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This happens to your body when you eat ginger every day for a month

We didn’t know ginger is so healthy

We all know that fruit and vegetables are really good for us. It is known that we should eat colored food several times a day, but did you know that certain spices also have many health benefits? Take ginger, for example. When you eat ginger every day, a lot of good things happen to your body.

Ginger

Ginger is a spice with a very strong taste. Ginger is not only very tasty but also has a lot of good qualities. Ginger contains gingerol, shogaol, zingiberene, and a whole range of vitamins and minerals. It is therefore not surprising that ginger has a long medicinal history. Centuries ago, ginger was used to cure all kinds of ailments. In addition, eating ginger regularly also helps to keep your body healthy.

Good qualities

Ginger contains gingerol, a bio-active substance that helps to reduce symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. This substance also helps to reduce swollen joints. Ginger also contains shoagol, a substance with an analgesic effect that also helps against cancer and heart disease. Zingiberene in ginger is particularly good for digestion. But not only this: ginger also has an anti-diabetic effect and improves brain function and the immune system.

Ginger every day

Are you planning to eat ginger every day for a month? Then we will not stop you! Eating ginger daily has many health benefits. Side note: you do not have to nibble on a piece of ginger every day. Cut a large piece – about 1.5 centimeters – into small pieces and mix it with your smoothie, tea, or Asian dish. Wondering what this does to your body? We will explain it to you.

…Does this to your body:

Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation in the body is reduced faster. This is due to the anti-inflammatory effect of ginger.

Nausea disappears: are you often nauseous in the morning? We bet that eating ginger every day will help you! By eating ginger daily, the nausea will soon subside. Tip: Especially pregnant women and people undergoing chemotherapy can benefit from this.

Reduction of muscle pain: Do you have muscle pain or pain in the limbs? Eating ginger can have a good influence on this. Consuming ginger daily will gradually ease the pain.

Promotes bowel movements: Eating ginger on a daily basis does a lot of good for your bowel movements. Do you regularly suffer from constipation? Then this might help you.

Menstrual pain: Are you in constant pain during this time of the month? Then eating ginger daily may help you. The spice is similar to taking pain medications, which can help relieve acute abdominal pain.

Lowers cholesterol: Eating ginger every day for a month can help lower “bad” cholesterol in the body. The amount of triglycerides in the blood is reduced by the substances in ginger.

Boosts the Immune System: The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger strengthens the immune system. Have you already been affected by a cold or virus? Then ginger can help you recover faster.

Posted in COVID-19, Education, Features, Health, International, Local, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Good_to_go_certificate-

Travelers to face Negative COVID-19 Test to enter Antigua

by Bennette Roach

While entering Montserrat has taken on visa-styled requirements to enter the island, leaving  Montserrat is equally involved as health certificates become necessary to enter Antigua.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is notifying travelers from Montserrat to Antigua, of the need to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to traveling.

This became necessary as advised in a release today from the Government Information Unit (GIU) whereby, “In accordance with the Government of Antigua public health protocols, all passengers arriving in Antigua must have a negative COVID -19 test taken within seven days of their arrival. This includes passengers transiting through Antigua to other final destinations.”

To facilitate the established protocols; The Ministry of Health and Social Services will facilitate the testing of prospective travelers.  As such “Residents who are booked to travel must contact Dr. Georgette Skerritt at telephone number (664) 496-9724 to make an appointment, to be sampled for testing.

“Sampling will occur each Friday, and test results are anticipated to be available by Wednesday of the following week. At present, there is no cost associated with sampling and testing.”

The public is asked to review their travel dates and be guided accordingly to ensure a smooth transition through Antigua.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, COVID-19, Government Notices, Health, International, News, Regional0 Comments

visa-trave

COVID-19 forces Visa-styled requirements to enter Montserrat

by Bennette Roach

As the Government of Montserrat continues to remove and amend COVID-19 suppression restrictions, and the phased reopening of the economy continues, a release from the Government Information Unit (GIU) advises:  

“As of Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 5:00 a.m. the maximum number of persons allowed to gather in a public place will increase from 10 to 50.

  This is outlined in the ‘Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.4) Order, S.R.O. 44 of 2020’ which will be in effect until August 4, 2020.

Additionally, the categories of persons allowed to travel to Montserrat now “includes a person” who owns a habitable house or home in Montserrat.  However, persons traveling to Montserrat must register by completing and submitting the declaration form on the government of Montserrat website (www.gov.ms) no later than three days of their intended date of travel.”

Aircraft owners have seemingly (non-criminalised) responsibilities

The owner of an aircraft or vessel must also ensure that the person has been granted approval to travel to Montserrat prior to departing. All persons arriving on Montserrat must self-quarantine for 14-days commencing on the date of arrival.

The Order also “makes provisions for child care centers, nursery schools, primary schools, secondary school, tertiary school, and any other school(s) to open.”

“However, the Head or owner of the school must submit a sanitisation plan to the Minister of Health for approval, before opening.  The Head or owner of the school must also ensure that staff, students and customers practice social distancing, and comply with any direction or guideline issued by the Minister of Health regarding cleaning, sanitisation, and other precautions. Failure to comply with the directives from the Minister of Health may result in the school being ordered to close.

