INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2022

The Department of Gender Affairs, within the Ministry of Home Affairs, Broadcasting, Energy and Utilities, and the Telecommunication Commission joins the rest of the world in observance of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 6, 2022, under the official theme “Gender Equality today for a Sustainable Future – New Eyes; New Vision”    

 

An equal world is an enabled world and women throughout the region, including the Turks and Caicos Islands, have shattered many glass ceilings. However, despite the progress made for the advancement of Gender Equality, there are still some underlying issues that remain. As we continue to endure the COVID-19 pandemic, women have become the drivers of resilience and this is symbolic of continuous progress made. 

 

International Women’s Day is an annual commemoration to celebrate women from all walks of life throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands. This year’s activities will highlight and reflect on women from various spheres of influence, and the work they have contributed to improving conditions of women and girls and influence change towards a sustainable future through a new eye; a new vision that takes us into a future based on sustainability not as an abstract concept but as a concrete set of actions with education, social protection, economic participation and political involvement built on a social justice framework 

 

We invite the general public to join us as we not only celebrate and highlight the significant contributions that women have made in the TCI, but create a power pack atmosphere where women of influence can impart knowledge and wisdom through their national, regional, and international experiences. 

 

Amongst our speakers, is Television Judge Glenda Hatchett. Judge Glenda Hatchett is currently a Counsel of a National Law Firm, The Hatchett Firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of both the Georgia Bar and the Bar of the District of Columbia. Hatchett has served on the Boards of three Fortune 500 companies – HCA, The Gap Inc, and ServiceMaster Company.  

 

Join us this International Women’s Day as we recognize the outstanding accomplishments of women around the world and engage in open, honest, and meaningful conversations to further advance a culture of equality for women toward a sustainable future through New Eyes, New Vision. 

 

Happy International Women’s Day to All women throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands! 

 

 

 

 

END 

 

HOUSING STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT FORUM

The Housing & Community Renewal Department, in the Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development is currently conducting extensive research and in-depth stakeholder engagement in preparation for the National Housing Policy. The Department is now seeking to engage with the future beneficiaries and partners of the Housing Policy. Therefore, we are inviting key stakeholders to our Housing Stakeholder Engagement Forum at The Ritz Carlton Conference Room on the 3rd of March 2022. 

The Forum will be broken into two sessions. Commencing at 1:00 pm with the Banks & Lending Institutions and following on at 4:00 pm with Potential Housing Developers, Large Land Holders and Real Estate Agents. We encourage persons to register their attendance to the Forum sessions via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 2nd 2022. Due to Covid-19 Protocols, we invite no more than two representatives from each organization.  

Hon. Akierra M D Missick, Minister of Housing commenting said “Our Government is working diligently on its mandate to achieve the development of sustainable communities in which housing is available to Turks & Caicos Islanders through ownership, equitable rental arrangements and TCIG endorsed housing developments. As we focus on Human Capital Development of the people of these Islands, we must acknowledge that development has outpaced our ability to comply with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which require Countries to address housing solutions for their people. We need partnership in bringing this goal to fruition. The Housing Stakeholder Forum will provide us with an opportunity to discuss our proposed plans and engage with persons and companies that can partner with us to meet the housing solution demands of these Islands.” 

The National Housing Needs Survey is currently live. The data collected will influence the development of the National Housing Policy. We also ask that you kindly take a moment and complete our online survey that is available on the Turks and Caicos Government’s website (www.gov.tc) and the below survey monkey link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/housingneedstci  

 

Ministry of Health issues warning concerning powdered infant formulas manufactured by Abbott (Similac®, Alimentum® and EleCare®)

The Ministry of Health and Human Services (MoHHS), in response to an US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory, is advising all local healthcare facilities, other local suppliers and the general public to discontinue the sale and/or use of certain batches of powdered infant formulas manufactured by Abbott, namely: Similac®, Alimentum® and EleCare®. These powdered formulas were manufactured at one of Abbott’s manufacturing facilities in Sturgis, Michigan in the USA. 

 The advisory results from a voluntary recall following consumer complaints related to the presence of the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport in infants who had consumed the powdered formulas. It is important to note that no Abbott liquid formulas, powder formulas, or nutrition products from other facilities are impacted by the recall. Consumers are advised not to use the recalled products if the 1st two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2 and the has an expiration date of April 2022 or later (see picture below). 

Food contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Cronobacter sakazakii is commonly found in the environment and a variety of areas in the home. The bacteria can cause rare bloodstream and central nervous system infections and has been associated with severe intestinal infection and blood poisoning, especially in newborns.  It can cause fever, poor feeding, excessive crying or low energy as well as other serious symptoms. Young children may also contract serious and sometimes deadly infections with Salmonella. They may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.  

The MoHHS therefore implores all local healthcare facilities and other local suppliers to: 

  1.  
  2. Immediately stop supplying the affected batches of the brands listed above. 
  3.  
  4. Notify your overseas vendors. 
  5.  
  6. Quarantine all remaining stock(s) of the identified brands for possible disposal by the Environmental Health Department. 

Additionally, the MoHHS wishes to implore consumers to verify if they have any of these products in their possession. If so, they should stop using the affected products immediately and contact their respective local suppliers. Consumers may contact the Environmental Health Department at 338-2142 for more information on how best to dispose of these powdered formulas. If your child displays any of the symptoms listed above, after consuming the recalled products, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

The MoHHS’ top priority is to ensure public health safety and will therefore continue to monitor this situation as investigations continue. 

