96 new COVID cases recorded amid 23.9% positivity rate Loop Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is reporting that 96 new COVID-19 cases were recorded over a 24-hour period up to Tuesday afternoon.

There was no coronavirus related death recorded for the one-day reporting period.

The overall coronavirus death toll in Jamaica remains at 3,239.

There were 93 recoveries on the day, bringing that tally to 95,976.

The newly confirmed COVID-19 cases brought the total number on record for the island to 149,092.

Notably, the island recorded a 23.9 per cent positivity rate based on the samples that were tested on Tuesday.

Of the newly confirmed cases, 51 are males and 45 are females, with ages ranging from one day to 96 years.

The case count was made up of Kingston and St Andrew (33), Clarendon (14), St James (11), St Catherine (nine), Trelawny (seven), Manchester (six), St Mary (four), Westmoreland (four), Hanover (three), St Thomas (two), Portland (two), and St Ann (one).

There are 17 moderately ill patients, four severely ill patients and three critically ill patients among 1,240 active cases now under observation in Jamaica.

A total of 107 COVID-19 patients are now hospitalised locally.


Al-Rawi tells municipal police graduates: The target is on you

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Minister of Rural and Local Government Faris Al-Rawi. –

RURAL Development and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi told municipal police graduates they are now police officers and much is expected of them.

He said this at a graduation ceremony hosted by his ministry and the Municipal Police Service at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA), San Fernando on Tuesday.

Al-Rawi congratulated the new officers on their journey from recruitment on January 3 to their graduation on Tuesday.

“You are stepping out into a world where your uniform will not be seen as ‘Hey, that’s just municipal police you know.’ You are the police. So the target is on you.”

Al-Rawi, an attorney by profession and former attorney general, reminded the officers of the legal universe in which they operate.

Under Section 53 of the Municipal Corporations Act, he continued, municipal police officers “have the power of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

“Every one of you have police powers in common law and in statute and in the municipal corporations environment.

“You actually have more power than the regular TT Police Service because you have been given the added responsibilities of the municipal corporations.”

Al-Rawi said many people are unaware of the important roles played by municipal police officers.

He cited recent protests in Port of Spain where municipal officers worked alongside police officers and members of the other protective services to maintain law and order.

Al-Rawi recalled that municipal police officers were also out in the field in June, preparing TT for a weather system which spared the country but subsequently turned into Tropical Storm Elsa. He said TT had never been so ready for any potential natural disaster in its history as it was then.

Referring to the earlier valedictory speech by PC Telina Gabriel about her and fellow graduates being called out to duty for a storm that never came, Al-Rawi accepted that responsibility.

“That was me.”

He urged the new officers to serve with integrity and not to fall victim to corruption.

Referring to his former role as AG, Al-Rawi said, “There are matters before the courts right now where people who are in service, have millions of dollars in assets and no legitimate way of showing it. Those things will come shortly.”

As he reflected on the murder of seven-year-old Mckenzie Hope Rechier, Al-Rawi said municipal police officers will be at the forefront of combating domestic violence, and situations where children could be in jeopardy, in the communities they serve.

Al-Rawi also said municipal officers are often the first sets of eyes and ears to whatever is happening on the ground.

Ministry permanent secretary Desdra Bascombe, in congratulating the officers, expressed sadness over the murder of a worker of the Port of Spain City Corporation earlier in the day.

She told them the tragedy gives an insight into the challenges they will face against the not-so-upstanding people in society who have “significant firepower.”

Bascombe said the ministry has invested in properly training and equipping the officers for their duties.

“You (municipal police officers) are the only ones standing between us, the law abiding citizens and utter mayhem.”


No home for netball: Structural integrity of Jean Pierre Complex being assessed

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


The stands at Jean Pierre Complex, Wrightson Road Extension, Mucurapo. – SUREASH CHOLAI

THE JEAN PIERRE Complex remains closed to all sporting activity.

The Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) is currently doing structural assessments at the multi-sport facility to determine the next course of action.

The complex has been closed since the pandemic struck in March 2020, and remained so even after domestic sport was allowed to resume in February. Sports such as netball, volleyball and basketball, among others, have been using other venues for training practice and competitive events.

SporTT CEO Jason Williams said the process of assessing the damage and calculating the cost of refurbishment has begun.

“The Jean Pierre has some work to be done. We have to get some detailed assessments in terms of the amount of work…and the type of work. This would involve different types of assessments, structural assessments and things like that.”

The popular sports venue, which also hosts some racquet events like badminton and table tennis, has an indoor court with spectator seating, two outdoor courts with extensive seating on both sides and a car park.

