ULP WILL CONTINUE ITS FOCUS ON ITS STRATEGIC MISSION OF TRANFORMING SVG INTO A MODERN SOCIETY
This country’s Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has stated that the Unity Labour Party, ULP will continue with its focus on pursuing its strategic mission of transforming St. Vincent and the Grenadines into a modern society.
Dr. Gonsalves spoke to this during a virtual public meeting hosted by the ULP on Wednesday night. The PM listed five of the major initiatives that his government undertook to transform the country.
Senator and ULP’s candidate for West Kinsgtown Deborah Charles who also spoke at the event laid out several development plans that a ULP administration has for the constituency.
Mrs. Charles said that in addition to work being done in the constituency, it is poised to be further developed. Mrs. Charles also pointed out that more recreational, educational, agricultural and entrepreneurial facilities will be put in place across the constituency.
NO ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN SVG
St. Vincent and the Grenadines currently has no known active COVID-19 cases. This was confirmed by the receipt of negative PCR results which completed the multitiered testing protocol in place in SVG. This process, as previously indicated, requires that preliminary positive results must trigger an aggressive intervention aimed at the rapid implementation of isolation, quarantine of contacts and additional testing.
The Vincentian nationals who arrived from the BVI on Saturday September 5 were swabbed on September 10 and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR on Friday September 11. As per protocol, additional RT-PCR tests were conducted at the Molecular Laboratory Unit of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment and at CARPHA, and returned negative results for SARS-CoV-2. All passengers who arrived on AA 945 from Miami on Saturday 12, 2020 were found to be negative on RT-PCR testing for SARS-C0V-2, and have been released from their transition quarantine hotels. St. Vincent and the Grenadines to date has recorded sixty-four (64) COVID-19 cases, all of whom have now been classified as recovered.
The public is again reminded of our shared responsibility of ensuring that everyone adheres to all of the protocols established in St. Vincent and the Grenadines aimed at reducing the risk of the importation and subsequent transmission of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These protocols, including testing, quarantine and isolation, are vital and have been proven to reduce the introduction and slow the spread of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
SVG DEVELOPMENT CENTRE OF THE ARTS TO BE OFFICIALLY OPENED
The Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture through the National Cultural Foundation will later this evening be hosting the official opening of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Development Centre of the Arts.
The centre is located at Old Montrose, obliquely opposite the gap to NEMO (building formally the Imani Pre-School). It will house an art gallery, a craft shop and a training and development space. The programme begins at 5:00 pm and will include remarks by the stakeholders of the centre as well as the Hon. Cecil Mckie, Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture. Wine and Cheese will be served as part of the opening programme.
There will be two open days to the public on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20thSeptember, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm each day.
US SECRETARY OF STATE VISIT SURINAME AND GUYANA
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday made a direct pitch for fast-growing Suriname and Guyana's new leaders to pick US firms, warning of the risks of China amid an oil boom. Pompeo became the first US secretary of state to visit the two small South American nations, long rich in lumber and minerals but where the discovery of oil has drawn a sudden new global interest.
Meeting Suriname's newly elected president, Chan Santokhi, Pompeo said it was an "exciting time" for the economy and that the United States is "eager to partner"."No state-owned operation can beat the quality of the products and services of American private companies," Pompeo told a joint news conference in a tent set up outside in the tropical heat.
"We've watched the Chinese Communist Party invest in countries, and it all seems great at the front end and then it all comes falling down when the political costs connected to that becomes clear," Pompeo said.
Pompeo later flew to neighbouring Guyana to deliver a similar message in a country expected to grow a staggering 85 per cent this year — the highest rate of any nation in the world. Pompeo was welcomed with billboards of his likeness and a dinner in his honour thrown by another new leader, President Irfaan Ali, with a rifle-holding honour guard wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The stops come at the start of a three-day tour that will also take in Colombia and Brazil's Amazonian border, part of Pompeo's campaign to highlight the economic devastation in Nicolas Maduro's Venezuela.
The trip is a vote of confidence in the new leaders in both Guyana and Suriname, who both are seen as turning a generational page. Ali, 40, was inaugurated last month after defeating an incumbent who challenged the results, prompting US sanctions on members of the former administration.
In Suriname, Santokhi in July defeated Desi Bouterse, a dictator turned politician who is challenging a prison sentence for ordering the execution of political opponents in 1982.
MMDC AED REOPENS AFTER TEMPORARY CLOSURE
The Management of the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre (MMDC) has announced that the that the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) will reopen for the full resumption of services at 12:00 pm today September 17, 2020.