“As it relates to the operations of gyms and sports clubs, these entities will be allowed to offer services, but must first submit a sanitisation plan to the Minister of Health for approval, before opening.  Once approved to operate, owners of gyms and sports clubs must ensure that customers maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from each other and must comply with any direction of guideline from the Minister of Health regarding cleaning, sanitisation, and other precautions.

“Although the six feet physical distance is specified for gyms and sports clubs, the Order also makes provisions for ‘contact sporting’ activities but individuals must comply with the restriction on the number of persons allowed to gather.” 

The release concludes that all other measures which were previously announced guiding the operations of businesses such as restaurants, cookshops, barbershops, beauty salons, bars, spas and bus, and taxi operators still remain in effect.

For those so able, the full S.R.O may be downloaded at http://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/SRO-44-of-2020-Public-Health-Covid-19-Suppression-No.4-Order-.pdf

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Featured, Government Notices, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

Okra

Nutritional Value & Health Benefits of Okra (ochro)

  Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients. Nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid are also present in a half cup of cooked okra.

These suggestions may be more palatable …
toss okra in oil and grill for about 10 min till blackened and crunchy
add diced tomatoes
The acid in the tomatoes cuts the slime of okra
*ochro - okra 2 - Copy**********
chop onion
trim and slice okra
butter in skillet (I guess can use EVOO)

stir in onions, then okra
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp coriander
ground black pepper
salt
stir often
can add diced tomatoes
*************************
quick dunk in hot oil
fry
*********
oil, sliced garlic till golden
add okra and splash of water to lightly steam
cover for 20 minutes
******

cornmeal coating and fry

NOTE: Drink GREEN TEA WITH IT — that shrinks tumors

I drank gallons of the stuff for yrs…

Nutritional Value & Health Benefits

Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients. Nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid are also present in a half cup of cooked okra.

Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup sliced, cooked okra)

Calories 25   Dietary Fiber 2 grams
Protein 1.52 grams   Carbohydrates 5.76 grams
Vitamin A 460 IU   Vitamin C 13.04 mg
Folic acid 36.5 micrograms   Calcium 50.4 mg
Iron 0.4 mg   Potassium 256.6 mg
Magnesium 46 mg   

Preparation & Serving

 

Okra exudes a unique mucilaginous juice which is responsible for its thickening power in the famous Louisiana Creole gumbo dish. Aside from gumbo, okra compliments tomatoes, onions and corn, shellfish and fish stock. Okra has a subtle taste, similar to the flavor of eggplant.

Home Preservation

Freezing is the best method for long term home storage of okra. Freeze only young, tender okra. Okra must be blanched before freezing, as with all vegetables. Unblanched okra will quickly become tough and suffer huge nutrient, flavor and color loss during freezing. Follow the procedure outlined below for successful home freezing.ochro - okra 1 - Copy

To Prepare Okra for Freezing

Since freezing does not improve the quality of any vegetable, it is important to start with fresh green pods. Avoid pods longer than 2 to 2-1/2 inches long. Okra that is at peak quality for eating is best for freezing.

  1. In a blanching pot or large pot with tight fitting lid, bring about 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Meanwhile, wash, and trim of stems of okra pods, leaving caps whole.
  3. Blanch no more than one pound of okra at a time. Drop pods into boiling water and immediately cover with a tight fitting lid.
  4. Start timing the blanching immediately and blanch for four minutes.
  5. Prepare an ice water bath in a large 5 to 6 quart container or use the sink.
  6. Remove the okra from the blanching water with a slotted spoon or blanching basket.
  7. Emerge the okra in the ice water bath for 5 min. or until completely cool. If ice is unavailable, use several changes of cold tap water to cool the vegetables.
  8. Remove from water and drain.
  9. Label and date, quart size, zip-closure freezer bags.
  10. Pack okra into prepared freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible by folding the top portion of the bag over. Gently push air out and seal. Freeze for up to one year at 32°F or below.

Note: Blanching water and ice water bath may be used over and over again. Return blanching water to a boil after each batch of vegetables is blanched and replenish water if necessary.

 

For more: Can you browse on the internet

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/okra.cfm

http://her2support.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=60370

Recipes

Okra and Corn with Tomatoes

Serve this Carolina favorite over a bowl of long-grain rice with a piece of hot cornbread. The okra should be young, not longer than 2 inches. Vine ripen tomatoes and fresh bell peppers add to the richness of this dish.

  • 2 tablespoons each butter and canola oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon each thyme, red pepper flakes and basil
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 large fresh ripe, tomatoes seeded and chopped
  • 4 ears corn, remove kernels, about 2 cups
    (may use frozen or canned whole kernel, drained)
  • 2 cups small okra pods, left whole or 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a 10 inch iron skillet or heavy pan, heat olive oil and add onions, bay leaves, thyme, basil, and red pepper flakes. Sauté, and stir until onions are limp add bell pepper and continue cooking until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, okra, water, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn and cook 5 minutes longer. Taste, adjust seasoning if needed. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.


