enfrhtptes

MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 UPDATE #22

The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12pm on 1st April, 2020:

Over the past 24hrs, THERE HAS BEEN NO NEW CONFIRMED POSITIVE CASES RECORDED IN THE TCI.

TCI suspected cases of COVID-19 decreased over the past 24hrs: The seven suspected cases are TCI residents returning from countries with local transmission and contacts of a confirmed case (7). The new suspected case is someone with recent travel history. All seven persons met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19, thus they are experiencing symptoms. Samples were collected and sent for testing, and we are currently awaiting results.

Persons under quarantine/observation (295)—The confirmed cases (5), contacts of a confirmed case (18), possible contact of a confirmed case (14), the suspected cases (7), symptomatic person/s under investigation (1), relatives/contacts of suspected cases (20), persons travelling from highly affected countries — UK, Austria & Spain (5), TCI residents (225). Persons under observation/quarantine are either not displaying symptoms or have not meet the case definition for COVID-19.

The increase in quarantine/observation numbers is primarily as a result of the new suspected case and their contacts being placed in quarantined status.

No new test results were received over the past 24hrs.

To date, a total of twenty-seven (27) test results have been received, with twenty-two (22) confirmed negative and five (5) positive confirmations. Persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and their contacts, were moved from quarantined status and asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health. Those cases confirmed positive are in isolation with contact tracing aggressively continuing. The Ministry of Health takes this opportunity to remind the public of offenses committed under section 18 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 in regard to false statements/information. You do not have to be the originator of the statement/information in order to be charged under the law.

Please note the following definitions:

  • A suspected person is someone who meets the case definition as outlined by WHO and CARPHA - and is experiencing symptoms.
  • A person in quarantine is an individual on island who has come from infected country(ies) or may have come in proximity to suspected or confirmed cases - and have not exhibited symptoms.

Let's continue to reduce the risk by: 1. Washing our hands for 20secs or more 2. Practicing social distancing 3. Prepare your home, office and other surroundings by following the advice of the Ministry of Health and other credible health agencies.

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health website, www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or call our hotline numbers, (649) 232-9444 and (649) 333-0911, if you or someone you know has symptoms or signs of COVID-19.

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S STATEMENT ON FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT CONFIRMED CASES #21

The Ministry of Health is aware of a website link and photo circulating via social media indicating that the Turks & Caicos Islands now has 6 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This information is absolutely false as the Ministry has not received any new results indicating this and therefore have not reported such information to any regional or international body. We ask the public to cease from sharing this false information and encourage you once again to only seek information from credible sources locally, regionally and internationally, such as the Ministry of Health via our website (www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus) and our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; also PAHO and the WHO.

COVID-19 RADIO ADDRESS By Hon. Edwin A. Astwood Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports, & Human Services

I want to begin by thanking all our frontline Health Care Workers, and those frontline workers in Law Enforcement, and all other Critical Services Workers throughout the Turks & Caicos Islands. I also want to thank all the high level government officials for the countless hours they put in for protecting our Nation, and for providing direction for our war on COVID-19.

I want to briefly give some information for protecting yourself and your family during this time. But first I am going to give some information from our COVID-19 Situation Report; the number of confirmed COVID-19 Positive canes remain at 5. An additional 9 samples were tested, and I am happy to report that all 9 were NEGATIVE. This is good news, but not news for us to become complacent. We all know by now that the virus is transported by droplets; when someone sneezes or caught. And we know that the spray of droplets emitted at these time can travel as far as six feet, or more.

In Addition, we need to know that droplets can be expelled whenever we talk or laugh in such a way that causes a light spray to be emitted. With these droplet, close contact is generally needed for transmitted. These droplets can also contaminate surfaces like tables, and door knobs by way of hands, which can then be picked up by unsuspecting individuals.

Close contact is defined by the Center for Disease Prevention & Control (CDC) as:

a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare facility waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case.

– or –

b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on). 