But the facility is in a visible state of all-round disrepair. A leaky roof, broken seats, windows and electrical outlets, rusty frames, two corroded outdoor courts, walls with flaking paint and mould and moss are among the internal and external structural issues. A decision on its future depends on the findings of the assessments.

Williams explained, “Until we have all of those different types of works and reports and assessments coming in, we really and truly cannot use the facility until we identify that it’s really sound and safe enough to either go through a significant upgrade or whatever the recommendations might be.”

The derelict outdoor court at the Jean Pierre Complex in Mucurapo. 

Williams said the appraisals are at different stages and boiled down to “structural and civil type assessments to ensure the structure is good and safe.”

The cost of repairs in not yet known.

He said, “Only (when) those determinations are confirmed we will be able to decide on what is the level of upgrade, refurbishment or whatever it might be. You can’t really put a price on it yet until these assessments are done before.

“A time frame for a return to competition is tough right now because only when we get the assessments, we can make a decision to move forward.”

Netball homeless

The complex is the home of TT netball and was opened in 1979 to host the Netball World Championship.

Pierre was an outstanding member of the 1979 TT team that shared the World Championship with Australia and New Zealand.

She later became Minister of Sport from 1991-95. In recognition of her contribution to netball in TT, the complex was named after her.

But now netball is homeless. Unable to use the complex, teams have had to play and practise elsewhere. Finding an alternative venue is an arduous task, said TT Netball Association president Sherry Ann Blackburn.

She also said since the venue was opened in 1979, it had never been upgraded. However, a temporary surface was installed on one of the outdoor courts in 2010, in preparation for the Caribbean Games that year.

The Jean Pierre Complex in a dilapidated condition. 

“Not having a home in the capital city saddens me, because that is our base and home for the sport. It is a challenge for us, a big one, because we now have to compete every more so, with limited spaces, to deliver on the sport.

“Apart from it being closed, it has never been developed further in any way, and this would have also been a concern prior. It has to be up to current international standards,” she said.

As a result of its closure, Blackburn said it’s difficult to attract other countries to come to TT to play.

“We don’t have a facility that is up to standard and can hold a crowd, and there will be a lot of logistical challenges at any facility to achieve that. The only one available and can do that right now, and still with a lot of work, will be Maloney Indoor Complex.”

The Maloney venue, a single outdoor netball court at Nelson Mandela Park (St Clair) and the Eastern (Tacarigua) and Southern Regional Indoor (Pleasantville) Complexes are being used as alternative training and competition venues.

Securing any one of these venues for netball also comes with challenges.

“When you’re competing with all the other sporting disciplines for use of one or two other spaces, it’s very difficult. We’re always juggling which day, which time; you can’t get this day, you get bumped off for other events and tournaments.

“It directly affects preparation of our athletes. The U-21, U-23 and senior teams regularly need indoor facilities to train on,” Blackburn said.

One of many leaks at the Jean Pierre Complex. 

TT’s senior team is currently preparing for a World Cup qualifier in October. Age group teams are also gearing up for the World Youth Cup and U16 tournaments next year. With the Jean Pierre Complex out of commission, and much uncertainty in confirming alternative venues, the teams have to travel to different locations to train.

The senior team starts training on Monday, under coach Kemba Duncan, at the south venue. From September, the team heads across to the Maloney Indoor Complex. Netball also had its official office at the complex, but that is now inaccessible.

“That office space is no longer available. We have engaged SporTT in a conversation with regard to moving the office. We identified a space at Hasely Crawford Stadium (in the same compound as the Jean Pierre Complex) but it’s not ideal. It’s less than, but there too has its issues.

“We have a room there (Hasely) where we house some clothing and I have to go there with a big boots if it rains. It’s terrible when the rain falls. It’s practically condemned. There are no timelines in place so we hang in the balance.

“Covid19 regulation hindered them moving forward with refurbishment. We are looking at other spaces because we need to find a place where we can deliver on the sport as well,” Blackburn said.

Basketball National Basketball Federation president Claire Mitchell said teams have been using other indoor sporting arenas to host events, practise and prepare for tournaments.

For indoor training, they use the Southern Regional facility in Pleasantville, Maloney Indoor Complex and Woodbrook Youth Facility, and for outdoor use, Nelson Mandela Park in Port of Spain and Maloney Outdoor, among others.

A statue at the Jean Pierre Complex, Wrightson Road Extension, Mucurapo. – SUREASH CHOLAI

She said there may also be other issues at other domestic sporting facilities.

“Now that the Eastern Regional Sporting Complex has reopened, we also use the facilities there. (But) the Central indoor facility in Chaguanas has had a sewer problem since 2020 during covid19 and I don’t think that has been resolved.”