The facility was temporarily closed yesterday for the sanitization of the department following the discovery of a person known to be COVID-19 positive in that area. The individual, who was informed of their positive result on Friday September 11 and served with a Medical Officer Order, violated the isolation order, thus possibly exposing others to the COVID-19 virus. All exposed clients (10) and staff (7) have been advised to quarantine and will be screened over the next five (5) to seven (7) days for COVID-19. Accident and Emergency services had to be moved to the Georgetown District Clinic until the sanitization of the MMDC AED was complete.
PM GONSALVES WILL NOT PURSUE LEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST PHYSICIAN
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has stated that he will not pursue legal actions against physician Dr Wayne Murray for publishing defamatory statements about him recently.
The PM during his weekly radio program this week spoke about the issue and said that he has taken this decision not to sue Dr Murray out of the high regards that he holds for his wife, Mrs. Simone Murray. Dr Gonsalves has however indicated that his lawyers have already written to the News newspaper which published the alleged defamatory statements made by Murray and has threatened legal actions against the newspaper if certain demands are not met.
The issue arose from statements made by Dr. Murray on a recent radio discussion programme, during which the prime Minister was referred to in a derogatory manner. The comments related to the Government’s intention to acquire lands at Richmond Hill belonging to Simone Murray et al under Section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act, Chapter 24. Dr. Gonsalves said he is hopeful that the issue can be resolved amicably once certain conditions are met.
HON FREDERICK STEPHENSON ISSUES A REMINDER OF WORK DONE IN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN SVG
Minister with responsibility for Social Development Hon Frederick Stephenson has issued a reminder of the work done in social development in the country over the years.
Speaking at the ULP’s second virtual public meeting last evening Stephenson outlined that the ULP administration has placed great focus on taking care of the elderly through a number of programs and initiatives, chief among them the increase in public assistance both for the elderly and the poor and disadvantaged.
The minister also spoke to one of the flagship programs of the government for the elderly, which is the ‘Home Help’ program. Mr. Stephenson further noted the importance of the Youth Empowerment Program which has enhanced the lives of many young persons.
Minister of Agriculture and MP for South Central Windward Saboto Ceaser pointed out that as the general election looms persons should ensure that they stay on the right side of history and return the ULP administration to office in order to continue the developmental work that is ongoing.
GHS INTRODUCES MANDARIN LANGUAGE CLASSES FOR FIRST YEAR STUDENTS
The Girls’ High School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has now placed Mandarin language classes on its curriculum for first-year students, in a program initiated by the country's Ambassador to Taiwan Andrea Bowman and supported by the Taiwan government.
The GHS added Mandarin classes to its curriculum, scheduling two periods per week for each of its four first-year classes, Bowman said Tuesday.
Approximately 130 students are currently taking the classes, which are being taught by a teacher provided and remunerated by the Taiwan government through its technical mission in SVG, Bowman said.
"The broad curricular plan is to introduce the students to the history and culture (of Taiwan) in order to contextualize an introductory language course," said Bowman, a former educator who served as GHS principal for 13 years. In a Facebook post Monday, the Taiwan Technical Mission in SVG said that on the first day of Mandarin classes, the GHS students were excited to be given Chinese names.
DOMINICANS URGED NOT TO PANIC AFTER ODM RECEIVED REPORTS OF EMISSIONS FROM THE SOUFRIERE AREA
Dominicans were urged not to panic on Tuesday night after the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) said it had received reports of emissions being observed from the Soufriere area. “These reports are being investigated and the public will be updated. The ODM is in contact with the Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad that is responsible for monitoring seismic activity on Dominica,” said ODM coordinator Fitzroy Pascal.
“At this time, the ODM is advising the public to stay clear of the area until further notice,” he added.
Besides rivers, Dominica has no shortage of mountains. There are at least 26 mountains, nine of which are dormant volcanoes, and the highest being almost 5000 feet. Dominica has the highest concentration of dormant volcanoes in the world.
TWO NEW COVID 19 CASES REPORTED
Two new positive cases of COVID 19 were reported for St Vincent and the Grenadines St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday September 11th. According to a release from the Health Services subcommittee both new cases are returning nationals who arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday, September 5 from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) with negative PCR results. The positive results were for day 6 testing as part of the protocol for persons traveling from High Risk countries such as the BVI. All of the passengers who arrived on American Airlines 945 on Saturday September 5, 2020, were cleared by negative day 5 PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2. There was no Air Canada flight on Thursday September 10, 2020. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has now recorded a total of sixty-four (64) COVID19 cases, sixty-one (61) of which have recovered.
There are now three (3) active COVID-19 cases. These new cases from the BVI emphasize the great importance of strictly enforcing all of the protocols, including the quarantine orders and testing, that are designed to protect all Vincentians. Over the past five (5) months we have worked very hard to contain any possible spread of COVID-19 in SVG by aggressive testing and quarantine enforcement. All persons entering SVG must comply with all of these measures if we are to avoid the rising levels of disease seen in other Caribbean countries.