Okra and Green Beans

This dish tastes even better after refrigerating overnight. The flavors blend into a wonderful taste sensation. Serve it warm or cold. This dish can also be oven-baked. Instead of simmering, lightly cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.

  • 3/4 pound fresh okra, uncut
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed then chopped
  • 1 cup water plus 2 tablespoonssalt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste

Wash okra pods, trim stems, do not remove caps. If desired soak okra in vinegar for 30 minutes to remove some of the stickiness. Rinse well and drain. Wash beans and cut into 3 inch lengths. Combine water, tomato paste, olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a sauce pan and mix well.

Heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comet to boil. Add okra and beans and additional water if necessary to almost cover vegetables.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently until vegetables are crisp-tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

 

Posted in COVID-19, Energy, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Youth190 Comments

Breaking-news-Brandt

Brandt released from remand and back on bail

by Bennette Roach, London.

Bail Revoked, Brandt on remand, jailed, until? Was the headline in the TMR’s publication of July 5, 2019,  which began, “This lingering high court criminal matter has been described on Tuesday in one report as follows: “The High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has ordered another ‘interesting twist’ in the case the Queen vs David S. Brandt.”

David S. Brandt

– a trial is set to begin on November 18, 2019, but meantime the judge issues ‘directive’ to stop comments on the case.

Now, yesterday originating in Antigua:

The link from July 2019 at the beginning of this story gives an extensive and somewhat detailed as to Brandt was put on remand where he has been until the breaking news. The case has been somewhat a saga with several attempts including appeals to undo the remand order and which included a new judge eventually forced to recuse from the trial.

See here: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/brandts-trial-to-begin-february-28/ another rundown as to how the matter went before we would say, COVID-19 intervened and the opportunity to end the remand and save GoM some expense from the Lockdown that ensued. That supposedly ended altogether yesterday, ‘maybe’, while it was eased earlier, there continued a curfew just ended.

The conditions of this ‘new’ bail include, among others; Mr. Brandt is to restrict his residence to his home in Olveston; he must have no contact any female under the age of 18; He must not entertain or have any interviews on the case/matter; he must have no direct or indirect contact with any jurors once the juror list is published (and he is in possession).  

The trial is now scheduled to commence on September 28.

Listen below to ZJB – Radio Montserrat’s full report:

Dr. David Dorsett, Brandt’s attorney primarily in Constitutional matters

Attorney-at-law Warren Cassell who initially provided the breaking news information, informed, “Dr. Dorsett did an excellent job in representing him from Antigua at bail hearing which was via Zoom.”

In a comment, Cassell ‘imagined how upset the DPP will be when he hears the news…..” It was probably that which drew some comments, like “For all those who talking negatively about Mr. Brandt, call on God and ask Him to deal with us the way we deserve then sit back and look. NONE will be spared……remember that.” “…everyone needs to be treated fairly; ” ”a he axx that. Everyone needs to be treated fairly.”

“The vipers them already stirring up. Everyone deserves a Fair trial. When u guys coming for people come good. Have you facts and all your Ts cross. When you assuming no carry it a court. I wonder how the High Court that doesn’t have anything to do with Montserrat favoritism is doing anything hypocritical.”

Posted in Court, COVID-19, Crime, Featured, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

EASTERN CARIBBEAN CENTRAL BANK

EASTERN CARIBBEAN CENTRAL BANK

V A C A N C Y

Debt Analyst Ι, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

Suitably qualified citizens of member territories of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and wider CARICOM countries are invited to apply to fill the post of Debt Analyst I, in the Statistics Department (SD), at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in St Kitts.  Working at the ECCB provides a unique opportunity for you to help our member countries to manage their debt portfolios in a sustained and effective way to promote fiscal and debt sustainability.  The successful candidate will be based in St Kitts and will be hired initially on a two (2) year contractual engagement with the opportunity to transfer to the permanent establishment based on performance.

All applicants must complete the ECCB Employment Application Form which is available on the ECCB Website (www.eccb-centralbank.org).

SELECTION CRITERIA:

  1. A relevant first or higher degree and/or professional qualifications preferably in Economics, Finance, Business or Public Policy.
  2. At least three (3) years of relevant work experience in finance or public financial management; work experience in public debt management is a plus.

APPLICANTS MUST HAVE:

  1. Proven quantitative and qualitative analytical and problem-solving skills;
  2. Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint;
  3. Excellent communication skills – both verbal and written;
  4. Experience in giving presentations and training;
  5. Quick learning and creative thinking abilities, with initiative and attention to details;
  6. A high level of motivation, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively in a team-oriented environment;
  7. Ability to deliver high-quality work, multitask and to work under tight deadlines and pressure;
  8. Good networking and self-management abilities;
  9. High ethical standards.

The following would be considered as assets:

  • Experience in analytical tools such as Fiscal and Debt Sustainability, Financial Programming, Medium Term Debt Management Strategy;
  • Knowledge of debt management systems;
  • Experience in providing policy advice in areas related to fiscal policy and debt management would be assets.

