Saints Kitts e Nevis

Taiwan Shares Expertise on COVID-19

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 2 ore 39 min fa

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) organized a video conference on COVID-19 between Chi Mei Medical Center in Taiwan and Joseph Nathaniel France (JNF) General Hospital in St. Kitts and Nevis for the purpose of sharing prevention measures Monday at the Ministry of Health in Basseterre.

Taiwan held the five-party video conference with four Caribbean diplomatic allies — including St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Belize.

Important topics on fighting against COVID-19 were discussed in the conference, ranging from protective measures and equipment for medical personnel, emergency intubation, to infection control measures.

Participants from St. Kitts and Nevis included Taiwan’s resident Ambassador Tom Lee and Embassy staffers, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff of Joseph Nathaniel France (JNF) General Hospital, and the Hospital’s medical staff.

Taiwan’s use of timely, transparent and high-tech methods to combat COVID-19 has been praised by leaders of allies and like-minded partners around the world, the Taiwan Embassy said in a press release, adding Taiwan is able and willing to provide assistance to the world and especially to its diplomatic allies during this unprecedented crisis with the Covid-19 pandemic.

In St. Kitts and Nevis, the Taiwan Embassy has provided assistance to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis, having Taiwanese experts review official COVID-19 Preparation Plans and procuring essential medical equipment.

The Embassy said it was pleased to that it will donate 10,000 masks (4,000 N95 medical masks and 6,000 ordinary masks) to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis. Additionally, the Taiwan Technical Mission in St. Kitts and Nevis has been taking measures in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture to enhance food security.

The Embassy said it wished to reassure that at this difficult time, Taiwan is always a very good partner St. Kitts and Nevis can rely on, and it will continue to work closely with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in this fight against COVID-19.

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Department of Agriculture Advises of COVID-19 Regulations, Trims Services

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 2 ore 48 min fa

In light of COVID-19 State of Emergency, the Department of Agriculture notified the general public it will be open to sell only livestock feed on Monday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11a.m.

All other services have been suspended until further notice.

Additionally, livestock farmers are advised to go to their farms to administer care to the animals between the hours of 5-10 a.m.

Effective Monday, March 30, at noon, the Basseterre Abattoir and Public Market to be closed until further notice.

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COVID-19: Prime Minister Harris announces 24-hour curfew-lockdown

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 2 ore 55 min fa

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rising to eight, and many persons disobeying State of Emergency orders that are in place, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced a 24-hour curfew in the country in a national address Monday evening.

“The Cabinet of Ministers has determined that, after consultation with the Police High Command, the National COVID-19 Working Group, the Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Chief of Staff of the JNF General Hospital, that there be a 24 hour curfew — a total lockdown — from 7 p.m. Tuesday 31st March to 6 a.m. Friday 3rd April in the first instance,” said Prime Minister Harris. “It means that the current regulations will be repealed and new regulations made in which no one except the Security Forces and other Security Personnel, the Health Care Officers, technical emergency officers of utilities including telecoms, and media personnel, will be allowed out of their residences.”

Read the text of Prime Minister’s Address

In the national address on radio and Television, the Prime Minister outlined that in an effort to further protect and keep citizens and residents of the Federation safe from the COVID-19 pandemic, His Excellency the Governor General on Saturday had proclaimed a 14-day State of Emergency in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

He noted that under the Emergency Powers Act, his Government instituted Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations, SR&O No 7 of 2020 — necessary to slow the transmission of the virus from one person to another, including reducing secondary infections among close contacts and healthcare workers.

“Despite a clear statement that all citizens must stay at home except in certain very limited situations, the Police High Command has reported that many Persons have chosen to disobey these regulations,” observed Prime Minister Harris. “Irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated. Offenders will be promptly arrested and charged.”

Government will not hesitate to prosecute those found in breach of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations, advised Dr. Harris. The country is at war, and he said it was a war that had to be won. People must be united with all doing their part to ensure their safety, that of their families, communities, and by extension the country.

He called for sober, responsible behaviour, saying it was not time for reckless behaviour.

The powers, the Prime Minister noted, are aimed at restricting the spread of the virus from one person to the next. They are further intended to protect the citizens and residents and keep their loved ones safe, and he implored all to abide by the regulations.

Even as the powers come into effect, the public was advised against engaging in impulsive buying, as there is an adequate stock of food on hand, with some 57 containers arriving with food, vegetable and beverages this week.