ULP NL CANDIDATE COMMITS TO TRANSFORMING THE CONSTITUENCE ONCE ELECTED
The Unity Labour Party’s candidate for North Leeward Carlos James has given the commitment to transform the constituency once elected as parliamentary representative. James gave the commitment while speaking at the constituency’s launch of the Youth Arm on Saturday. He said that he has a rebuilding plan for the constituency and is ready to work with and for the people. He outlined some of these plans.
Mr. James said that the tourism sector in the constituency also stands to receive a major boost. The ULP candidate also reminded of the importance of voting in the upcoming general elections.
Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves affirmed that the ULP is the natural party of good governance as demonstrated over the years. PM Gonsalves added that the ULP will be running on its excellent track record in in this year’s election.
NPL PLANS TO CONVERT VACANT ET JOSHUA PASSENGER TERMINAL BULIDING INTO MODERN RETAIL AND ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA
The National Properties this year plans to convert the vacant passenger terminal building at the former ET Joshua Airport to a modern retail and entertainment plaza.
According to Minister of Finance Hon Camillo Gonsalves in a recent update, National Properties has been overwhelmed by the number of expressions of interest from local business entities. That facility, to be anchored by existing Kingstown-based companies, will open in the second half of 2020 as stated in the Budget 2020 Address, 3rd Feb. 2020
Gonsalves noted that construction is underway and despite some COVID-related delays, the first tenants, including ACE Hardware, Courts, BoSVG, a Food Court, and many retailers will be in place for the Christmas shopping season. The entire Joshua Centre – which includes the new wing should be completed around March.
POLICE OFFICERS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE SEXUAL OFFENCES TRAINING COURSE
After two (2) weeks of intense training, twenty two (22) police officers from different Departments throughout the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force are more capable of thoroughly investigating sexual offences consequent upon the successful completion of a Sexual Offences Training Course held at the Old Montrose Police Training School.
Head of the Sexual Offences Unit, Superintendent Trevor Bailey in delivering welcoming remarks said that it is the responsibility of every organization to ensure that its members receive the necessary training that encompasses their duties continually. He noted that in the past most of the training was sourced overseas, however; there is less reliance on overseas training because there are competent and capable instructors here in SVG. He stated that such training is evident today with those who are graduating and the recognition of the police high command for the continuous training.
Superintendent Bailey further outlined that the public must have a sense of comfort and the assurance that their reports are being taken seriously and properly investigated in a professional manner. He expressed pleasure with the performance of the participants over the two (2) week period. He encouraged the officers to stay focused and apply what they would have learnt in order to be good investigators.
According to Superintendent Bailey, the training will be beneficial to the force and by extension the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Using a quote from Commissioner John: “if you aim at nothing, you will hit every time,” He advised the graduates to set goals and work towards accomplishing them; and this will in turn make them into better police officers.
JAMAICA MINISTRY OF HEALTH REPORTS 162 NEW CASES AND 2 COVID RELATED DEATHS IN THE LAST 24 HOURS
The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica is reporting that in the last 24 hours the island has recorded two new COVID related deaths and 162 new cases. The two new deaths are of a 76-year-old male from Kingston and St Andrew and a 73-year-old male from St Catherine, both with co-morbidities.
This brings the total confirmed deaths to 44. Meanwhile, the new cases consist of 70 males and 90 females. One is under investigation, the ministry said. Of the new cases, 76 are from St Catherine, 51 from Kingston and St Andrew, 11 from Manchester, seven from Portland, six from St Thomas, five from Clarendon, three from St Ann, two from St Elizabeth and Hanover each, and one from St Mary. The total number of confirmed cases of the virus now stands at 3,933.
PM GONSALVES SPEAKS ABOUT THE TREMENDOUS ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE NIS
Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves has been speaking about the tremendous achievements of and work done by the National Insurance Services, NIS. Speaking on his regular weekly radio program of Wednesday Dr Gonsalves provided information as it relates to the Temporary Employment benefits that the NIS is paying out as part of the COVID 19 measures implemented by the government to cushion the impact of the pandemic. The PM informed that over two million dollars had been paid out to persons in the hospitality industry as well as seafarers.
PM Gonsalves also noted that the NIS is playing an integral part in the execution of the Economically Disadvantaged Student Loan programme. Dr. Gonsalves, said (NIS) has made tremendous progress and growth under the Unity Labor Party (ULP) administration.
The PM noted that the NIS has done a lot to enhance income security. Dr. Gonsalves said the asset base of the organization has increased by 126 percent under his administration, resulting in an improvement in social security. Dr. Gonsalves said the government has also placed tremendous emphasis on pension reform.
