enfrhtptes

MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 UPDATE #15

The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12pm on 27th March, 2020:

The number of confirmed positive cases remains unchanged at two (2) cases.

There has also been no change in the number of suspected cases over the past 24hrs; the TCI has 10 suspected cases of COVID-19: Tourist visiting the country (1). The other nine suspected cases are TCI residents returning from countries with local transmission and contacts of a confirmed case (9). All 10 persons met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19, thus they are experiencing symptoms. Samples have been collected and sent for testing.

Persons under quarantine/observation increased slightly (306)—The confirmed cases (2), contacts of a confirmed case (13), possible contact of a confirmed case (26), the suspected cases (10), persons under investigation for having contact with persons travelling from highly affected countries (1), relatives/contacts of suspected cases (21), persons travelling from highly affected countries — UK, Austria & Spain (6), TCI residents (227). Persons under observation/quarantine are all not displaying symptoms or have not meet the case definition for COVID-19.

The increase in quarantine/observation numbers over the past 24hrs was primarily as a result of the contacts of a confirmed case and possible contacts of a confirmed case being placed in quarantine status.

No test results were received over the past 24hrs, and the total number of test results received to date remains at fourteen (14); with twelve (12) confirmed negative and one (2) positive confirmation. Confirmed positive cases are in isolation with contact tracing aggressively continuing.

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.

GOVERNORS ADDRESS REGARDING EMPLOYERS AND CARERS REGISTERING THEIR STAFF TO SUPPORT THEIR MOVEMENT

Well done TCI. We did collectively well last night. By 8:15 pm there was almost nothing on the roads on our most populated island. By 9 pm all there was, were the blue flashing lights of road blocks and patrols. Some arrests and vehicle confiscations, but very few needed. I know - and you can now be confident - that we are going to get through this calmly, sensibly and collaboratively.

Today you as employers, employees and as families will be doing your final preparations for what will be an extraordinary three weeks. The three weeks you saved the Islands. That’s what you are about to do.

While you prepare today the central national security team will be working at pace to ensure the Police have one centralised database – that will be accessed from the CCTV suite – that Police Officers can use to clarify whether someone, under the law, is an essential worker or in an essential industry. It’s designed to help the Island make a good collective judgement on this. It’s designed to give those who we rely on confidence that they can go to their place of work backstopped by permission sought by their employer and agreed by the government.

The central team will work through the night and weekend and our aim is, by the time we move to daylight on Monday, to have replied to the vast majority of emails; the database will be in place and operational. Over the weekend the Police will use their judgement, please as employers and employees use yours.

If you haven’t received a reply by first light on Monday then you must assume that you have not yet been recorded on the database; we however assure you we will reply to every email with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.

If you send a question to this email account that is anything other than a request from an employer or carer it won’t be answered; we won’t have time over the weekend. Our priority is to get essential workers and carers able to move confidently but under tight control for the good of all.

If you are an employer or a carer I’m going to give you an email address in a moment, the same as I gave yesterday and last night, to send us the list of names you believe fall into this category. Have a pen or a way of recording it to hand. We will also post it on the Ministry of Health’s website: www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus.  

I’m first going to repeat what I said last night.

For employers, we want you to be highly responsible in the numbers you offer up. We are stopping a pandemic. We have a three week window to do this. We are not looking to ‘tick over’. This isn’t how we work after a hurricane has hit us, we are going to start off by working as though a hurricane is about to hit us. Imagine a Category 5 travelling towards us.

Each additional person you add to your list increases the overall risk to the community. If you are not responsible – as an employer - you risk many, many, people doing the right thing for three weeks which in the end serves no purpose. If your list contains ten employees – if one of them falls ill – we risk infecting ten households.

We therefore intend to start off very hard, giving very limited numbers of names agreement and granting very few exceptions.    Again, since many of you have been in this position – imagine we are, just now, in the immediate pre-impact phase of a hurricane – that’s how much we want to stop or slow down activity over the first few days so we can control this.

Once controlled we will slightly open the valve. The list will be dynamic. But it’s much better we do it this way. Keep your initial requests limited. We do not need the equivalency of panic buying of names and exemptions.

We will be much more sympathetic to short very well considered lists that get you through, say, Monday – Wednesday - which we can then adjust - than a list that captures every possible person over three weeks. I assure you - once we are in lockdown we will have the ability to adjust the list 24/7. It’s in our interests to do so.

For employers of essential staff, or for employers of essential industries detailed in the regulations, and for those providing essential ‘care’ to those who absolutely can’t care for themselves, write down the following:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Now send an email very clearly saying:

  1. Who you are as an employer plus your contact details
  2. What category you fall in
  3. The full names and responsibilities of those you wish to be able to work during the first few days of lockdown
  4. What times of day, which days, and in what areas your employees will be moving in.
  5. If you are a restaurant or takeaway where you are, what you are offering, how you intend to do all you can to be responsible.
  6. The likelihood that you will need to add to this list and why.
  7. Confirming if your employees wear uniform.
  8. Confirming your employees have photo ID.
  9. If you are a carer as much information as you can provide as to where, when and how you will be providing care.

