Pictured Above (From Left): Ms. Anita Sohan, Director, International Cooperation Desk, Ministry of Health; Mrs. Aneesa Doodnath-Siboo, Principal Pharmacist, Ministry of Health; Ms. Reita Toussaint, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs; the Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health; His Excellency Fernando Nogales Álvarez, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain; Mr. Balthasar Fernandez Melgosa, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Spain.
The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago received a shipment of 43,200 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 paediatric vaccines, donated by the Kingdom of Spain, today (Monday 23rd May 2022), at the Piarco International Airport. Present at the Airport for the arrival of the vaccines were the Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health, and His Excellency Fernando Nogales Álvarez, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Trinidad and Tobago; Ms Reita Toussaint, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs; and Officials of the Ministry of Health and Embassy of Spain.
In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs said, “The Government of Trinidad and Tobago remains deeply appreciative of this pioneering support rendered by the Kingdom of Spain. This is the first donation of paediatric vaccines in the region, and will be an essential and timely element of the national vaccination drive against the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, particularly given that they will protect this vulnerable section of the population.
The Ministry added that this successful exchange comes after approximately two (2) months of “proactive and purpose-driven diplomatic and technical engagement between Trinidad and Tobago and Spain. It highlights the invaluable contribution of co-operation and diplomacy in harnessing Trinidad and Tobago’s goodwill and longstanding mutually-beneficial and friendly bilateral relationships toward successfully overcoming complex global challenges.”
[Source: Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs]
Prime Minister Keith Rowley held a Press Conference at 2pm yesterday afternoon (Sunday 22nd May 2022) at the VIP Lounge, Piarco International Airport, following his return from a week in Guyana.
Below are the key points discussed at that Press Conference:
- Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced that Trinidad and Tobago has been chosen to receive “not-insignificant” funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is led in part by one of the world’s richest men.
- He noted that relations between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana are good and said he also had good relations with Guyana’s Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo, who had raised the ire of some when he described T&T’s economy as “falling apart” earlier this year. “He will tell you and I will tell you we get along very well.”
- The Prime Minister said the concerns raised by Guyana’s business chamber on the non-tariff barriers were a case of their business community wanting the best for their country. He said there should be no issues as long as barriers do not hurt T&T’s economy and added that the Treaty of Chaguaramas, regarding trade, should take precedence if the interests of CARICOM and the interests of the free market and economy are to prevail.
- P.M Rowley said, “I have been in Guyana for a week and I’ve had nothing but a warm welcome and a clear understanding and enthusiasm from the Government and people of Guyana.”
- He added that Trinidad and Tobago continues to work with Guyana’s energy sector and that the National Helicopter Service has confirmed its third contract to service the offshore Repsol fields in Guyana.
- The Prime Minister also announced that the month of June will be a very busy month for Trinidad and Tobago and CARICOM internationally.
- He said he has made a decision to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles from 6th June to 10th June 2022 and that the majority of CARICOM members will attend. CARICOM had objected to the United States’ position towards Cuba, but Prime Minister Rowley said that with the U.S. making some concessions, it was felt that CARICOM needed to attend to address issues that are important to the region.
- P.M Rowley said a T&T contingent, led by Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Amery Browne, will also attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda beginning on 21st June 2022 and that T&T will vote for Jamaican Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith as the new Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
- Prime Minister Rowley will not attend CHOGM but will be attending a world summit called by the European Union on 21st June and 22nd June 2022 to discuss matters of development that T&T and the region are interested in. He will represent CARICOM together with CARICOM’s Chairman, Prime Minister of Belize John Briceno, and Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness. Three (3) Latin American leaders will also attend, together with the leaders of E.U. countries, the President of the United States of America and leaders of Asian countries.
- The Prime Minister noted, “So June is a very busy month for me, T&T and CARICOM because significant decision-making is to be had.”
If you missed Sunday’s Press Conference, you can watch it below in its entirety.
[Source: T&T Guardian]
Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced at his Press Conference yesterday afternoon (Sunday 22nd May 2022) from the VIP Lounge in Piarco that Trinidad and Tobago has been chosen to receive “not-insignificant” funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is led in part by one of the world’s richest men.
The Prime Minister said, “Today I have been advised that we are lucky to be identified for a not-insignificant share of some funding to be made available from the Bill Gates Foundation. I spoke to the Secretary General of the United Nations who has identified us for that gift that we will accept and put to good use in T&T.”
P.M Rowley gave no details on the amount the country will receive or what requirements were met to qualify for the gift.
Read about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation below:
We share two values that are a big part of why we started our foundation. Both of us were taught to give back and to be optimistic about the future.
[Source: T&T Guardian]
The Ministry of Health is advising the public of an emerging public health threat concerning the detection of cases of the Monkeypox virus (a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae) in several overseas territories. It should be noted that no suspected case(s) have been reported in Trinidad and Tobago at this time.
The Ministry says, in this regard, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh convened a meeting today (Friday 20th May 2022) to address reports of the detection of this virus. The following agencies and personnel were represented at the meeting:
Ministry of Health
The Ministry is advising the public that the main symptoms of Monkeypox are fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes. The virus is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with contaminated material such as bedding. The virus may also be transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids and respiratory droplets.