DUTIES

The successful candidate will work with the Fiscal, Debt and Domestic Market team.  The main responsibilities will include:

  1. Accurately managing and maintaining public sector debt statistics to ensure consistency with international standards;
  2. Providing technical support to ECCU member countries to enhance the quality of the data in the debt recording system;
  3. Providing technical support to ECCU member countries in building capacity in debt management to undertake debt portfolio reviews, debt management strategies, debt restructuring and portfolio realignment, fiscal and debt sustainability analyses, and risk and asset-liability management;
  4. Facilitating the production of debt procedures manuals, identification of best practices and standardized guidelines for debt management;
  5. Conducting training to ensure that debt data are based on international standards;
  6. Facilitating the dissemination of public sector debt statistics;
  7. Undertaking research and providing policy advice to ECCU member countries on debt management issues in pursuit of fiscal and debt sustainability;
  8. Any other related duties which may be assigned.

SALARY

This position will be offered at a Grade 7 level. 

The following documents must be submitted:

  • Employment application form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two (2) original letters of reference
  • Certified copies of certificates
  • Official transcripts where applicable

Supporting documents should be addressed to:

Human Resource Department
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
BASSETERRE
St Kitts

hrd@eccb-centralbank.org

To reach no later than 3 July 2020.

Note:   
1.  Applicants may enquire of the Human Resource Department to ascertain receipt of applications;
2.  Only candidates shortlisted for the selection process will be contacted;
3.  Shortlisted candidates will be required to undertake various assessments.

Posted in Advertisements, Business/Economy/Banking, Local, OECS, Regional, Vacancies0 Comments

PM-Dr-Ralph-Gonsalves-1

St. Vincent PM says recount votes in Guyana should be honoured

by staff writer

KINGSTOWN, ST. Vincent, Jun 11, CMC – St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says he remains satisfied that the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping “will not stand by idly and watch the recount which is properly done for the results to be set aside” in the disputed March 2 regional and general elections in Guyana.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is yet to announce officially the winner of the polls after the re-count exercise was concluded on Sunday in the presence of observers from CARICOM and other international organisations.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves appearing on radio programme (CMC Photo)

Both the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National unity (APNU) headed by President David Granger and the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) headed by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo have claimed victory.

The PPP/C said that the recount has shown that it won the election by more than 15,000 votes, while the APNU has claimed that a number of irregularities and anomalies took place during the voting exercise and has called on GECOM to make a statement on the matter.

Gonsalves, speaking on a programme on the state-owned NBC Radio St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said “we expect the CARICOM observer mission to deliver its report and we expect that what is the recount would be honoured and the Guyana Elections Commission would honour that recount and declare the winner in accordance with this recount”

He told radio listeners that “anybody who wants to challenge anything afterward can go to court but you have to declare the winner in accordance with the recount,” he added.

Gonsalves, who is expected to take over the chairmanship of CARICOM in July, said that there had been “no complaints” about the first two processes involved in the elections, namely “what happens before the election day, process of registration, putting the machinery in place for free and fair elections, secondly what happens on election day.

“: Nobody said it was a sham elections or irregularities were such that so as to undermine the efficacy of the poll. The third question which was outstanding is the counting of the votes.

“That’s why the first statement that (Prime Minister of Barbados) Mia Mottley made as chair of CARICOM…is that each vote must be counted, each vote has to be counted. Well, this is where you had the basis for the recount and the reason why it is an election and not a selection, you have to count the votes and you have to count them honestly”.

Gonsalves said that he is “satisfied that CARICOM will not stand by idly and watch the recount which is properly done for the results to be set aside

“St Vincent and the Grenadines stands firmly for democracy and reflecting the will of the people. That will tell you where we are. I don’t have to say anything straight and plain. CARICOM is not going to tolerate anybody stealing an election,” he said.

Gonsalves said he is aware of a number of opposition parties when they lose an election make a number of complaints.

“It is almost a boring repetition. We get the reports, follow the law and who win, win. When you take part in an election there is always a chance that you may lose and if you lose …you take your licks like a man,” Gonsalves said, telling listeners that he is a friend to both Granger and Jagdeo.

Coalition says a statement by incoming CARICOM Chair could undermine the legitimacy of the recount process

by STAFF WRITER

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 11, CMC –  The coalition –  A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC)  has expressed concern with statements made the incoming Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; describing it as a taking a “prejudicial” stance on Guyana’s elections.

The APNU+AFC via a press statement said they were “surprised” at  Gonsalves’s statement since the national recount process of votes cast in the March 2, General and Regional Elections, is still ongoing.

Gonsalves who is the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has urged the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to declare a winner of the elections based on the figures from the first phase of the recount.

The recount is comprised of four stages.

However, the APNU+AFC in its statement highlighted that they are “concerned as the incoming Chair of CARICOM, Dr. Gonsalves has chosen to pronounce on a process that is still ongoing, and proposes to a direct constitutional body in another CARICOM Member State in the execution of its duties.”

The coalition reminded that the four-stage process which is gazetted was agreed to by all political parties and CARICOM.

The first stage of tabulating the votes recently concluded and the second stage is now in progress. That is the compilation of a matrix of the tabulated results along with a summary of the observation reports, by the Chief Elections Officer.

According to the coalition, the reports will highlight the 7,929 instances of irregularities which directly affected the validity of 257,173 votes.

