Archive for November 19th, 2014

CIG budgets almost $3million for Ebola

| 19/11/2014 | 21 Comments

(CNS): As the death toll in the world’s worst ever outbreak of the Ebola virus reaches close to 5200 the Cayman Islands government has budgeted almost $3million on equipment to prepare the country for the possibility of an infected patient arriving here. There have been no cases of Ebola in Cayman or anywhere in the Caribbean though a number of Cuban doctors working in West Africa are believed to have been infected. But as a precautionary measure medical personnel and government officials are still continuing preparations for the unlikely event of a case in Cayman. Officials said government has now spent $1.2M on an EVD-rated Odulair field hospital and another $1.7M has been earmarked for inpatient staffing, EMS premium, training for staff and supplies.

The field hospital, which is expected to arrive in Cayman soon, has eight beds and will be established on the grounds in the existing staff parking lot it will also include a ventilator, dialysis, monitors, wheelchair, laser thermometer and 36 reusable helmets. A temporary isolation area has been identified and is in the process of being equipped and supplied to be used if a case is detected before the field unit arrives.

Hospital staff members have also been identified as front-line EVD carers and additional training took place abroad about two weeks ago for select H.S.A staff.

The Minister for Health Osbourne Bodden has urged residents of the Cayman Islands not to panic but to be aware of the virus, and to get proper advice as required. “Although the threat is very low, things could change and for that reason we should not be complacent,” he warned.

Globally, more than 14,400 people have been infected in six countries. The largest numbers have been in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and more recently Mali.  A small number of patients were also infected Nigeria and Senegal. The virus has spread to Spain and the US in particular through health care workers.

While there have been no new reported cases in the Caribbeanor US within the last three weeks, there has been a death of a doctor flown in from Sierra Leone for treatment of Ebola increasing the death toll to two in America. The two nurses that contracted Ebola in the USA, along with the doctor in New York, are now disease free.

There are currently also travel restrictions in place for visitors or residents returning to the Cayman Islands from endemic countries.

Visitors or returning residents from the endemic countries, or persons who have travelled to, from or through Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone within 21 days of their planned arrival are not allowed to land in the Cayman Islands. To ensure application of this travel restriction, the Immigration Department has developed a Travel Health Questionnaire which has been distributed to all airlines.  All passengers including Caymanians/Cayman Status holders, returning residents and visitors are required to complete the form.

In efforts of early detection, cruise ships also have internal mechanisms to ensure implementation at local boarders.

Medical Officer for Health Dr Kiran Kumar said Cayman’s precautionary and preventative measures were in compliance with CARICOM’s Heads of Government adopted plan of action.

“The global picture is changing every day. Hence in addition to the countries with travel ban travellers from Mali also will be subjected to health screening and quarantine measures on arrival in Cayman,” he added.

With steps ranging from public education to training and execution, the ultimate goal of the plan is to protect residents against Ebola.

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids such as blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine or faeces of an Ebola Virus Disease infected person (alive or dead). For example, touching an infected person’s eyes, nose or mouth or an open cut, wound or abrasion can transmit the virus to the person touching.  However, any person thus exposed to the virus but without symptoms cannot transmit the virus. The public is asked to avoid such exposures and maintain personal hygiene through sanitisation and hand washing.

For further information, visit:
www.who.org
www.cdc.gov
carpha.org/

 

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Developers claim $60M raised for road

| 19/11/2014 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Investors behind the proposed development of an 18 hole golf course, mixed use town and resort in Frank Sound claim that they have raised the $60M financing required for the public-private-partnership on the East-West arterial extension, with the Cayman government. The road project is required, the developers say, to make the North Side project a reality. Ironwood developers also revealed, this week, that they have appointed GLF Construction as the contractor to build the road, despite that firm’s previous experiences here and the dispute with the UDP administration over the cruise birthing project. Officials from the Ironwood proposed development said they are now waiting on the government go ahead and agreement to begin the road works.

Speaking on behalf of the developers, Denise Gower said, “Ironwood Development Group shares the optimism the Premier has recently “Ironwood Development Group shares the optimism the Premier has recently expressed that this public-private-partnership will be completed before the end of the year and looks forward to the completion of this infrastructure project that will literally pave the way for the future of the Cayman Islands.”

Joe Beaird, Chief Operating Officer of GLF visited Grand Cayman this week to finalize construction contracts which, Ironwood said could see the start of the road construction as early as December. Beaird, together with the Ironwood developers, met with government officials and visited the road site.

