Caribbean RoundUp – Caribbean Life Information

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Antigua

The Police Service Commission (PSC) in Antigua has announced that it will appeal the High Court’s decision that the dismissal of former Police Commissioner Wendell Robinson and the appointment of his successor were unconstitutional.

The PSWC issued a statement after Judge Ann-Marie ruled in Robinson’s constitutional motion that his resignation and the appointment of current Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney was illegal, null and void.

It also set April 30th as the date for the award of damages to the former top police officers.

Robinson was fired in November 2019 and stripped of the pension, tips and other allowances he would have amassed during nearly 35 years of service with the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda after being suspended in April 2018 on alleged wrongdoing. Born Rodney, started work in February 2020.

Following Justice Smith’s recent ruling, the PSC moved to stay the ruling pending appeal.

The PSC will request the Court of Appeal to review Justice Smith’s decision to determine whether such a decision was lawful.

The court’s decision means that technically Robinson is still the police commissioner.

Barbados

Two teachers unions in Barbados are opposed to resuming face-to-face classes on April 20, as announced by Education Minister Santia Bradshaw, insisting that the decision is premature despite a reduction in new COVID-19 cases.

The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) both said it was too early for schools to reopen.

At a recent press conference, Minister Bradshaw announced that physical education schools would gradually reopen in the third and final semester of the current school year.

As part of the gradual opening, students preparing for the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Exam and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams will return to class at least three days a week while the other two days will be taught online.

The minister said resuming face-to-face teaching was vital as many students had found it difficult to adjust to virtual learning in recent months.

BUT President Pedro Shepherd said it would be better for children to return to the classrooms at the start of the new school year in September.

“The ABER chose September for a number of reasons. We have taken into account that there is community expansion in Barbados and the facts so far do not suggest that it is under control, ”he said.

More than 3,000 teachers were vaccinated last month. This was the last of the first stages of the National Vaccination Program, during which more than 63,000 Barbadians and permanent residents received the first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since it began launching in February.

Caribbean

Caribbean business leader and entrepreneur Angela Lee Loy was selected from more than 500 nominations worldwide to be part of the multi-stakeholder task force for the United Nations high-level meeting on HIV 2021.

Lee Loy is the only private sector representative in a group that includes civil society members from 16 countries.

The high-level meeting on HIV will be held virtually June 8-10 and will review progress in reducing the effects of HIV 40 years after the first cases began, a UNAIDS statement said.

The multi-stakeholder task force has the task of ensuring the involvement of civil society and an open, transparent and participatory process before and during the high-level meeting.

Lee Loy is the chairman and founder of Aegis Business Solutions Ltd., the largest corporate outsourcing and consulting firm in the English-speaking Caribbean, and chairman of the recruitment agency Eve Anderson Recruitment Ltd.

Grenada

A 33-year-old female grenadier is the first person recently accused of providing a fake Covid-19 test result since Grenada enforced a mandatory negative PCR test requirement to obtain a permit to travel to the island.

Gillian Fletcher, a resident of St. Andrew’s parish, was beaten for defrauding an official and telling a forged document.

She has received bail of EC $ 10,000 (US $ 3,700) and is expected to appear in court in May. Fletcher had tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving from New York. The charges came after they were medically resolved.

According to reports, a doctor reviewing the results that travelers presented to health officials at Maurice Bishop International Airport found some “medical inconsistencies” with the result the woman presented upon arrival from New York.

Investigators contacted the laboratory in New York where the PCR test was allegedly carried out. It was found that Fletcher’s name as one of the people who had a Covid-19 test done at the facility was not on the system.

All individuals entering Grenada are required not only to present a negative PCR test performed at least 72 hours prior to arrival, but also to have a mandatory test performed on the fifth day after arriving on the island.

Guyana

Businesses in Guyana are warned that if they continue the illegal practice of collecting VAT on various goods, including building materials, they will face the full force of the law.

Dr. Ashni Singh, senior minister in the office of the President in charge of Finance in Guyana, said he was made aware of reports from members of the public that a number of hardware stores have since refused to comply and are still unscrupulous in levying VAT multiple items.

He noted that after the state budget was passed last month, several measures, including zero VAT valuation or the reduction of a number of goods, had been canceled.

In addition, the VAT rate has been restored for basic food and household items, which were previously rated at zero until May 2015, but have been switched to “standard rate” or “exempt” in the last five years. Including basic groceries, locally made linens, pillow cases and toothbrushes.

Dr. Singh said all of these measures should benefit consumers, reduce the costs associated with these onerous tax measures, and lower the cost of living for Guyanese people in general.

Suriname

Suriname recently received 24,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility – a global initiative jointly led by the Coalition for Epidemic Alliance, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

PAHO’s Revolving Fund, which is responsible for purchasing and supplying Covid-10 vaccines on behalf of the countries of America that are part of the COVAX facility, has doses of the SK Bioscience of South Korea’s.

The delivery of the first tranche of vaccines by the COVAX facility with support from PAHO is a proud moment for Suriname in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PAHO said.

Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell, PAHO / WHO representative in Suriname said the country is very committed to securing vaccines for the people of Suriname to protect the most vulnerable and reduce deaths.

Dr. Rakesh Sukul, acting health director, said with the arrival of the vaccines, Suriname could vaccinate more vulnerable people. The country has recorded 9,085 confirmed cases with 177 deaths.

Trinidad

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) passengers can now book and pay for COVID-19 tests through the airline’s website.

In a press release released last week, CAL stated that it keeps abreast of innovations and services to provide a safe travel environment for its customers.

Steve Azvedo, CEO of CAL, said this is an important step for Caribbean Airlines to help countries safely open their borders while preventing COVID-19 cases from importing.

He said the innovative solution will allow passengers to review their health records using multiple identification options.

The statement said that passengers traveling on the airline will have the option to book and pay for COVID tests up to seven days in advance, but no less than 48 hours before their departure date.

Customers can enter their booking reference code via the passenger COVID-19 test booking portal caribbeanairlines.health.ink. A list of approved test laboratories and the available dates and times are displayed for selection.

Payment must be made immediately after the appointment with the selected laboratory. The cost of the test varies depending on the country and laboratory in which the test is performed.

– Compiled by Azad Ali