Additionally, it was also pointed out that the CARICOM scrutineering team has not yet submitted a report of its findings as mandated by the gazetted order. This will then be followed by a review of the reports by the Elections Commission and finally a declaration of the results by the Chairperson of GECOM after having studied the report.

With that, the coalition further reminded that “the ongoing process is significant and important not only for democracy in Guyana but the wider CARICOM.  It is expected that CARICOM leaders would refrain from any actions or utterances that could undermine the legitimacy of the process and its credible conclusion.”

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Elections, International, Legal, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Safe & Sound

Safe & Sound

Reprint       News        Covid-19 is NOT a virus!

Health

Find out what Covid-19 really is and how you can protect yourself

One thing COVID-19 isn’t is a virus. There – I said it! Not that you would know from everything that’s buzzing around the media right now.

So if it’s not a virus, what is it?

COVID-19 is the disease you develop from being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Imagine it like HIV which is the virus that causes the disease AIDS.
Or the Streptococcus bacterium that causes tonsillitis.

So what does SARS-CoV stand for and how did it start?

SARS-CoV stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome caused by the Coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2 is the latest strain of the virus.

Scientists have been looking at the genome sequencing of this virus and have traced its origins back many tens of thousands of years. Coronavirus is part of a family of viruses that cause various diseases in various animals and, more recently, humans.

Scroll forward thousands of years. The first human Coronavirus was discovered by Tyrrell and Bynoe, back in the 1960s. They took respiratory tract swabs from human volunteers who were suffering from the common cold. They discovered a common infectious agent and the story of human Coronavirus began.

Whilst this was a fantastic discovery, it only answered a few questions about an otherwise innocent disease. Oh, and also to gain its name due to the crown-like projections emanating from the virus cell’s membrane. Coronavirus!

Forward again to the 21st Century. The first strain of SARS-CoV appeared in 2002 in a small city in the Guangdong Province of China (population of around 7.2 million) on the border with Hong Kong where a farmer became ill with a severe respiratory infection. The virus spread around the world infecting 8,000 people (as far as we know) and was attributed to 774 deaths in 17 countries.

SARS-CoV came and went without a huge global concern given the overall numbers affected.

Fast forward to 2012: Saudi Arabia. The first case of MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) was reported. This spread around many countries and even reached the UK in 2015. Its official name is MERS-CoV. Since its discovery, it has infected around 2,494 people (laboratory-confirmed cases) and 858 reported deaths over 27 countries. Again, no global crisis because of such low numbers.

Now jump forward to late 2019 and back to China. This time an outbreak in the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei Province, Wuhan (probably from a meat market). The first example of the current mutation of the virus, SARS-CoV-2. Let’s dive in and look at why this strain of Coronavirus is causing worldwide chaos when SARS and MERS did not.

Lots of people say that flu is a huge global killer, so what’s the big deal about Coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation estimates the global deaths from seasonal flu at a minimum of 290,000 annually,

This is clearly a big number. So why the panic around Coronavirus? As we will see, for various reasons, left unchecked, the science around this new disease is that it would kill far more people than the flu. Why is this?

First up, It’s not about how many people die from it. It’s about how many catch it and survive!

In the case of SARS, there were 774 deaths out of 8,000 infected. This is a mortality rate of 9.7%.

Turning to MERS, there were 858 deaths out of 2,494 deaths, a staggering mortality rate of 35%! That means that if 100 people catch it, 35 will die.

Initially, the data suggests that this new strain of Coronavirus, SARS-COV-2, has a mortality rate of between 2-4%. On the face of it, the new virus doesn’t sound like a big deal.

However, this ignores the likely number of people infected worldwide. 2% of 1,000 would be a minor public health issue. However SARS-COV-2 is incredibly infectious and without massive interventions, many millions will be infected and 2% of millions is a huge loss of human life.

The Infection Rate

In order to understand why SARS-CoV-2 is so infectious, we need to understand something called the infection rate, calculate it for this virus and then work out how many people could potentially contract the illness and thus work out how many could possibly die.

The infection rate is how many people can a single person infect if they have the illness. We call this the R0 (R nought) number or reproduction number.
For example, flu has an R0 1.3.

So for each person that has the flu, they will pass that on to another 1.3 persons. Then they, in turn, will pass that on to another 1.3 people. And on it goes.

To add some context, measles has an R0 between 12-18 depending on various factors. So measles is incredibly infectious which is why public health authorities are so concerned to ensure close to 100% of the population are vaccinated. Without mass vaccination, millions would die from measles each year.

So with this data can we predict how many will catch this new virus and how many may die?

Well, no, not quite. There is something else we have to factor in and that’s the incubation time.

Incubation Time

Incubation time determines how many people will get sick over what timeframe. The flu has an incubation period of just a few days. And you may not show any symptoms over those few days but are still passing the virus on.

In just a few days the flu can infect many people. However, you know you have it sooner and can isolate so as not to infect others. In fact, most of us are too ill to want to go out once we have the symptoms. So we often stop spreading it as widely, at that stage, because we naturally travel less through the community.

