionally, there is a new benchmark for herd immunity; no longer 70 per cent or 80 per cent, but now at 85 per cent as new Covid 19 variants reduce efficacy rates of the vaccines.

Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

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.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“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.

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Health

New Healthy Sail rules to ensure transparency and safety kick in, but not all Cruise Lines are on board

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

January 20, 2022 – The US Centers for Disease Control Cruise Sailing Order expired on Saturday January 15th and it means cruise lines will now be able to choose whether or not they want to participate. This “Healthy Sail” program is a set of guidelines for cruising which the CDC says will provide transparency about COVID management on ships.

Cruise lines which chose to participate in the “healthy sail” voluntary program will be subject to CDC guidelines. Cruise lines which opt out of the program will still have to adhere to masking mandates and report all COVID cases.

However, the ships opting out of the CDC Healthy Sail program, will not be required to make public their testing regimes for crew and passengers.

“There will be a lot of unknowns about what risk mitigation measures are being used on board because they will really be able to set their own protocols for testing of passengers and crew,” said Aimee Treffiletti, CDC representative to USA Today.

Naturally, this raises several questions about whether these ships will be required to make onboard protocols and findings public to ports of call.

Up to Monday, Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines had opted into the program. Noticeably absent from the roll call: Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

 

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