I’m going to say that all again. The email address is:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Send an email very clearly saying:

  1. Who you are as an employer plus your contact details
  2. What category you fall in
  3. The full names and responsibilities of those you wish to be able to work during the first few days of lockdown
  4. What times of day, which days, and in what areas your employees will be moving in.
  5. If you are a restaurant or takeaway where you are, what you are offering, how you intend to do all you can to be responsible.
  6. The likelihood that you will need to add to this list and why.
  7. Confirming if your employees wear uniform
  8. Confirming your employees have photo ID.
  9. If you are a carer as much information as you can provide as to where, when and how you will be providing care.

As well as this announcement that will be repeated today, at times RTC announce, we will get this up on websites and circulating on social media.

Finally bear in mind that although tight restrictions come in from tomorrow you will still be able to shop in the supermarkets. Don’t rush today – there is no need. Tomorrow - Saturday - is for lots of good reasons - a day traditionally when supermarkets are busy. Again, break that habit too.   You will – I assure you - have plenty of time over the coming weeks to visit food stores responsibly.

I’ll issue some separate guidance about how we want to ensure that this requirement to visit a supermarket – or take exercise - doesn’t become a catch all excuse that can be used by those who wish to be on the road and moving about the islands on other business.

To repeat don’t flood the email account This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with frivolous requests; I might publish some of the most egregious examples of those who clearly haven’t worked out we are fighting a global pandemic. And don’t think that your normal life isn’t going to be seriously and significantly disrupted and changed – it’s going to be - because that’s the way we are going to stop this menace. But it’s only for three weeks. Just three weeks.

Great start TCI – use the day to prepare. Looking forward to exactly the same responsible behaviour tonight at 8 pm. 

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MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S COVID-19 UPDATE #14

The Ministry of Health would like to advise the public that as at 12pm on 26th March, 2020:

TCI recorded its second confirmed case of the COVID-19 novel Coronavirus, and the individual is now receiving medical care at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre. The Ministry of Health takes this opportunity to continue emphasizing the need for public calm during this time.

There was a decrease in suspected cases, as the TCI recorded 10 suspected cases of COVID-19: Tourist visiting the country (1). The other nine suspected cases are TCI residents returning from countries with local transmission and contacts of a confirmed case (9). All 10 persons met the WHO case definition for a suspected case of COVID-19, thus they are experiencing symptoms. Samples have been collected and sent for testing.

The decrease in suspected cases is due to test results received, where one suspected case has now been confirmed positive and another suspected case confirmed to be negative for COVID-19.

Persons under quarantine/observation (298)—The confirmed cases (2), contacts of a confirmed case (10), possible contact of a confirmed case (21), the suspected cases (10), persons under investigation for having contact with persons travelling from highly affected countries (1), relatives/contacts of suspected cases (21), persons travelling from highly affected countries — UK, Austria & Spain (6), TCI residents (227). Persons under observation/quarantine are all 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 TCI of test results received which confirmed that a suspected case did not have COVID-19, and their contacts subsequently being moved from quarantine status.

A total of twelve (14) test results have been received to date, with twelve (12) confirmed negative and one (2) positive confirmation. As stated above, persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and their contacts, have been moved from quarantined status and asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health. Those confirmed positive cases are in isolation with contact tracing aggressively continuing.

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.

Confirmed COVID-19 Inpatient at TCI Hospital

JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM TCI HOSPITAL AND TCI GOVERNMENT

 

(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday, 26 March, 2020): The Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital wishes to advise the general public that a patient who was recently admitted and under clinical management and isolation at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre has tested positive for COVID-19.

The inpatient is a middle-aged male resident who recently returned from the United States and developed fever and respiratory symptoms. The inpatient was transported to the emergency department via private vehicle.

 

Based on the above factors, the male was classified as a suspected case upon admission and a sample was collected and tested. Strict infection prevention and containment procedures are constantly enforced at the medical centre and were followed as a precaution in this case.

 

The now confirmed COVID-19 male inpatient is currently in critical condition. He is receiving aggressive respiratory care and has other co-morbidities. This patient represents the second person in the Turks and Caicos Islands with confirmed COVID-19. 

 

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government - Ministry of Health Team commenced immediate contact tracing and persons identified in the process are required to undergo quarantine and/or screening as a risk mitigation measure. The patients’ relatives have been notified. TCI Hospital and the Ministry of Health continue to provide support and guidance to the relatives of the affected person given the diagnosis. 

Test results for the 89-year-old female resident who was admitted to Cheshire Hall Medical Centre on March 18th 2020 and classified as a suspected case based on travel history and presenting symptoms, have returned as negative for COVID-19. The elderly patient remains under hospital care and is in stable condition.