So, in the case of viruses with long incubation periods, the longer the period we can infect other people. In the case of viruses where some or a large proportion of those infected have no symptoms during the incubation period, the more people we unknowingly infect.

Putting it all Together

We can now understand why SARS-CoV-2 is posing a worldwide pandemic and an unprecedented public health emergency not seen since the 1918-19 Spanish flu epidemic which killed an estimated 20-50 million people globally.

This new variant of SARS-CoV has an R0 of 2-2.5, has an incubation period between 1-14 days and, particularly in young people can be completely symptomless.

So can we now see how a) it will infect more people, b) they won’t know they are infected until they have had the virus for a while.

The combination of these factors means that if societies do not take extreme measures to socially isolate citizens, the virus will spread extremely rapidly and widely. Public Health England and other reputable medical sources estimate infection rates where such measures are not taken of approximately 80%

Even if the estimated death rate for SARS-CoV-2 of 2-4% is exaggerated – let’s apply an overall death rate of 1% – this would mean around 54 million of the UK population would be infected and around 540,000 would die. Taking the lower of the 2-4% range, over a million people would perish in the UK.

The idea that SARS-CoV-2 is just like the flu is dangerously wrong. This virus is a very dangerous beast and requires the huge and urgent international response it has generated.

How does the SARS-CoV virus work?

This virus can’t walk and it most certainly can’t fly. What’s more, it can only use those little crown projections coming out of it to bond to very specific cells. It can’t just bond to any old cell in your body.

It’s a respiratory tract infection. It can only bind to those special cells.

How does the SARS-CoV virus get into our body?

Usually, you put it there! Viruses are very intelligently adaptable. They have been on this planet longer than we have. They need to reproduce and then get out to find new hosts. Not just new host cells within the first animal they find: if they infect too many cells that the animal will die taking the virus along with it. Somehow they have to find a way to get out of this host animal and into another one. It’s incredibly difficult to infect another species, so it needs to find lots of the same species of animal in one place.

With this in mind, viruses tend to infect areas where they can easily get in but also get out. It’s no coincidence that Norovirus makes you expel all your bodily contents from both orifices of your digestive system! Its evolutionary capability is to reach as far and wide as possible.

The same mechanism drives coughing and sneezing when we have the flu. This enables the virus to reach other potential hosts.

On the other hand, when the virus leaves the body, it is under threat. It can’t live for very long outside the body. So it needs to find a new host before it dies. If the environmental factors are right, some viruses can live outside a host for many days. SARS-CoV 2 mostly relies on you coughing out large droplets of water to carry it and give it some temporary accommodation. Depending on what it lands on, its survival is a matter of hours or several days.

Direct contact can allow the virus to be passed from one person to another. The closer the contact, the more likely. Kissing is a virus’ best and easiest route. But the most likely route is usually your hands. That’s where the tyres meet the tarmac, so to speak. It’s how we interact with our surroundings.

An infected person touches another person or a hard surface and the virus waits for you to touch your face to facilitate migration into its new host animal – YOU!

What happens once we become infected by SARS-CoV?

Once inside your body, the virus binds to cells that have similar receptors to itself.

This is what’s called an enveloped virus – it has a special fat layer around the outside. This helps protect it between host cells but it also looks like a protein that should not be attacked by the immune system. Initially anyway. The virus is not of human origin so our immune system doesn’t recognise it. The infected cell is then fooled into accepting the virus.

This is where the virus gets to work. It has found a new host and the new cells are healthy. So the virus starts to hijack the cell. The virus then uses the cell’s factory to start printing out millions of copies of itself. But it has to hide these new copies so they don’t get attacked. This is another vulnerable stage for the virus. It uses our cells to coat the new copies, to hide them and releases them in search of new hosts. The virus ruthlessly keeps printing copies until it kills the host cell that it’s hijacked. It hopes that the new copies have infected new cells and thus the cycle continues.

As more and more cells are destroyed in the production of new viruses, the system begins to break down. So, in the case of a respiratory tract infection, lung cells. Obviously, fewer functioning lung cells means reduced functionality of the lungs.

In the case of SARS-CoV 2, the evidence suggests that this is the most likely cause of death. Those with existing reduced lung function, like the elderly or those with lung diseases, are at the most risk. But any underlying health condition that reduces your body’s ability to fight infections, increases the risk.

But it’s not all bad. The clock is ticking for the virus. As it kills more cells, our immune system will be enlightened to that and start to react. Actively looking for and killing new viruses that are released from damaged host cells. Now it’s the battle of the fittest. This is why those who are young, fit or healthy have strong immune systems and their systems are best able to fight the virus and kill it off. Those people either have no symptoms or mild or moderate symptoms. They will not need medical treatment although drinking lots of fluid and taking paracetamol can be used to reduce headaches and aching limbs. Those who are less fit, older, with less strong immune systems will experience much more serious symptoms and may need to be hospitalised.

Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2

The reports of symptoms are far and wide. Ranging from no symptoms at all, all the way up to death.

However, the 2 most common symptoms are:

• a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

The only way to know if you really have SARS-CoV 2 is by testing.

