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TCI: Governor hosted event draws criticism

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#TurksandCaicos, August 11, 2021 – The Governor of the Turks and Caicos found himself the subject of criticism on Sunday, after images emerged of an event he’d hosted appeared to break Covid-19 Health Regulations.

The missing masks, lack of social distancing and party-like feel of the photo and video drew labels like: “hypocrisy”, “double standard” and was red-flagged as a challenge to see what Health Officers would do after the video and screen shot surfaced and spread like wildfire on social media on Sunday.

The intrigue about the images lies in the fact that they show the Governor and others not physically distancing, not wearing masks and that it seemed to be a party.  Also drawing criticism was who made the guest list; at least one individual (a local DJ) who has vexed residents because he continues to host “super spreader events”.  Those commenting expressed it was in poor taste that the Governor would welcome the DJ to his informal meeting.

Governor Dakin explained his event was “mainly outdoors, it isn’t after or close to curfew and that it was a brunch designed to bring the creative community of the Turks and Caicos Islands together.”

Additionally, the Governor said he would celebrate the event in an Instagram post, which he did.

When we reached out to the governor to explain the social-media-circulated images, he made it clear that he did not see the gathering as a double standard, adding in his comment that it was “a well thought through outdoor, daytime event within restricted numbers and with food being served.”

The latter point likely stated to explain why there are no masks on.

Still some residents believe public health laws, which the governor would have been a part of approving at Cabinet, are being blatantly flouted.

Mask wearing remains mandatory in Turks and Caicos, so is social distancing.

There are around 30 people in the photograph posted at the governor’s Instagram page and comments there are mostly favourable.

Private remarks to our newsroom from business owners were starkly different and offered that “the Covid-19 imposed protocols and hefty fines for breaking the rules are hampering our profitability; so now, I don’t want to see Police telling me what I cannot do.”

Strongly suggesting, they see the Governor’s event as opening the door to side-stepping rules as being as good for the goose, as it is for the gander.

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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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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