Therefore, if we want to avoid getting in contact with this coronavirus, we must then avoid getting in close contacted contact with; not only persons who tested positive for the virus or one who is a suspected case, but also those that may be infected with the virus, and don’t know that are, we call that being “asymptomatic”.

The Best, and most effective, way to avoid this coronavirus is to STAY AT HOME.

Only, if absolutely necessary, leave your home to get what is needed. In doing so one should continue practicing the necessary Social distancing and hand hygiene protocols, and one may put on a face mask for extra protection, and after completing the task; immediately return home.

If you live with others, practice Social Distancing in the house or apartment also. You need to protect your family, and can this by also putting in measures like; assigned bathrooms, no sharing of utensils, identify who prepares meals, identify the individual do the grocery shopping, having your cleaning and disinfecting schedules in place.

If someone in the home is showing mild symptoms, or has been in contact with a known or suspected case; institute the wearing of a face mask in the home, and contact the health officials for further guidance.

The CDC defines social distancing in the following way:

Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”

Some may ask “What is the reasons for social distancing”? What are the benefits to myself and my community?

Social distancing is simply a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people, in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission.

With COVID-19, the goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on our health care systems and Frontline workers.

"If social distancing can be successfully executed in the Turks & Caicos, then there will be far less people testing positive for this coronavirus, and far less people presenting with the COVID-19 disease; hence far less people needing hospitalization and critical medical care at any one time."

Therefore, we may continue to see increases in positive cases, unless, we allow the impact of our social distancing, and quarantine measures to run its course.

I want to emphasize that; “The more we stay from each other, the less the burden will be on our health system, our health workers, and other frontline workers, and the less burden on our country on a whole.

” We know that times of Crises push technology, innovation, abilities and adaptabilities. Hence this quarantine period also gives us time to greatly scale up our health care system so we can increase our ability to safely treat more people, and scale up our public Health system; so that we can do more contract tracing, testing, isolation, and quarantine on a large basis, so that when we do come out of quarantine, and if there is another spike, we will be better equipped and experienced to quickly mitigate against this virus.

We will continue to raise COVID-19 awareness, and in a later release I will focus on how our bodies can fight off the virus, but at this time I need to touch on a negative occurrence that is beginning to occur; we must resist and desist from engaging in Stigma and Discrimination.

Stigma and Discrimination in any form is bad and unnecessary, but especially in relation to COVID-19 at this time. This is something that should be discourage by all. Instead, let us support, uplift, and encourage one and other, and we who have faith in God know that this too shall pass.

I firmly believe that if we all act responsible, and if we work together, adhere to all the public health guidelines, and the social distancing measures that were instituted, we would have a real shot of defeating this coronavirus, and the Turks & Caicos Islands would survive this COVID-19 pandemic. May God continue to protect you, and continue to protect the Turks &Caicos Islands.

MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 UPDATE #20

The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12pm on 31st March, 2020:

Since yesterday’s COVID-19 update, as at 30th March, the number of confirmed positive cases remains at five (5).

TCI suspected cases of COVID-19 decreased over the past 24hrs: The six suspected cases are TCI residents returning from countries with local transmission and contacts of a confirmed case (6). All six persons met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19, thus they are experiencing symptoms. Samples were collected and sent for testing, and we are currently awaiting results.

Persons under quarantine/observation (291)—The confirmed cases (5), contacts of a confirmed case (18), possible contact of a confirmed case (14), the suspected cases (6), relatives/contacts of suspected cases (18), persons travelling from highly affected countries — UK, Austria & Spain (5), TCI residents (225). Persons under observation/quarantine are either not displaying symptoms or have not meet the case definition for COVID-19.

The decrease in quarantine/observation numbers over the past 24hrs was primarily as a result of test results received where individuals were confirmed negative for COVID-19, also the quarantine period for some individuals had expired.

There were eight (8) new test results received over the past 24hrs. The results confirmed that individuals were negative for COVID-19.