The UK is currently only testing hospital admissions that are displaying the common symptoms. There is no test available at the moment for people who have already contracted the illness but recovered. And until we have one it’s very difficult to accurately calculate the mortality rate, infection rate and incubation period. It may be that many more have had this virus than first thought, which would significantly reduce the mortality rate. The UK Government has announced that it is very close to the release of mass self-testing to see whether individuals have had the illness because the test will detect whether they have developed antibodies (prior to last December, no human had had the virus so no-one was immune).

I think I have Covid-19 – what should I do?

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service: NHS 111 Service

DO NOT go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

What can I do to prevent getting Covid-19?

At the moment, there is no vaccine or anti-viral drug for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Once you are infected and develop Covid-19 all you can do is alleviate symptoms. So if you have a fever, for example, try to reduce it.
Government advice is changing daily with daily bulletins, updates and advice.
But as with any virus, we can take certain basic precautions.

Hand Washing is Your Best Weapon

Soap and water will remove the virus. Alcohol hand sanitiser can damage the fatty shell and make the virus more vulnerable. Washing robs much of the natural oils from our skin causing it to dry out. Dry skin is incredibly difficult to clean, so moisturiser is just as important as soap! After washing, try to moisturise to keep your skin hydrated and make it easier to clean.

Should I wear a face mask?

Surgical face masks won’t stop you contracting the virus. The mask is to stop the healthcare worker coughing onto their vulnerable patients. Evidence has shown that face masks can increase the risk as they get wet (remember this virus needs those water droplets) and human behaviour. Those not accustomed to wearing them touch their face more frequently than they would normally have done. Although if you have the virus you can prevent others from contracting it by using a mask or covering your face when coughing or sneezing.

Social Distancing

I’ve already mentioned how water droplets can’t travel far. So social distancing is another great weapon to combat the increased spread of the virus.
The droplets from coughing and sneezing can reach up to 2 meters from the infected host. So maintaining at least that distance in an open space should prevent infection.

Isolate Yourself

Stay at home as much as you can. Only leave for essential items or to help someone who is vulnerable and cannot care for themselves. And remember that you can be infected and spread this virus with little or no symptoms.
Understand the R0 factor and incubation period as I discussed earlier.
If one member of your household contracts it, the chances are the rest will.

Symptoms usually last for 5-7 days. But in those where they have been complications, it can take several weeks to recover.

What About Herd Immunity?

So if most of us will be ok, then why not just go get it?

Herd immunity does work. But it works much more safely if we can vaccinate rather than take the gamble people will survive the illness. It’s estimated about 20% of those that contract this virus will require hospitalisation. With about a quarter of those which will require Intensive Care.

In number terms, it is estimated that instead of 540,000 plus dying if nothing is done, using herd immunity and then protecting the vulnerable would reduce the number of deaths by around half to 250,000.

This is why the UK Government has introduced a significant lockdown of the country. The experts have estimated that if the UK population follows the guidelines strictly, the number of overall deaths could be substantially limited, possibly as low as around 25,000.

So what is the difference between the herd immunity model and the lockdown model?

Whilst our healthcare system is currently coping, we are only in the very early stage of the epidemic in the UK at the moment.

If the growth of those catching the virus is not strongly controlled by changing the population’s exposure to each other over the cycle of the virus until there is a vaccine available (estimated at 1 year to 18 months) or effective anti-viral medication (period unknown), the health service will rapidly become overwhelmed in terms of human resources, beds, oxygen, ventilators and personal protection equipment. Many, many thousands of people will needlessly die both from the virus and also from other illnesses which the health system will not be able to treat.

Herd immunity involves allowing 80% of the population to carry on with business as usual whilst the most vulnerable are in lockdown. However, this will mean that too many people will catch the virus and get ill at the same time. Around 20% of those catching it will become seriously ill and the health service will rapidly become overwhelmed.

Hence the new model: everyone apart from essential workers are placed into periods of home lockdown. This is designed to ensure that the virus spreads in as controlled and limited way as possible so that over the medium term the health services can cope and the maximum number of lives can be saved.

If most people recover after 7 days, then our beds should clear relatively quickly and will be ready for the next wave. It would be easier to deal with many small waves than one big one. Any good sailor will tell you that.
Each country has to deal with this in a different way. Individual demographics (some cultures have more people living in a single homestead), social demographics (elderly populations are more vulnerable), transport systems (better transport the larger the infection rate). I could go on. But the variables will make timing and tactics very different from country to country.

When will this end?

The truth is, we don’t know. What we do know about viruses is that they die off either by lack of hosts (because they are dead or too far away to infect so the virus naturally dies) or by having antibodies against the virus in our immune system via vaccination or surviving the virus.

But even then this could change seasonally and our antibodies may only offer short term protection like the flu.

The better question perhaps is how will this end? Here our answer is driven by what we know about the virus as summarised above. If through lockdown, the spread can be reversed, if the reversal is maintained eventually the population will be virus-free. How does the spread reverse: the answer is the R0 becomes less than 1. We know that uncontrolled the SARS-CoV-2 has an R0 of 2.3 meaning one person will on average infect 2.3 other people. If we successfully self-isolate, the R0 will drop. In a strange hypothetical world where every person the entire world self-isolated for six weeks, the R0 would eventually hit 0 i.e. no-one is infecting anyone else!