BRAGSA AND VINLEC COLLABORATE ON “ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY FOR STUDENTS” PROJECT
The Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority BRAGSA in collaboration with the St Vincent Electricity Services VINLEC has embarked on a project dubbed the ‘Access to Electricity for Students’.
Under this project, electricity will be provided to 72 households in St. Vincent, Bequia and Union Island for the school year.
It will include the installation of fixtures and fittings for lights and outlets, along with some minor structural works to facilitate installations.
NEMO EMBARKS ON WHISTLE STOPS TO SENSITIZE THE PUBLIC ON DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has stated that every effort is being made to ensure that Vincentians are adequately informed on issues relating to disaster preparedness.
Director of NEMO Michelle Forbes said the organization is using all available avenues to disseminate the information to all sectors of the community. NEMO has embarked on a series of whistle stops to sensitize persons in the various communities.
An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
IICA AND MIN OF AGRICULTURE HOST HANDOVER OF EQUIPMENT
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, together hosted a brief ceremony for the handover of pieces of equipment, representing part of IICA’s contribution to support efforts to develop the livestock sector.
At the ceremony, Mr. Michael Dalton, IICA’s Technical Specialist, presented a Veterinary B Mode Ultrasound Scanner and a 30-litre nitrogen tank, collectively valued at approximately XCD $13,900 to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Raymond Ryan. These equipment are intended for use by the Animal Health and Production Division (AHPD) to assist in their work to provide improved services to the livestock farming public especially in support of animal reproduction.
Mr. Dalton pointed out that the contributions received by the Ministry were outputs from a project titled, Capacity Building to Support the Development of the Livestock Sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The objective of this project is to support the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture to develop the local poultry and small ruminants’ sectors. The primary beneficiaries of the project are the Ministry of Agriculture and farmers engaged in these types of enterprises. He further noted, that the Ministry of Agriculture stands to receive capacity-building support that is directed towards improving operations at the government-owned hatchery at Dumbarton, and that further intervention will be made into the training of farmers in small ruminant production in close collaboration with the AHPD.
Mr. Raymond Ryan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, in accepting the equipment, thanked IICA for its most timely donation and support to the work of the Animal Health and Production Division of the Ministry. He noted the long and very important relationship between IICA and the Ministry of Agriculture and IICA’s past work in support livestock, crop agriculture and apiculture development.
IICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.
CARICOM REITERATES ITS DESIRE TO BE A PARTICIPANT IN THE GLOBAL RESPONSE FOR A COVID-19 VACCINE
The Caribbean Community (Caricom) grouping has reiterated its desire to be a participant in the global response for a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has killed 910,000 people and infected 28.2 million others worldwide. St Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister, Dr Timothy Harris, who has lead responsibility for health within the quasi-Caricom cabinet, made the call during the high-level meeting on upscaling the global response to the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.
The virtual global meeting was co-hosted by the President of the European Commission, Dr Ursula von der Leyen and the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus.
The objectives of the meeting were to align on the plan for the ACT-Accelerator as a key global solution to rapidly end the COVID-19 crisis and restore health systems and global growth as well as to concur on the economic rationale for fully financing the ACT-Accelerator including through the use of stimulus funding. It was also intended to mobilize political leadership and international support to fully operationalize the shared commitment to global equitable allocation.
The ACT-Accelerator is the proven exit strategy for the world. Four tools have been identified for successfully controlling COVID-19. These are vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics and strengthening of health systems. Harris told the meeting attended by representatives of 128 participating countries and organisations that CARICOM wishes to be an active participant in the global response at the political, technical and economic levels, and welcomes its inclusion in the launch of the Council for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A).
September 8 2020
PRIME MINISTER GONSALVES AMONG HEADLINE SPEAKERS AT GLOBAL VIRTUAL ISLAND SUMMIT
This country’s Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves was among headline speakers at the Global Virtual Island Summit held today. The Virtual Island Summit expected 10,000 participants joining from over 500 islands spanning all corners of the globe. The Summit is a freeonline event aimed at connecting islands to share common experiences on development and sustainability.
Over 150 speakers including the PrimeMinister of Fiji, President of Guyana, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadinesand numerous politicians, entrepreneurs, academics and NGO leaders.
This year the Virtual Island Summit expected the participation of 10,000island stakeholders from across the world with topics discussed including post-pandemic economic recovery, tourism, energy, climate change, education, democracy, transport, sustainability and much more – all in relation to the island context. Registration is available for free: www.virtualislandsummit.com
The Virtual Island Summit aims to be an inclusive event using the opportunity to create “digital bridges” that will bring together global islands to collaborate on finding creative solutions that lean on the expertise of every global community, no matter how isolated they may be.
