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Health Minister says “not out of the woods” though COVID cases drop

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 9, 2022 – “Cases are receding but we are not out of the woods yet.”

This is according to Health Minister Jamell Robinson in response to the slowly declining covid19 numbers in the TCI, as reported by Magnetic Media on Thursday February 3. Case numbers, at the time, were receding with 60 new cases caught between January 27 and February 2 and 219 actives up to Saturday.

It got way too close to 1000 active cases early in January, residents were horrified by the figures and the omicron-driven surge did not escape Turks and Caicos; and 11 more lives were lost as omicron pushed the death toll as well.

As of now, 35 people in total have been lost to the virus in country, with 31 per cent of those deaths or 11 happening over December and January.

February is showing a significant downward trend with only four islands having active cases of the virus; North Caicos has seven cases, South Caicos has one active on the Ministry of Health dashboard. While Providenciales and Grand Turk are showing no new cases, not unusual as testing for Covid-19 slows on the weekends.

Magnetic Media reached out to Minister of Health Jamell Robinson, early last week and he agreed: “Cases are receding but we are not out of the woods yet. All measures are in place until February 28. Some of those measures include significant reductions in capacity and negative test mandates for the unvaccinated in order to attend church, funerals, weddings, or enter a bar, disco, lounge, or restaurant. Education authorized an expanded in-person learning phase, with more schools allowed to have children back in the classrooms… so far, so good.”

Minister Robinson informed that regulations to manage public health in this ongoing pandemic are always under review to determine effectiveness. Cabinet is where the situation is weighed and Cabinet reconvenes this Wednesday, he did not promise any changes to the current restrictions though.

Health

Dengue Update Peru – Health Emergency Declared

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Peru#Dengue, February 28th, 2024 – The Government of Peru in response to the spike in Dengue cases, has declared a health emergency in 20 regions for 90 days. This was announced on February 26th at a press conference, according to a release from the Government. Additionally, to help fight the outbreak, over 160 million Peruvian soles or 42 million US dollars, has been proposed which will be allocated to various health operations.

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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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