“An adequate supply is on hand for the next six to eight weeks. I urge you to please act calmly and wisely,” Dr. Harris noted, advising against crowding shopping centres to purchase and stockpile food.

“I am satisfied that as long as we adhere to the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations, and we take the advice of our health experts and pray to our God, everything will work for the good,” the prime minister assured.

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As Cuba Struggles with COVID-19, Florida Worries

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 3 ore 48 min fa

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Cuba appears to be struggling to contain the coronavirus. That has people calling for a complete suspension of flights that are coming here from there.

Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t just worried about the New Yorkers traveling to Florida. He’s also worried about Cubans and Cuban-Americans traveling back and forth to the island nation.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez feels the same way.

Reports out of Cuba indicate evidence of coronavirus expanding across the nation.

The worry is sanitation outside of the tourist areas in Havana. Water is available only three or so times a week, and you can’t wash hands without water.

“When you see people getting water out of a hose in the middle of the street in Havana, I would say that’s not the best sanitation,” said Dr. Andy Gomez, a Cuba scholar.

With 119 new coronavirus infections, three deaths and 2,000 hospitalized, if the numbers are accurate, a potential spread from poor sanitation is a real worry in South Florida.

“With all the precautions we are taking, the mayor of Miami-Dade, Carlos Gimenez, the governor of the state of Florida, Ron DeSantis, have asked the president of the United States to immediately stop flights to Havana.

we still have people traveling back and forth. I just talked to a couple of people the other day that arrived this week from Cuba. It is a major health problem for our community,” Gomez said. “I don’t understand why Washington has not canceled, since you know the only flights now are to Havana, these fights back and forth. Believe it or not, there are still tourists going to Cuba. And Cuba reported that the majority of those individuals on the island that have been infected by COVID-19 were tourists.”

Cubans are already facing shortages of food and medicine. The schools are locked down. And now locals here want flights shut down.

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Caribbean Totals: Dominican Republic Coronavirus Hotspot

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 4 ore 33 min fa
The latest table of Caribbean coronavirus cases, with one revision-St. Kitts and Nevis has eight cases.


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Virus: BVI Asks for Cuban Medical Help

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 5 ore 51 min fa

Road Town, Mar 30 (Prensa Latina) The Government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) requested the medical aid of 30 Cuban health professionals so as to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, local press media reported today.

As reported by the Daily News newspaper, Prime Minister Andrew Fahie announced the request for Cuban doctors through the Ministry of Health and the Secretariat for International Affairs, through the talks with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Cuban government as well.

Fahie stated his administration is now expecting the UK to support the overseas territory’s request to materialize Cuba’s solidarity to fight the novel SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus strain.

According to the BVI News Online site, the request comes at a time when the British Virgin Islands authorities confirmed the first two Covid-19 cases, pending the results of other nine tests.

The publication recognized the role of Cuba to fight disasters and infectious diseases worldwide, classing it as the mecca of some of the world´s best doctors.

Cuban health brigades are so far fighting Covid-19 in different nations, including Italy, Andorra, Dominica, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Suriname, Saint Lucia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Saint Kitts and Nevis, as well as Haiti.

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Simple Blood Test Developed to Detect Cancer Before It Grows

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 5 ore 59 min fa

A simple blood test can check for more than 50 types of cancer, often before any signs or symptoms, scientists say.

It could help diagnose tumours sooner, when they are easier to treat and, ideally, cure, experts hope.

More than 99% of positive results are accurate, the team says, but it will be crucial to check it does not miss cases and provide false assurance.

Doctors are using it in trials with patients but more studies are needed, they say in Annals of Oncology.

Trial data suggests it is better at detecting more advanced disease rather than the beginnings of cancer, which may limit how useful it becomes.

How does it work?

The test looks for telltale chemical changes to bits of genetic code – cell-free DNA – that leak from tumours into the bloodstream.

The researchers, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, working with UK colleagues from The Francis Crick Institute and University College London, tested more than 4,000 samples from patients – some with and some without cancer.

More than 50 types of cancer, such as bowel, lung and ovarian, were included.

And in 96% of the samples, the test accurately detected the type of cancer.

What do experts say?

The study is funded by Grail, the maker of the blood test.

One of the lead researchers, Prof Geoff Oxnard, said: “This blood test seems to have all the features needed to be used on a population scale, as a multi-cancer screening test.