SVG CONFIRMS ONE NEW COVID-19 CASE
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has confirmed one (1) new COVID-19 case. According to a release from the Health Services Subcommittee National Emergency Committee the new case is a Vincentian national who arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on September 5 from Jamaica. The inflight contacts of this person are in the process of being informed of their exposure. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has now recorded a total of sixty-two (62) COVID19 cases, fifty-eight (58) of which have recovered.
There are now four (4) active COVID-19 cases. Due to the rapidly increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in some CARICOM member states, the ‘Protocol for the Entry of Travelers’ into St. Vincent and the Grenadines was yesterday revised to place the British Virgin Islands, Surinam, Guyana and Belize into the High-Risk Category. Travelers from these countries will have to quarantine in a Tourism Authority/MOHWE approved Hotel for five (5) days at their cost. The public is reminded of the importance of ensuring that all persons arriving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines comply fully with the quarantine protocols in place. These are designed to protect everybody including family and friends from COVID19.
SPECIAL LOVE BOXES FOR DIABETICS TO BE DISTRIBUTED
The Ministry of Agriculture will be introducing Special Love Boxes for Diabetics. The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines through the Ministry of Agriculture, recognizing the need to ensure that all Vincentians remain food secure during the COVID-19 pandemic introduced the ‘Love Box’ initiative. The ‘Love Box’ is now a household name and it provides a demand for locally grown foods, ensuring that our producers, especially from the rural communities have a ready market for their produce. Additionally, the initiative provides a much needed food safety-net for the most vulnerable within our communities in this period of a pandemic.
Considering the success of the Love Box, the Ministry of Agriculture is further improving this initiative, taking the programme to a next level by preparing special Love Boxes for persons suffering from non-communicable diseases beginning with diabetes.
Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Saboto Caesar, stressed that the importance of a proper diet and exercise are important weapons amongst several to combat diabetes. He also added that eating local foods which are often more highly nutritious than imported processed foods is critical in fighting diabetes.
The Ministry of Agriculture will be utilizing the knowledge and expertise of the Nutritionists in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Diaspora on the best foods to prevent the development of diabetes and in its reversal.
The expansion of the programme will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent to procure local foods further expanding the local market. It is expected that there will be an expansion in other non-traditional crops to meet this new demand that will be created. Ultimately, the intention is for Vincentians to consume much more local produce truly bringing to life the ‘Eat what You Grow, Grow What You Eat’ slogan. He concluded by indicating that now is the time for all Vincentians to practice economic patriotism by consuming more of their local fruits and vegetables.
The special Love Boxes of fruits and vegetables targeting persons with diabetes will be distributed from Monday 28th September, 2020.
SIGNIFICANT FUNDS INVESTED IN MCMH LABORATORY
The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has invested significant funds in the laboratory services at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in an effort to enhance its capacity.
This, according to Chief Laboratory Technologist in the Ministry of Health, Elliot Samuel who was speaking at a media conference held here last week. He disclosed that a Molecular Laboratory was established here in April, and adequate staff is now in place at this facility. Mr. Samuel said the Laboratory Service has also received advanced equipment to improve its efficiency.
The Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department within the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) is now in a better position to provide care for patients as a result of the donation of a brand new Cardio-toco-graphy (CTG) fetal heartbeat monitor and several other pieces of equipment and care packages.
According to local reports Head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Dr. Sheridan Slater, Ron Kilius, a Canadian businessman and friend of the late surgeon and former Governor General (GG) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Sir Frederick Ballantyne, donated the CTG in his honour.
Additionally, Agents of Change Organization Inc., a faith-based NGO in Canada, donated several pieces of equipment and care packages.
The handover took place at Maternity Ward A (Mat A), in the presence of Dr. Sheridan Slater, Sir Frederick’s daughter, Lauren McIntosh, and Deputy Hospital Administrator Andrew Williams, among others.
Dr. Slater extended thanks to Ron Kilius, whom she described as a friend of the Department, for his gift to the MCMH since according to her, the one they had before is old and not functioning as well as it should. Dr. Slater also explained the function of the machine. “It is used for the monitoring of the baby while the baby is developing within the mother’s womb. It helps to guide the Physician as to when the baby is in stress meaning that the baby needs to come out either by Caesarean section or delivered by vaginal birth”. The late GG’s daughter, Lauren McIntosh, said it is an honour that Ron Kilius donated the CTG machine in memory of her father.
In accepting the CTG fetal monitor, Deputy Hospital Administrator, Andrew Williams expressed heartfelt thanks to Ron Kilius for his donation to the Maternity Ward of the MCMH.
The Deputy Hospital Administrator was also on hand at the hospital’s Atrium to accept another donation this time from Agents of Change Organization Inc. Speaking at the handover, Nathaniel Sandy, an affiliate of the Organization, commended all the persons who were integral in sourcing the items.