Saint Lucia Bracing For Inclement Weather – St. Lucia Times News

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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Saint Lucia is bracing for inclement weather due to a tropical wave a few hundred miles East of the Islands.

The Director of the Saint Lucia Meteorological Services Andre Joyeux told St Lucia Times that currently, the system is an area of disorganised thunderstorms.

“We are expecting it to come across us late tonight into tomorrow,” Joyeux said on Wednesday.

He said people could expect cloudiness, scattered moderate to heavy showers, and thunderstorms.

– Advertisement –

The Meteorological Services Director recalled that over the past five days Saint Lucia has experienced consistent rainfall.

As a result, he explained that because the soil has become waterlogged, there could be flooding and land slippage.

Joyeux also explained that due to the abundant rainfall the country has been experiencing  the trees are putting out a lot of foliage.

“So they would be top-heavy eventually and any additional rainfall could topple the tree or break the branches, so persons should also take note of that. If you have any trees close to you you should trim them,” he told St Lucia Times.

Headline photo: Stock image

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NBC’s Covid-19 Update – Wednesday August 24th 2022

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: NBC SVG

 The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is hoping to see  a greater take-up of the Covid 19 vaccine, as preparations continue for the start of the new academic year.

Lesley De Bique has more in today’s COVID 19 update.




PM Gonsalves says the Government has received a counter-offer in relation to the returning Teachers

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: NBC SVG

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says about sixty Teachers who did not take the Covid 19 vaccine and left the Teaching Service have applied to return to the Service.

The Prime Minister made the announcement during NBC’s Face to Face programme this morning

Dr. Gonsalves said some of the returning Teachers have taken the Covid 19 vaccine, while other have opted to be tested.

He also disclosed that the Government has received a counter-offer in relation to the returning Teachers.


The Prime Minister said the counter-offer also looks at legal issues.


The Prime Minister said the counter-offer also requests compensation for the Teachers who left, for the period they were out




A total of 14 active cases recorded here in SVG

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: NBC SVG

The Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment says there  are now 14 active cases of Covid 19 recorded in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

In its latest update, the Ministry says there two new cases were recorded on Tuesday August 23rd, while one recovery was noted.

Four persons are currently hospitalized with Covid 19, one is fully vaccinated and three are unvaccinated.

9,417 cases of Covid 19 and 9,288 recoveries have been reported in  St. Vincent and the Grenadines to date.   115 people have died from the virus.

And, 72,532 Covid 19 vaccines have so far been administered locally.  37,145 persons have received their first dose;  31,260 have received their second dose and 4,127 persons have received boosters.



The Ministry of Health appeals to the general public to assist in the eradication of Mosquitoes

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: NBC SVG

An appeal has been made here for Vincentians to assist the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment with the eradication of Mosquitoes, as the rainy season progresses.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Roger Duncan said while the rainy season promotes the growth of plants which are good for healthy eating, it also promotes the breeding of mosquitoes.

He said Mosquitoes can spread a number of diseases including Dengue Fever, Zika and Chikungunya


Dr. Duncan urged residents to co-operate with the Public Health Department as it implements the mosquito eradication program.


Medical Officer of Health in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Dr. Roger Duncan.



Transforming Guyana – Episode III – Education And The Oil Windfall

Black Immigrant Daily News

By Terrence Blackman, Ph. D. & Utamu Bell

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Aug. 24, 2022: Episode III of the recent ‘Transforming Guyana, The Guyana Business Journal and Caribbean Policy Consortium Webinar Series,’ examined how Guyana can leverage oil and gas revenues to produce a world-class twenty-first-century education system at all levels with a focus on broad coverage of the country and with strong links to the best institutions of higher learning abroad while fostering local skills in key local content areas.

The webinar examined the Global and Regional educational context and imperatives for Guyana, along with the essential role of the University of Guyana in educational transformation. It also highlighted the School of Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The series, ‘Transforming Guyana,’ aims to bring together experts and prominent and diverse voices from Guyana and the Diaspora to discuss the impacts of Guyana’s oil and gas development, take a nuanced look at the opportunities and potential pitfalls ahead for the country, and explore strategies to maximize the positive impacts that oil revenues can have on Guyana’s people and future while mitigating the risks that other countries have faced, as well as identifying the most promising roles the Diaspora can play in this transition. 