“Everyone asks when will a test like this will be ready for use.

“Based upon this successful clinical validation in thousands of patients, the test has actually now been launched for limited use on clinical trials.

“But before this blood test is used routinely, we will probably need to see results from clinical studies like this to more fully understand the test performance.

“Certainly the field is moving quickly and it makes us hopeful that blood-based cancer detection will be a reality.”

Cancer Research UK early detection head Dr David Crosby said: “Detecting cancers at their earliest stages, when they are less aggressive and more treatable, has a huge potential to save lives and we sorely need tech innovations that can turn this potential into reality.

“Although this test is still at an early stage of development, the initial results are encouraging.

“And if the test can be fine-tuned to be more efficient at catching cancers in their earliest stages, it could become a tool for early detection.

“But more research is needed to improve the test’s ability to catch early cancers and we still need to explore how it might work in a real cancer-screening scenario.

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Puerto Rico Hit by Earthquake Amidst Virus Lockdown

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 6 ore 42 min fa
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Puerto Rico at a shallow depth and was felt across the U.S. territory on Monday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake occurred at a depth of 5 kilometers near the southwest coastal town of Guanica. No damage was reported.

The quake hit during a monthlong curfew meant to curb the new coronavirus and it came nearly three months after a series of strong quakes near southwest Puerto Rico killed one person and damaged hundreds of homes

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ILO Issues Guidelines for Supporting Workers’ Families

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 6 ore 53 min fa

GENEVA (ILO News) – New guidelines for businesses, to help them support working families during the COVID-19 pandemic, have been issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) .

The preliminary guidance urges employers to consider the impact of business decisions on workers’ families, and to support greater social protection wherever possible. They say that extra support, particularly for those on low incomes, is essential to minimize the negative consequences of the outbreak for workers, employers, their families and children.

Finding safe childcare, juggling work and care responsibilities at home, and coping with a loss of income, are among the challenges facing families.

Women are also disproportionately affected by the pandemic. They make up the majority of health and care workers and are more likely to lack social protection. Before the COVID-19 outbreak women were already performing more than three-quarters of unpaid care work globally and that is likely to have increased.

ILO and UNICEF are also calling on governments to support employers and strengthen social protection, especially for vulnerable families. Family-friendly policies and practices, including employment and income protection, flexible working arrangements, paid leave to care for family members and access to quality, emergency childcare can make a critical difference and help stabilize labour markets, families and societies.

“Social dialogue – consultation and collaboration among governments, workers and employers and their representatives – is essential. If responses are to be effective and sustainable, they have to be built on trust and a wide range of experiences,” said Manuela Tomei, Director of the ILO’s Conditions of Work and Equality Department.

International labour standards provide a strong foundation for the policy responses needed for sustained and equitable recovery. They encapsulate the idea of a human-centred approach to economics and development, and balance the requirements of stimulating demand, supporting businesses and protecting workers.

“The secondary impacts of the pandemic – job losses, prolonged stress and a deterioration of mental health – will be felt by families for years to come,” said UNICEF Chief of Early Childhood Development Dr. Pia Rebello Britto. “For the most vulnerable children, the absence of adequate social protection systems exacerbates their exposure to the crisis.”

The preliminary guidelines for employers include:

  • Monitor and follow national advice from local and national authorities and communicate it to the workforce.
  • Review existing workplace policies to ensure they provide sufficient support to workers and their families.
  • Follow good practices when implementing policies based on social dialogue, national labour laws and international labour standards. Ensure that workplace support measures are available to all, without discrimination, and that all workers know, understand, and are comfortable with them.
  • Combat discrimination and social stigma at work by supporting training, and confidential and safe reporting mechanisms.
  • Adopt family-friendly working arrangements  to give workers greater freedom and flexibility to carry out their work. If flexible working is not possible, consider other forms of support for working parents, such as childcare.
  • Support working parents with appropriate childcare options and ensure that childcare jobs are quality jobs.
  • Strengthen occupational safety and health measures, including with guidance and training on occupational safety and health and hygiene.
  • Encourage workers to seek appropriate medical care and support employees coping with stress.
  • Support government social protection measures in line with the ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102)  and ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation No. 202 . This can include subsidies for workers to access health, unemployment and inability to work insurance, maternity protection, and should extend to workers in the informal economy.


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