In the real world, the likelihood of the virus dying out in the human population is highly remote because different countries are imposing different degrees of lockdown. Thailand is an example of a country which has closed its borders, internal curfews, etc. It has had 1,045 cases and 4 deaths in an overall population of around 69 million. It is of course much closer to the original epicentre of the illness, China, than the UK which has a population of around 67.7 million, 9,529 cases and 465 deaths. The UK’s policy has shifted from a more liberal herd immunity approach initially to a much greater degree of lockdown in the last week.

We must bear in mind that European countries, a group of liberal democracies, will be balancing restrictions against the constraints on these actions in free societies. Even within Europe, the UK is more permissive than, say, Italy and Spain.

Bottom line, given different approaches, the virus will not disappear anytime soon. So the virus will not be totally defeated for many years to come. The threat it poses can be substantially reduced if we all follow the UK Government’s directions and, we hope, many of these restrictions can be reduced and subsequently totally lifted once vaccines and anti-viral medications are in place within the next year to 18 months.

Wishing you all well. Stay home, stay safe.

Mark Waterfield

Infection Control Lead for Safe and Sound

Posted in CARICOM, Climate/Weather, COVID-19, Environment, Featured, Health, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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CARICOM mounts Election Observation Mission for St. Kitts and Nevis General Elections

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)

At the invitation of the Government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has fielded a CARICOM Election Observation Mission to monitor the General Elections which will be held in that country on Friday, June 5, 2020.

The three-member Mission will be headed by Mr. Gasper Jean Baptiste, Chief Elections Officer of Saint Lucia, who has served as a member of CARICOM Election Observation Missions to some other CARICOM Member States.   The other members of the Mission are:

  •    H.E. Mr. Arley Gill (National of Grenada); and
  •    Mr. Chester Arlington Humphrey (National of Grenada).

The CARICOM Election Observation Mission proposes to meet with the electoral officials, leaders of political parties and other stakeholders of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, and will monitor the voting process including the opening of the poll, the casting of votes, the closing of the poll and the counting of the ballots.

The members of the Observation Mission arrived in St. Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, and will depart on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

The Election Observation Mission will issue a Preliminary Statement based on its observations and findings.  A Report on the General Elections will be subsequently prepared and submitted to the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community. For CARICOM, election observation serves as a platform to support existing democratic traditions within the Caribbean Community as part of its wider policy of supporting democracy and good governance. In this regard, at the request of the Government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the CARICOM Secretariat conducted virtual training in election observation for a group of local election observers.

Posted in CARICOM, Elections, International, Local, News, Politics0 Comments

george-Floyd-1

This death of another black man reached deep…

The Montserrat Reporterhttps://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter

Presented by Bennette Roach

from TMR Facebook page

George Floyd and his girlfriend

So sad!! This may not have been the worst, but the wilfulness, the torture, the obvious suffering makes it so…and if all that is being brought to light is true the cop and others should be charged with the first degree … Just sad about the few and the extreme reactions, but what did the DTp do, just incite with what his cronies called, ‘eloquence’. How sad!
The following was shared :
He called out to his Mom …. who died 2 years ago on the same day 😭😭😭😭😭 RIP
Handcuffed.
Fac…See More

Face Down.
Knee on his neck.
They did nothing.

He called the officer “Sir.”
They did nothing.

He begged for his life.
He begged for water.
He begged for mercy.
They did nothing.

His nose bled.
His body trembled.
He lost control of his bladder.
They did nothing.

He cried out, “I can’t breathe.”
They did nothing.

Twelve more times.

“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”
“I can’t breathe.”

They did nothing.

One last time, he gasped, “I can’t breathe.”
They did nothing.

He lost consciousness.
They did nothing.

A firefighter demanded they check his pulse.
They did nothing.

Off duty medical personnel begged them to stop.
They did nothing.

Deprived of oxygen.
His organs screaming.
His brain frantic.
They did nothing.

They watched George Floyd die.
His life fading.
A slow death.
They did nothing.

A lynching on the ground.
They did nothing.

For eight agonizing minutes.
Four officers watched.

He cried out for his Mom…
A grown man…
Crying out for the woman who gave him life…
As he feared joining her in death.
And still, they did nothing.

A black man.
A gentle giant.
Murdered because he was black.
And still, they’ve done nothing..

The officers should be arrested.
And still, they’ve done nothing.

REST IN PEACE 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

May justice be served.

Image may contain: 7 people, people standing and text

BLACK IS HUMAN TOO, NO HUMAN BEING IS MORE HUMAN THAN ANOTHER HUMAN

Leadership, when it is that poor is really as this guy calls it, will have bad consequences, worse than with those pretend at it! The legendary San Antonio Spurs coach is past done with Donald Trump’s inability to rise to this moment.thenation.comGregg Popovich: ‘The System Has to Change’ The legendary San Antonio Spurs coach is past done with Donald…The legendary San Antonio Spurs coach is past done with Donald Trump’s inability to rise to this moment.

Posted in Crime, Culture, Featured, International, News, Obituaries, Police0 Comments

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