The Guyana Business Journal framed the webinar by stressing the importance of education as a cornerstone for Guyana’s sustained growth and development. Dr. Blackman alluded to data from the Guyana Labour Force Survey (GLFS) 2021 First Quarter report, which revealed that less than 2.5 percent of the Guyanese labor force possess a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent and noted that it was self-evident that the quality of Guyana’s human capital and workforce is the cornerstone of Guyana’s ability to advance sustainably, both socially and economically. He said this must be a task which to oil and gas windfall must be applied. “We hope to contextualize the implications of Guyana’s emergence as a Petrostate for its education sector and more broadly the education sector of the Caribbean Region for critical stakeholders and offices,” he said.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, (UG), Professor Paloma Mohamed- Martin pointed to what she described as the mono-focus that the country is developing on oil revenues only when it has within the last few months found the most significant gold strikes in the world, in addition to other sectors which are likely to contribute significantly. She said these additional revenue streams should also be considered in the conversation regarding education resourcing. Mohamed-Martin said creating a world-class education system is part of the University’s blueprint.

“We should be using our resources to achieve stability, in which education can thrive and take off…We need to consider both rapid but robust upscaling in certain sectors…it has to be a mix between companies or institutions in Guyana and those that are going to come in and help; and those that we will link with. We need to consider and ensure that UG does have the ability to scale up in very critical areas. We think that about 60% of the first investment in tertiary education needs to go to UG, Guyana Technical Institute, vocational schools…School for Agriculture; so that we can scale up very significantly about 30% of the investment offshore and 20% international”, she said.

The Vice-Chancellor noted that critical imperatives of the University include staffing, salaries and conditions, intentional recruitment, and a pipeline plan. “The human infrastructure of a country is what will ensure its sustainability.” Mohamed- Martin said there are currently not enough science teachers in the country, as she pointed to the need for infrastructure improvement at UG and noted that most of them are “60 years old and failing”. She said the science and technology infrastructure was designed for smaller classes. The Vice-Chancellor added that the institution cannot keep up with demands for engineers and is receiving enormous requests for support services. She further pointed to the need for research funding for labs and researchers that can train staff. Mohamed-Martin pointed to the need to look at the entire education system as crucial for investment and the linchpin for sustainable development.

Dr. Cardinal Warde, a Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and Executive Director of the Caribbean Science Foundation in Barbados, noted that a robust educational and technological system is needed to develop alternative economic pillars. “We know at present that many of our students who go on to do science and engineering, they come back home, and they can’t find jobs, and that’s sort of a resource that is wasted…they can’t find jobs because they didn’t come back to create them…”, he said.

He outlined the need for attracting and “home-growing” more technology companies and providing infrastructure, though he noted that this is not an easy task in Guyana and the Caribbean. As such, he cited the need for the involvement of the legislative branch to mitigate this issue. In addition, he said that in some cases, many of these students who go abroad never return. “If we can get some of this talent back home and get them involved in entrepreneurship and starting companies, especially technology companies…technology companies that can have a global footprint…to bring in lots of foreign exchange and to be able to make Guyana a First World country…because in the First World, where a lot of them stay they are developing cutting-edge products for large companies that have international and global markets,” Dr. Warde said.

Dr. Warde, who is considered one of the world’s leading experts on materials, devices, and systems for optical information processing, also pointed to the need to reform the educational system- from the Primary to Tertiary levels, as he noted that there is a chance with the revenues from oil and gas. “Oil and gas revenues can be used to reform Guyana’s educational system, especially STEM-based programs. Put much of the GDP into more STEM-based teaching and learning, including training the teachers. It’s a good opportunity to also put better labs in your high schools and your tertiary institutions, that would be revenues well spent if indeed that can be made a priority,” he noted.

He added that government needs to get the people involved and passionate about the new direction of science and technology and where it can take the country. Dr. Warde said training for home-grow companies is essential, as he noted that the UG should be given the relevant resources. According to him, Research labs are also vital. Guyana might be the right place to start a shared one with the rest of the Caribbean, along with a small business innovation research program that funds start-up science and technology companies.

Professor Edward Greene, addressing the imperatives of education for Guyana, said accessible data shows that public spending on education in Guyana as a percentage of GDP is third behind Cuba and Barbados in the Caribbean. The latest global report indicates that Guyana, with an average of 4.45% of expenditure on GDP, compares with an average of 145 countries worldwide. “What is very important is that the Guyana Education Sector Plan 2021-25 is quite impressive in aligning with the sustainable development goals. In addition, it recognizes how the COVID-19 pandemic led to accelerated plans for integrating ICT into the teaching and learning process, which is an important phenomenon,” he said.