For further information, please contact the MoHHS at 338-3072.  

ENDS 

FALSE AND MALICIOUS REPORT ON COURT PROCEEDINGS IN R Vs GONZALES and SAINT LOUIS

The attention of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution(ODPP) has been drawn to a false and malicious report circulating in the social media with the title “JUDGE, ALONE TRIAL ABORTED INSTEAD OF ACQUITTAL ENTERED”. The report, among other things, states: 

A four weeks murder trial that commencedon Monday 24th January concluded today Monday 21st February, 2022. It was a trial by Judge Alone (without Jury) before his lordship the Hon. Mr. Justice ShirazAziz who at the end of the Crown's case had the opportunity to dismissed or acquit the two teen defendants HURALDO DE LA CRUZ GONZALES and RODSON SAINT LOUIS due to insufficient or no evidence presented before him linking either of the two accused after four weeks. However, Justice Shiraz Aziz aborted the trial before setting the teens free…” 

The above report is false, malicious and misleading in several respects: 

(a)   The trial Judge, Hon Justice Aziz aborted the trial and discharged himself, as it was open to him to do, primarily to allow sufficient time to deal with a vulnerable witness in a manner provided by the law so as to facilitate his available best evidence. He therefore adjourned the case to May 16, 2022 to be started before another judge or indeed himself, depending on the submissions from the Defence Counsel and Prosecution. His decision to abort the trial was to ensure that the trial was fair to all concerned – the Victim, Defence, Prosecution, the TCI Community. This is not an unusual occurrence in most criminal justice system, including TCI.

(b)  At the time he aborted the trial and discharged himself, the Prosecution’s case had not ended and could not have ended, as falsely reported. In fact, the Prosecution’s case was not even half-way gone. So, there was no basis to falsely and maliciously conclude that Hon Justice Aziz “had the opportunity to dismiss or acquit the two teen defendants, HURALDO DE LA CRUZ GONZALES and RODSON SAINT LOUIS” for insufficient or no evidence. 

(c)   It is also false that “Justice Aziz aborted the trial before setting the teens free”. First, the Defendants are full adults ,not teens. Secondly, they were actually remanded in custody (notset free) until their matteris called up again on May 16, 2022 as mentioned above. 

It is not the policy of, and indeed, the ODPP rarely respond to comments or views expressed in the public domain relating to criminal proceedings, even when those comments or views are inaccurate. This is partly in recognition of the constitutional rights to freedom of expression, freedom to receive and impart information, etc. But these constitutional rights are not absolute, and must not be abused or misused to the detriment of other persons’ rights and the public interest, or to undermine the authority and independence of the Courts. 

Thus, when such comments and views, as in this case, are calculated or have the tendency to malign the character and integrity of a judicial officer (who cannot speak for himself or herself) or undermine the due administration of justice, either in a particular case, or generally, the ODPP has a duty to set the record straight and to properly inform the public as appropriate. More importantly, it our duty to warn, and we hereby do so, that perpetrators and carriers of this kind of falsehoodmust be prepared to face the full consequences of their nefarious actions, including being cited for contempt of court. The best record of what transpired in Court can easily be obtained from the Court itself. This is the course of action we urge and encourage. 

Eugene Otuonye, QC.

Directorof Public Prosecutions. 

 

END

UPDATE on U.S COVID-19 Entry Requirement

VACCINATED RESIDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO SHOW PROOF OF VACCINATION E-CERTIFICATE PRIOR TO ENTRY 

The Ministry of Tourism wishes to update the travelling public of the CDC guideline of Acceptable Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination. In accordance with the guideline, all residents must show proof of Vaccination E-Certificate prior to entry, either in print or on digital display for verification. Failure to present E-Certificate will result in denial of boarding etchings.  

The QR code on the E-Vaccination Certificate contains information confirming your credentials was generated from an immunization record in an official database and is protected from tampering. These credentials include date of birth, vaccination dates and type of vaccine administered. Thus, If your vaccination card does not have your date of birth or other identifying besides your name you may be barred from boarding.  

The Ministry of Tourism advises all residents to apply to the Ministry of Health, well in advance of travel, to permit receipt of your E-Certificate. Residents can contact the Ministry of Health via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the COVID-19 hotline (232-9444 or 333-0911) to check on the status of their certificate, update their contact details or speak to a support person.  

This is in conjunction to the United States entry requirement that took effect on November 8th, 2021. Which the U.S policy states that all non-US citizens who are non-immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa), over the age of 18 must show proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to entry; this is in addition to the testing requirement currently in place - which requires travellers to produce a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of travel. 

The public is encouraged to take every measure to be protected against COVID-19 and to adhere to the recommendations by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health continues to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible persons, those who are eligible are strongly encouraged to consider being vaccinated. 

There are limited exceptions to the entry requirements, travellers are encouraged to visit the CDC website where full details and further information regarding entry requirements can be found: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html#vaccine-proof  

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html 

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/29/frequently-asked-questions-guidance-travelers-enter-us-land-ports-entry-and-ferry 

ENDS

Turks & Caicos Government

Office of the Governor

Office of the Deputy Governor

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