Ironwood said that GLF Construction Corporation’s “excellent business pedigree and track record” led to it securing the managing contractor for the road.  They have a proven track record of successfully undertaking large international engineering and construction projects in both the private and government sectors, together with vast experience in the port construction arena. 

“Their financial stability, bond ability and international experience enables them to oversee this venture where they will be employing local contractors to carry out the construction works,” the developers said in a release.

GLF’s most recent experiences in Cayman however, were not the best aftera preliminary agreement between them and the former premier Mckeeva Bush was terminated when the then UDP leader turned his attention to Chinese partners.

Ironwood revealed that the $60million financing to pay for the road would come from CTL Capital, LLC, a New York based finance provider once the Licensing Agreement by the Cayman Islands Government has been completed.

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Police issue warnings over latest scams

| 19/11/2014 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS are warning people to be on the look-out for fraudulent adverts and callers as a result of mounting scam reports. Police said that over the past few weeks the Financial Crime Unit has been receiving reports of numerous scams taking place within the Cayman Islands. One of the scams involves fraudulent advertisements being placed on local internet classifieds as well as in the local newspapers in an effort to con money out of people. Police are also warning people about con men calling phones posing as Microsoft support staff looking for credit card numbers and other key personal information.

The police noted that the ads are often for large ticket items, such as cars or boats and even pets that are being sold by a seller from overseas. The seller will usually request payment through a money service, such as MoneyGram or Western Union but may sometimes request a money transfer through a local retail bank. 

“Caution is advised when buying large ticket items like these from websites.  Never buy large ticket items online without first being able to verify that it is being sold locally and being able to verify the identity of the seller,” the financial crime cops warned.

They also pointed to scammers calling local residents claiming to be from Microsoft Support.  These con artists usually request credit card details, so that your Microsoft Windows license can be updated.  If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Support, do not provide them with any personal details, credit card details or any details about your computer.

Some job scams have also been reported to CNS in the classifieds of the local papers that have caught out a number of genuine job-seekers who have ended up under a mountain of spam and being the target of scammers as a result of responding to the advertisements.

If you believe you may have recently been a victim of this type of scam or fraud, please contact the Financial Crime Unit at 949-8797.

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Men’s Day Message

| 19/11/2014 | 35 Comments

In bringing this year’s message for International Men’s Day, I want to focus on our individual selves, because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be capable of measuring up to this year’s theme of “Working together for men and boys”. If we, as individuals, set priorities and adopt standards that we take into consideration in everything we do, I believe the Cayman Islands would be the envy of the world, not necessarily because of our financial standing, but because we would be seen as a community of values and morals that dictate our daily lives.

This year’s theme was chosen in an effort to encourage greater cooperation in addressing the issues that affect men and boys all over the world.  Six areas of focus – or pillars – were identified for International Men’s Day: Working together to promote positive male role models; celebrate men’s positive contributions; focus on men’s health and well-being; highlight discrimination against males; improve gender relations and improve gender equality; and create a safer, better world.

We know there are men and boys in our community who are living decent and honest lives. I would go so far as to say that those males have clear standards and priorities in their lives.

Society is also being encouraged to celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family,marriage, child care and the environment. We see it daily in the Cayman Islands when males give of themselves by volunteering, take care of their families and nourish their marriages.  

I believe our health and wellbeing are our individual priorities. We must be seen to be taking care of ourselves and seek out help when we need it.

While it is a given that the Cayman Islands society has long been considered male dominated, there is evidence of discrimination here on our shores. That has to end.

It is the sixth pillar – to create a safer, better world – I believe we achieve through our individual actions. And I am not talking about selfish actions. Our individual, human actions can lift someone up or tear them

down. Through them we can be positive male role models, make good stewards to our communities and families and help end discrimination.

Fittingly, this year the Family Resource Centre is encouraging all men in the Cayman Islands to take the CayMAN Pledge, which commits them to improving themselves in all facets of their lives. That in turn strengthens our community and benefits the lives of others who live among us. It is for this reason why I have committed as the country’s Premier to uphold the principles contained in the pledge and I would encourage others to join me as we celebrate International Men’s Day this year.

In closing, I leave you with the words of Tony Award winning actress Phylicia Rashad who said “Everything you do, every thought you have, every word you say creates a memory that you will hold in your body. It's imprinted on you and affects you in subtle ways – ways you are not always aware of. With that in mind, be very conscious and selective”.