To date, a total of twenty-seven (27) test results have been received, with twenty-two (22) confirmed negative and five (5) positive confirmations. Persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and their contacts, were moved from quarantined status and asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health. Those cases confirmed positive are in isolation with contact tracing aggressively continuing. The Ministry of Health takes this opportunity to remind the public of offenses committed under section 18 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 in regard to false statements/information. You do not have to be the originator of the statement/information in order to be charged under the law.

Please note the following definitions:

  • A suspected person is someone who meets the case definition as outlined by WHO and CARPHA - and is experiencing symptoms.
  • A person in quarantine is an individual on island who has come from infected country(ies) or may have come in proximity to suspected or confirmed cases - and have not exhibited symptoms.

Let's continue to reduce the risk by: 1. Washing our hands for 20secs or more 2. Practicing social distancing 3. Prepare your home, office and other surroundings by following the advice of the Ministry of Health and other credible health agencies.

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health website, www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or call our hotline numbers, (649) 232-9444 and (649) 333-0911, if you or someone you know has symptoms or signs of COVID-19.

Deputy Governor Salutes All COVID-19 Essential Services Staff

As we continue our COVID-19 - 21 Day Curfew in the Turks and Caicos Islands, I commend all residents for your overwhelming support and adherence to the guidance issued by Government and Health Officials.

This is an unprecedented time in our country’s history; one that calls for strict measures to protect and prevent the loss of life, and we thank you for your support.

As the Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I take this opportunity on behalf of the Government and people of these Islands to salute and say thank you to our public service essential services staff that continue during this period to deliver key services on our behalf.

First and foremost, I express our thanks and appreciation to our healthcare workers; those manning our hotlines providing advice and guidance to persons reporting symptoms; the doctors and nurses working in our clinics and hospitals to provide critical care to persons in need; the technicians in our laboratories collecting samples for testing; our Epidemiologist that compile daily statistics to feed to our joint Communications Team that works everyday to provide updates to the public.  Our Environmental and Public Health teams; our Permanent Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Director of Health Services who provide daily advice and guidance to policy makers, and our DDME, National Security and Senior Management staff that provide critical support to our Senior Leadership Team.  To all of you, your contribution, dedication and sacrifice is greatly appreciated. 

As is the work of our Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, now supported by Immigration and DECR officials that continue to work to keep us safe.  Our Radar, Immigration and Maritime Officers that continue to man our borders.  Our Customs and Port Officers that continue to facilitate the clearance of goods shipped into the islands. Our Prison Officers that continue to report for duty at Her Majesty’s Prison.  Our Teachers that continue to educate beyond the classroom.  Our Water Service Department that continues to deliver key services to the public.  Our Attorney General and staff that continue to draft key pieces of legislation, and our Treasury, Budget, Procurement, IT and Finance staff that continue to work on our financial year end procedures, while staff across all other sectors of Government continue to be engaged from their homes in making sure that essential Government services across the entire country continue to run smoothly.

Being a public servant is not always easy, but at challenging times I can truly say that the public service has always been heavily relied upon, and it is at times such as these when I am both proud and thankful to lead such a dynamic, hardworking and committed group of people that demonstrate such a strong level of devotion and duty to country.

I salute as well private sector staff in our supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, telecommunications, electricity, water company and banks that are also performing vital services at this time.

You have all truly epitomized the notion of service before self and for this we salute and say Thank You!

There are no boundaries in the work that is set out before us, as it requires the full support and cooperation of us all.

While our essential services staff work their best and hardest to keep us safe and healthy, we ask that you each continue to do your part by respecting and adhering to the guidance that has been provided, as it is the only way that we can minimize the risk to staff that continue to work on all of our behalf and is the best way to show care and appreciation for the important roles that they are playing.

Our success will be determined by how best we all work together to accomplish the goal at hand, so let's all do our part!

May God continue to bless, guide and keep you and your families in this Turks and Caicos Islands at this challenging time!

Together We Can!!

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