Greene said the Plan seems steadfast in ensuring that every student has access to quality education. “One of the most striking paradoxes we must consider as we move ahead is the ‘resource curse, ‘ which Guyana must be mindful of. Countries rich in non-renewable natural resources have experienced slower economic growth than resource-poor countries. As a result, many are far from reaching the ‘education for all goals. After much consideration, it has led me to indicate that our emphasis should be placed on the wider issues of human development, which I think is implicit in what Professor Warde said but more particularly on human capital development,” he said.

He added, “Developing countries like Guyana need to re-orient their education systems to focus on meeting the evolving economic and labor market needs, through both the general or academic education and the technical and vocational track.”

Dr. David Lewis added that the key focus should be on education and human resource development and transformation for Guyana, with the boom currently taking place and what this means for the University as a 21st-century agent of change and development both at the national and regional levels.

Professor Leyland Lucas, SEBI Dean, said one of the things needed to ensure the necessary human capital is to look at innovative ways of attracting the “best and the brightest.”

“We once again find ourselves without the necessary human capital to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. So how quickly do we ramp up to ensure the kind of gaps that we’ve experienced in the past so we can correct those errors? For some time now, we have not had a human capital development strategy in place, so we will always have to be playing catch up because of that. But being successful requires that we look at this in terms of what can be done by the nation with the human capital needed- to take advantage of this new economy,” he stated.

Dean Lucas said the pandemic has helped realize innovative things that can attract the best and the brightest, more so virtually, and provide access to a wealth of knowledge. He said looking at the diaspora’s role in education, and business development is essential. He further pointed to issues affecting smooth development, such as access to capital and an archaic banking system, to which he suggested legislative changes.

According to Lucas, UG is an ideal place to develop a much-needed business incubator. Dean Lucas closed by noting that Guyana should aim to have at least one University graduate per household.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Terrence Richard Blackman, associate professor of mathematics and a founding member of the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics at Medgar Evers College, is a member of the Guyanese diaspora. He is a former Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT and a Visitor to The School of Mathematics at The Institute for Advanced Study. Dr. Blackman has previously served as Chair of the Mathematics Department and Dean of the School of Science Health and Technology at Medgar Evers College, where he has worked for almost thirty years. He graduated from Queen’s College, Guyana,Brooklyn College, CUNY, and the City University of New York Graduate School.He is the Founder of the Guyana Business Journal & Magazine.

Utamu Belle is an award-winning Guyanese journalist with a career spanning over a decade. Her experience includes writing for print, television, and online media. She has worked as a Radio and Television host. She is the Founder of A-to-Z Media (Guyana) and a News and Digital Editor with Upscale Magazine.


As Nigeria freezes foreign-currency transactions, UPP advises PM Browne to be cautious about launch of Antigua Airways

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

An Antiguan aviation consultant with connections to Africa is raising concerns about Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s hasty plans to launch the Nigeria-based carrier branded Antigua Airways – adding to the concerns already voiced by the United Progressive Party (UPP).

The consultant, who is based in the United States, refers to reports from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which indicate that Nigeria is currently withholding US$450 million in revenues earned by international carriers operating in that country.

Emirates is the latest international carrier to suspend flights to Nigeria due to its inability to repatriate monies it is owed.

As the nation tackles a severe dollar shortage, Nigeria has restricted access to foreign currency for investors, and IATA’s Vice President for Africa and the Middle East – Kamal Al Awadhi – has described talks with Nigerian officials to release airline funds as a “hectic ride.”

Accordingly, the UPP is raising concerns about the viability of the hasty airline deal to establish direct connections between the Caribbean and West Africa.

“PM Browne has admitted that the venture is risky. Amid the challenges that major airlines are facing in repatriating funds, why has he been so quick to jump into this deal?” asks Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the UPP and a former Minister of Tourism and Aviation.

“Under the ALP, we have had too many failed projects, and one of the main reasons is the lack of due diligence. The PM needs to slow down; do some independent research; and carefully weigh the risks involved,” Lovell cautions.

A formal agreement was signed between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and Nigerian publishing and printing firm Marvelous Mike Press Limited earlier this month.

The Administration claims that Antigua and Barbuda will earn 20 percent of the profits in this venture, which, reportedly, will be financed by African investors.

Under the arrangement, planes are to be leased and the airline’s flight crews will be subcontracted. Service is expected to begin in mid October, although details about the flight schedule and bookings system have not been published.

Meanwhile, a local businesswoman is asking why the Government is allowing Antigua and Barbuda’s name to be used on what is a Nigerian venture. She notes that if the venture fails or otherwise “goes bad, it is our name – not Nigeria’s – that will be tarnished.”

Other residents are asking why no one has heard from Sir Robin Yearwood, the sitting Minister of Aviation, on this deal.