In accepting the donation, the Deputy Hospital Administrator commented on the fact that the hospital is still receiving gifts even in the pandemic season. He thanked the Organization for the thoughtful donation to the MCMH, adding that the items will go a long way to provide care for their patients.
Member of Agents of Change Organization Inc. Pastor Jonathan Abraham said the Organization is doing a lot of work and that they are pleased to make the donation. According to Abraham, the Organization recently donated over 100 reading glasses to the prisoners in Belle Isle and Kingstown. He added that Bibles and books will also be donated to both prisons. Next step, according to Abraham, is to dialogue with the Ministry of Education and principals to start the distribution of items to schools.
SVGCC POSTPONES RESUMPTION OF CLASSES IN SOME DIVISIONS
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) has advised that the resumption of year two classes at the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies and the Division of Technical and Vocational Education has been postponed. Classes will no longer resume on Monday 7th September 2020.
The SVGCC reaffirms its commitment to providing a healthy and safe environment in which our students can excel despite the pressures of the current global pandemic. A release from the College stated that it will update students and the general public as soon and as best as possible on the new resumption date for classes at these divisions, and apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Classes at the Division of Nursing Education will resume on Monday, September 7th 2020 as previously indicated. Orientation at the Division of Teacher Education will also still take place on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th September 2020. For additional information, the SVGCC may be contacted at 784-457-4503.
32 POLICE OFFICERS COMPLETE BASIC DEVELOPMENT TRAINING COURSE
Thirty two (32) police officers from various departments throughout the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force are better equipped for the job following a successful Basic Development Training Course held at the Old Montrose Police Training School which commenced on July 6, 2020, and culminated on August 26, 2020.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leonard Fergus who spoke at the event congratulated the participants. He reminded them of the importance of training and reiterated that they are the most valuable resource of the police force. He noted that the graduation demonstrated yet another successful training course that was conceptualized and executed by the Police Training School under the auspices of the Police High Command.
He emphasised that in a rapidly changing society, policing can be very challenging - especially with the increase in technology. He noted however that in order to contend with that reality, there is a need for constant training which is the aim of the High Command of the RSVGPF. He encouraged the young officers to maintain law and order at all times and discharged their duties fairly without fear or favour.
ACP Fergus told the officers that the effectiveness of a good police officer is demonstrated through a high sense of purpose and discipline in the performance of their duties. He lamented that not only are their peers looking on, but the public as well; who has a vested and keen interest in how they operate as police officers. He urged them to always seek to gain and maintain the public trust and cooperation, because it is paramount in how effective they would be as law enforcement officers
In delivering the keynote address, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Colin John told the participants "If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time" In seeking to motivate the officers to always be focused and driven, he used his career as a police officer. He outlined that he joined the organization on January 16, 1988 and gave a brief history of the various departments and police stations where he would have worked.
He highlighted that he had a passion for law and that propelled him to begin the journey of being qualified. According to the Commissioner, he successfully enrolled in A’ Level law classes which later gave him the opportunity to pursue his law degree in England.
The Commissioner made it clear to the participants that he was in no way attempting to glorify himself; but merely wish to encourage them to set goals and aim to achieve them. He advised the officers not to rest on their “laurels” because they are police officers now, but gain the necessary qualifications in order to improve their status. He reminded the participants that the world is becoming more and more competitive. However, he went on to state that so long as they have the necessary qualifications, there are numerous opportunities available to them.
In concluding his remarks, the Commissioner encouraged the graduates to work hard, stay focused and disciplined in order to propel themselves and the organization.
Some of the topics covered were Powers and Mode of Arrest, Police Organization Mission and Core Values, Judges Rules, Court of Law and Procedure, ISPS Code, the Fisheries Act, Effective Communication, Traffic Offences, Customer Service, Drug Control Act, Domestic Violence Act, Mental Health and Protocols to name a few.
§ On 04.09.2020, Rolando Cato, 19 years Labourer of Redemption Sharpes was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and with discharging a loaded firearm.
According to investigations carried out, Cato allegedly had in his possession one (1) firearm and one (1) round of .38 ammunition without a license issued under the Firearms Act. He was additionally charged with unlawfully discharging a loaded firearm within one hundred (100) yards of the public road. The incidents occurred about 9:50am on 04/09/2020 at Redemption Sharpes.
The accused appeared before the Serious Offences Court and pleaded not guilty. He was denied bail and remanded into custody. The matter was adjourned to October 12, 2020.
§ Police have arrested and charged Peter Dasouza, 53 years Labourer of Sion Hill with three (3) counts of theft.
