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Ignore Conspiracy Theories and get Vaccinated, says Premier Washington Misick

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 31, 2021 – Premier Washington Misick urged TCI islanders to ignore vaccine conspiracy theories in a joint press conference with Health Minister Jamell Robinson on Thursday.

Misick said, “I want to plead to the general public, please ignore the conspiracy theories out there and let’s deal with the science. Science has indicated that being vaccinated is the best protection.”

He took the time to thank those who had come forward to get vaccinated and boosted.

Turks and Caicos is currently with 80 per cent of the population vaccinated and 13 per cent boosted.

The Premier also sought to assure Turks and Caicos islanders that despite fears, he was not present to announce that the country was going into lockdown.  In fact he promised that the government was seeking to balance life and livelihood. He said,

“We have no intention to do anything that would compromise the lives of people or their livelihood and relationship to the economy.”

During the press conference Health Minister Jamell Robinson revealed that vaccinated and boosted TCI returning residents will not be subject to testing to re-enter the island.

In response to questions about the decision Premier Misick said, “Turks and Caicos islanders abroad who have responded to the appeal to be vaccinated, we don’t want to put an additional burden on them and cost them money. For those persons who have not, it is just fair for the protection of everyone that that test be done.”

He expressed his pride in the hardworking team at the Health Ministry and frontline workers despite the rough season and again stressed the importance of vaccinations and booster shots saying, “We want to appeal to even those who have conscientious objections to reconsider whether they want to be vaccinated or ‘boosterized’ to ensure that they stay safe and the loved ones are protected.”

 

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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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