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Covid Entry Vaccine mandate ‘working’ for Turks and Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, August 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos will not be dropping its vaccine mandate for visitors immediately according to E. Jay Saunders, TCI Deputy Premier, acting as Minister of Health; Saunders was speaking at a press conference on Monday August 8th.

He explained that while the government would certainly follow the advice of the health ministry the mandate would be around a while longer.

“We feel currently that the vaccine mandate is working for the Turks and Caicos. It certainly hasn’t slowed down the amount of tourists coming into the Turks and Caicos and we’re happy with that,” he said.

He expressed gratitude that the government would not have to be reactive and change the protocols just because of the low tourist arrivals.

“We are watching it to see what’s best for the country and so there’s no date on that. It’s not going to be in forever.

Eventually we are going to get to a point where we think that it’s safe enough, where we have enough herd immunity in the country where we can allow people to come in unvaccinated.”

While the acting minister did not have a specific date set for this removal he reassured that whenever the decision was made it would be with the best interest of the country in mind.

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Suspected COVID-19 vaccine death in SVG

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

At the start of the Vaccine Mandate lawsuit in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Chief Medical Officer Dr Simone Keizer-Beache told the court that one person may have died after being injected with the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of November 26, 2021, 53,852 doses of the vaccine were administered in SVG; 25 resulted in adverse effects. While the cases were moderate, Dr. Keizer- Beache said one individual experienced severe weakness and soon died after receiving the vaccination.

The doctor said that after several diagnoses, the patient received an MRI in the US and it showed that they possibly had acute hyperactive encephalopathy, which is common with COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 vaccine inflammation.

“The final cause of death on the post-mortem was venous thrombosis and pulmonary thromboembolism. However, to date, no definitive diagnosis has been made of the cause of the progressive weakness that preceded death because of the lack of conclusive evidence and conflicting diagnoses,” Keizer-Beache later added.

The lead counsel for the claimants in the trial, Cara Shillingford–Marsh said it is important for the state to recognise and admit that someone died from the COVID-19 vaccine. Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, the lead lawyer for the respondent, however, said taking the vaccine was a personal choice and individuals should face the consequences of this decision.

Shillingford-Marsh added that the individuals were not being monitored after receiving the vaccine. No mention was made by the doctor about any measures taken to monitor the side effects of the number of people that died.

She argued that making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory would be inhumane and according to Section 5 of the constitution, no individual should be subject to inhumane treatment or punishment. Shilling-Marsh recalled the number of citizens that lost their jobs due to the vaccine mandate in December 2021. She said it is inhumane to force people to take new drugs into their bodies which could have adverse side effects.

“There’s no force; there was no threat of force. There was no suggestion that the Special Services Unit or the regional services unit were going to come and collect everybody, put them in a stadium and inject them one by one. That would be the level of atrocity that would be required to meet the test under Section 5,” Astaphan rebutted.

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Caribbean among regions lacking in HIV prevention, treatment says UNICEF

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 1, 2022 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) noted that over the past three years, no advancements have been made in HIV prevention and treatment, particularly in the Caribbean, which is among several other regions that still have not attained pre-pandemic statistics.

UNICEF Associate Chief of HIV/AIDS, Anurita Bains said many young people’s lives are at risk due to this stagnation. The number of young people living with HIV globally is now at 2.7 million.

“Children are falling through the cracks because we are collectively failing to find and test them and get them on life-saving treatment.  Every day that goes by without progress, over 300 children and adolescents lose their fight against AIDS,” the associate chief said.

UNICEF noted a decline in the number of children living with HIV over the last decade.  The number of new infections decreased by 52 per cent for children under 14 years old, and by 40 per cent for those ages 15 to 19.  The treatment gap between children and adults still widens and failure to address this will make ending AIDS in children and adolescents impossible.

According to UNICEF, only 52 per cent of children living with HIV globally are able to access treatment.  Pregnant and breastfeeding women in many high-priority countries experienced a decline in treatment coverage in 2020, which led to over 75,000 new child infections.

Bains gave assurance that strategic partnership, the availability of resources, and a renewed political commitment to those who are most vulnerable will help to end AIDS in children, pregnant women and adolescents.

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TCI Natl Security Bosses headed to The Bahamas

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

The  co-chairs of the Turks and Caicos’ National Security Council will be heading to The Bahamas in the coming days to meet with both their Bahamian counterparts and representatives from the United States in order to deepen their security collaboration.

Governor Nigel Dakin made the announcement on Tuesday on Instagram.

The delegation seems to be a fairly strong one with the top bosses to be accompanied by Senior Police, Regiment and National Security Secretariat officials.

The visit comes as a five nation coalition which also includes the UK and Jamaica, works to keep crime under control in the Turks and Caicos.

In addition to that Dakin revealed updated specs for the country’s patrol boats. The Marine branch of the Royal TCI Police is now outfitted with thermal imaging and radar capacity.

The governor touted the new capabilities as a major refit that swings the advantage in the direction of the TCI.

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