Investigations revealed that on three (3) separated occasions, 24th, 25th and 28.08.2020, the accused entered Gibson Building Supplies and allegedly stole one chrome kitchen lock value seventy-seven dollars and twenty-five cents ($77.25), three (3) Bib tops valued eighty-five dollars and eighty cents ($85.80), one (1) chrome entrance lock value fifty-eight dollars and twenty cents ($58.20) and three (3) saw blades value eighty-four dollars and sixty cents ($84.60). Total value, three hundred and five dollars and eighty-five cents ($305.85).
Dasouza appeared at the Serious Offences Court to answer to the charge and pleaded guilty. He sentenced to five (5) months on each count. The sentences will run concurrently.
VENEZUELAN EMBASSY SPANISH INSTITUTE CONTINUE SEMI FACE TO FACE STUDIES
With an average of 60 regular students of levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Spanish and Venezuelan culture, on Monday, September 7, 2020, the Vincentians have the opportunity, once again, to continue their semi-face-to-face studies for free at the headquarters of the Venezuelan Embassy.
Due the situation and the international protocols established by the World Health Organization to prevent the contagion of Covid-19, the Venezuelan Institute at SVG carried out Spanish classes and Venezuelan culture workshops with virtual modality during April-July 2020 term, thus allowing students to continue learning Spanish language even with continuous and final evaluations scheduled in the planning of the April-July 2020 quarter. This generated in the VICC student community and its teachers an optimal and satisfactory training in the use of information technologies to teaching and learning a foreign language.
For the first quarter of next year 2021, it is expected to receive new students who will begin level 1 of Spanish. Despite the economic and coercive sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, the Venezuelan Embassy and its Institute continue to strengthen ties of friendship and commit themselves every day to raise the flags of solidarity and internationalism among peoples practiced by Commander Hugo Chávez Frías and President Nicolás Maduro Moros. The VICC follows the hygiene and protection protocol corresponding to the standards established by the health authorities of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Welcome Spanish students of the VICC in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to this new academic period September-December 2020.
September 4 2020
MIN OF EDUCATION ASSURES ALL NECESSARY MEASURES IN PLACE FOR THE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS
The assurance has been given that the Ministry of Education has all the necessary measures in place and is ready for the reopening of school on Monday September 7th 2020.
Speaking at a press conference this morning PM Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves again outlined the protocols as it relates to this event. He reiterated that face masks should be worn by students outside of the ‘bubble’ which is classified as the home and schools but noted that the children are not required to keep the masks on while in school. The PM also noted that to implement mandatory face masks would criminalize children who fail to so do. PM Gonsalves also noted that voluntary rapid testing for teachers is continuing.
Minister of Education Hon St Clair Jimmy Prince noted that the majority of the teachers are ready and willing to assist with what is required as it relates to conducting temperature checks. The minister reminded that this is a special time which demands a special approach and called for the involvement of all stakeholders.
Chief Education Officer Mrs. Elizabeth Walker stated that the Ministry of Education has vetted the individual school plans submitted by each school. She also announced that psychological support for students will be made available through the ministry’s agencies.
TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES CHANGES FROM MON 7TH SEPT
The Traffic Department of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force has announced changes to vehicular traffic in light of the reopening of schools on Monday September 7, 2020, as it is anticipated that there will be a heavy flow of traffic into Kingstown.
The Traffic Department says that these changes are in an effort to ease with the anticipated traffic congestion.
Superintendent Kenneth John, Head of the Traffic Department outlined that as of Friday September 4, 2020, motorists travelling into Kingstown via Richmond Hill public road can now do so from Girls High School by traversing the McKies Hill public road between the hours of 6:30am – 11:30am and 1:30pm - 3:30pm, then onto White Chapel road and exit left or right in the vicinity of St. Vincent Building and Loan Association. Motorists exiting Kingstown between 11:30am -1:30pm and 3:30pm – 5:30pm will be able to utilize White Chapel road onto McKie Hill public road exiting at the bridge in the vicinity of Girls High School.
Further, as of Monday September 7, 2020 persons who are desirous of letting off their children at Girls High School will be permitted to stop their vehicles on the left hand side of the road at Girls High school, let off their child/ward, then proceed up McKies Hill public road then onto White Chapel road into Kingstown.
Additionally, parking immediately in front of the Kingstown Preparatory School will be prohibited. The release says that keep clear and no parking signs have been painted along the surface of the road in the area. However, motorists will be allowed to stop and let off students attending the Kingstown Preparatory School.
Parents and guardians wishing to drop off their child/ward attending the C.W Prescott Primary School can do so by stopping in the vicinity of Curriculum Unit or on the opposite side at Frenches Gate. It must be noted that parking on the right or northern side in the yard of the C.W Prescott Primary School is strictly prohibited.