The public is further advised that “if you or anyone close to you, have had a recent travel history from any country where cases have been detected and are symptomatic, as described above, please visit your nearest health care provider.” For a full list of these countries, persons can visit the WHO website at www.who.int/emergencies/emergency-events/item/monkeypox.
The Ministry says the public will be kept abreast on any further developments regarding this emerging health threat as more information becomes available.
This is a developing story - refresh this page for updates.
While visiting the Paddock, Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain to get his second booster shot today (Friday 20th May 2022), Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said he is paying attention to the global increase in cases of Monkeypox.
Speaking with Newsday about possible cases of Monkeypox in the Caribbean and specifically in Trinidad and Tobago, Minister Deyalsingh said the issue has been discussed and he is concerned. “I just had an emergency meeting Thursday morning with the Health Team headed by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram, Epidemiologist Dr. Avery Hinds, Primary Medical Officer Dr. Maryam Abdool-Richards, the vaccination team, and representatives from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO),” he said.
The Minister added, “We must not take this lightly, which is why we had an emergency meeting today and will give more details today at 3pm.” No suspected case(s) have been reported in the country at this time.
What is Monkeypox and where did it originate?
Monkeypox, which is an extremely rare disease and a cousin of Smallpox, got its name in 1958 when “two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, the main disease carrier of Monkeypox is still unknown, although “African rodents are suspected to play a part in transmission,” the agency said.
The first known case of Monkeypox in people was “recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate Smallpox,” the CDC said.
After forty (40) years with no reported cases, Monkeypox re-emerged in Nigeria in 2017, the CDC said. Since then, there have been more than 450 reported cases in Nigeria and at least eight (8) known exported cases internationally, the agency said.
Monkeypox is mostly found in West and Central Africa, but additional cases have been seen in Europe, including the United Kingdom, and other parts of the world in recent years. Those cases are typically linked to international travel or imported animals infected with the pox, the CDC said.
Where are the current cases of Monkeypox?
So far, cases of Monkeypox have been detected in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal. The first case was reported only a few days ago, on 7th May 2022.
A case of Monkeypox was reported Wednesday (18th May 2022) in a patient hospitalized in Massachusetts who had recently traveled to Canada in private transportation. On Thursday (19th May 2022), Spain confirmed seven (7) cases of Monkeypox in Madrid and are investigating another twenty-two (22); Italy confirmed its first case; and Canadian Public Health Officials announced they are investigating seventeen (17) suspected cases of Monkeypox in Montreal. Meanwhile, several cases of Monkeypox in the United Kingdom among people who have no known travel or contact with others with the virus, have Health Officials there and at the CDC concerned.
What are the initial symptoms of Monkeypox?
There is an incubation period of some seven (7) to fourteen (14) days, the CDC said. Initial symptoms are typically flu-like, such as fever, chills, exhaustion, headache and muscle weakness, followed by swelling in the lymph nodes, which help the body fight infection and disease.
“A feature that distinguishes infection with Monkeypox from that of Smallpox is the development of swollen lymph nodes,” the CDC said. Next comes a widespread rash on the face and body, including inside the mouth and on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
The painful, raised poxes are pearly and fluid-filled, often surrounded by red circles. The lesions finally scab over and resolve over a period of two (2) to three (3) weeks, the CDC said.
“Treatment is generally supportive as there are no specific drugs available. However, a vaccine is available that can be given to prevent the development of disease,” Jimmy Whitworth, Professor of International Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said in a statement.
How is Monkeypox spread?
Close contact with an infected individual is required for the spread of the Monkeypox virus, experts say. Infection can develop after exposure to “broken skin, mucous membranes, respiratory droplets, infected body fluids or even contact with contaminated linen,” Neil Mabbott, Personal Chair in Immunopathology at the Veterinary School of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, said in a statement.
Is there a Monkeypox vaccine?
There is no specific Monkeypox vaccine, but vaccination against Smallpox — a closely related virus — has been shown to protect against the disease. Data from Africa suggests that the Smallpox vaccine is at least 85% effective at preventing Monkeypox, according to the CDC. Vaccination soon after exposure might also help prevent the disease or make it less severe.
Routine Smallpox vaccination has not occurred in the U.S. since the disease was eradicated in 1972, although there is a National stockpile.
This is a developing story - refresh this page for updates.
[Sources: Newsday | CNN]
Rihanna and rapper A$AP Rocky are officially parents, having welcomed a baby boy a few days ago on 13th May 2022 in Los Angeles, according to official records. The new baby is the first child for both Rihanna and A$AP. The name of the baby boy is unknown at this time.
The couple announced they were expecting back in January with a NYC photo shoot. Rihanna was seen proudly showing off her baby bump throughout her pregnancy, wearing several designer looks.
A$AP was arrested just last month in a surprise bust as the couple's private plane touched down at LAX. Law enforcement sources told TMZ at the time that the bust was in connection to an incident where the rapper is accused of firing shots at an acquaintance, grazing his hand. Nonetheless, Rihanna continued to support A$AP, even attending one of his shows — cheering for him backstage just a week after the arrest.
Congrats to the happy couple!
This is a developing story - refresh this page for updates.
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