Superintendent John further informs that Traffic Officers will be vigilant and strategically positioned on the roads to ensure that the Traffic Regulations are adhered to and enforced. The Traffic Department is therefore soliciting the cooperation of parents and guardians, motorists, commuters and pedestrians in relation to these Traffic guidelines. Superintendent John expressed thanks to members of the general public for their continual strong support.
VINLEC ENGAGED IN THE INSTALLATION OF LED STREETLIGHTS
The St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINLEC) is currently engaged in a project that will see the installation of Light-emitting diode 9die-owed0 (LED) streetlights as a replacement for the High pressure sodium (HPS) and Mercury Vapour Lamps that are on VINLEC’s Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Network.
This is one component of a national project that is intended to address energy matters with a view to improve energy efficiency, increase the penetration of renewable energy generation, and reduce the harmful impact of the burning of fossil fuel for the production of electricity.
In 2017, the Government of SVG, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and VINLEC signed an agreement in the form of a loan and a grant amounting to 6.026 million US dollars. The project that resulted from the agreement has three components, namely the retrofitting of 20 public buildings with energy efficient equipment, the installation of a 400-600 kW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Plant and the replacement of High-Pressure Sodium and Mercury Vapour Lamps with more efficient Light-emitting diode (LED) Lamps. VINLEC is providing engineering support for the Solar PV and street lighting components of the project and is responsible for the removal of the existing street lamps and their replacement with LED lamps. The installation of LEDs on VINLEC’s Transmission and Distribution network as part of this project commenced on June 22nd.
Work commenced in Campden Park in the vicinity of the bus stop and as of September 1st, a total of 1400 lights have been replaced. At present, LED streetlights along the main Leeward and Windward Highways from Barrouallie to Georgetown are being replaced.
REPAIR WORK ON LA POMPE ROAD COMPLETED
Residents of La Pompe, Bequia can now commute more smoothly and comfortably. This following the completion of repair work carried out on 395 square yards of the main road. In addition to the road work, 40 feet retaining wall was constructed. The project was done at an estimated cost of $140,000 EC dollars.
CARICOM CONTINUES TO RECORD COVID 19 DEATHS
Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries continue to record deaths associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as several other regional countries also reported new positive cases of the virus that has killed 869,000 and infected 26.3 million others worldwide since the first case was detected in China last December.
In the Bahamas, where three recent deaths pushed the toll to 50, health authorities also reported that 49 new positive cases of the virus had been detected there over the past 24 hours.
They said that the new figures bring the total to 2,386 with New Providence continuing to lead the islands of the archipelago with 1, 504 cases, followed by 570 cases in Grand Bahama, 79 cases in Abaco and 54 in Bimini.
The authorities said that the deaths of a 66-year-old female, a 62 year-old and 81 year-old males were “unfortunate” and that the number of deaths under investigation stands at 13.
In Suriname, the death toll climbed by one to 73 after a person, who was not identified, died from the virus.
The authorities said that 66 people tested positive for the virus over the past 24 hours and that Suriname currently has 824 active cases out of a total of 4,215. “On the other hand, 46 people were healed in the past 24 hours, making that total 3,318, while 112 people are still being nursed in hospitals, and there are 17 men in the intensive care units. There are 746 civilians in isolation and 82 in quarantine.”
In Guyana, the Ministry of Public Health is reporting one more death and 19 new cases of the virus. It said that the total number of people killed since the first case in mid-March is 44, while there are 1, 401 positive cases, with 710 being women.
A 53-year-old Guyanese woman has become Barbados' 177th person to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
US ICE AGENCY SAYS 3 CARIBBEAN NATIONALS AMONG IMMIGRANTS CHARGED WITH VOTER FRAUD
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) agency says at least three Caribbean nationals are among 19 immigrants charged with voter fraud.
ICE said Dave Delano Virgil, 57, of Trinidad and Tobago, Eloy Alberto Zayas-Berrier, 70, of Cuba, and Ismay Prudence Kathleen James, 54, of Bermuda, face federal charges in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina for illegally voting in the 2016 federal elections.
“These charges are the latest indictments to result from an ongoing years-long federal criminal investigation being conducted by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Raleigh office,” ICE said.
It said a federal grand jury in Wilmington, North Carolina, charged seven foreign nationals, including Virgil and Zayas-Berrier, on August 31 on federal felony charges, including falsely claiming US citizenship or making false statements on voter registration application.
They were also charged with misdemeanour charges of unlawfully casting ballots in the 2016 Presidential Election. Others charged on August 31 included nationals from Guatemala, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria and Yemen.
If convicted, the foreign nationals face maximum penalties of six years in US federal prison, a US$350,000 fine and a term of supervised release, ICE said, adding that non-citizens are not eligible to register to vote or to vote in federal elections under US law.