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Salvage effort lands two boats on North Sound reef

| 19/11/2014 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS Joint Marine Unit responded to a distress call Tuesday evening when a local fishing boat with six people on board, which was towing a sail boat, landed on the reef in the North Sound. Police explained that the 43ft local fishing boat had gone out to sea to help recover a boat which had been left at sea after the Canadian captain was airlifted to hospital here in Cayman by the US and Jamaican coast guards last week. The Cayman Defender responding to the fishing boat’s distress call at 6:53 last night and found it as well as the sail boat it was towing grounded on the reef near Fisherman’s Rock though no one was injured.

The incident occurred when the captain was attempting to negotiating the main channel as it towed the 25 foot unoccupied sailboat which it had recovered in open seas. It was not until early this morning, however, at high tide that both vessels were removed by the Captain who was able to maneuver the boats with the rising high tide.

The sailboat had been left at sea after the man piloting the vessel gave a distress which was responded to by  Jamaican & American Coast Guards.  The sailboat captain of was airlifted by by the US Coast Guard helicopter and brought to GCM last Friday 14 November but the vessel was left unattended.

 

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Chikungunya numbers stable as dengue cases increase

| 19/11/2014 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Despite expectations that cases of chikungunya would increase in the Cayman Islands as a state of emergency regarding the virus exists in neigbouring Jamaica, public health officials confirmed Wednesday that there were no new cases here over the last week. However Dr Kiran Kumar the Medical Officer of Health urged people not to be complacent as there were two further cases of dengue fever confirmed one of which was in a patient with no travel history. “With positive chikungunya and dengue cases, it emphasizes the need for the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites and take measures against mosquito breeding,” the doctor added.

“There were six suspected cases of chikungunya during the week 10-17 November 2014 based on symptoms. One had travelled to Jamaica, and five reported no travel history. It is note worthy that the reported cases are on the decline, but we should not be complacent,” he said

The total number of confirmed chikungunya cases in the Cayman Islands remains at 34 to date with 10 locally transmitted cases.

However, the problem Cayman now faces is that the numbers in Jamaica are very high where there is a virtual epidemic of the virus which was unheard of in this region until last year.

The health minister, Osbourne Bodden said that there was very little that health officials can do to prevent the virus from entering the country given the situation in Jamaica but the said the focus was on keeping down the numbers and fighting the major cause – the aedes egypti mosquito.

“We are holding our numbers fairly steady, although we have had significant increases since Jamaica became a problem area for us,” he told CNS this week. “We cannot stop the virus coming in, but we can control the spread by controlling the mosquito, and to this end MRCU efforts and all our announcements and monitoring thruthe Dept of Pub Health has paid off.  Thanks to all staff and both department for their great efforts.”

Currently, the majority of people who have picked up the chikungunya virus overseas did so in Jamaica with 18  people being infected there.

Dr Kumar also said that results from five blood samples sent between 11-17 November and 19 previous samples are still awaited none of which have a travel history.

Chikungunya causes fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Officials urge anyone who may be experiencing these symptoms to immediately see a healthcare provider. They also remind the public to use mosquito repellent with DEET on the skin, and wear long sleeve pants and shirts when outside during times that mosquitoes bite, whether in the Cayman Islands or on travels.

As of 14 November cases of chikungunya across 35 Caribbean countries had reached 16,334.

Further information can be obtained through www.hsa.ky. Regional updates can be accessed on the CARPHA website http://carpha.org/What-We-Do/Public-Health-Activities/Chikungunya.  United States updates are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/geo/united-states.html.
 

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Tourists appeal for help over lost jewellery

| 19/11/2014 | 9 Comments

(CNS): A couple who are visiting the Cayman Islands this week are appealing to the broader community to help them find some missing jewellery and other personal items. The police have issued a public service announcement on their behalf saying the visitors from the USA lost these their wedding rings and sentimental items while at Smith Cove, in George Town on Sunday 16 November. Although it is not clear how the couple lost the jewellery and other pieces of property there was no indication that they were robbed or that the items were stolen. Anyone who found jewellery on the beach at Smith Cove, however, is asked to contact the George Town Police Station on 949 4222.

 

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Chemo unit receives $100k from moustache mayhem

| 19/11/2014 | 4 Comments

(CNS): The Movember Committee has donated US$100,000 towards the new Chemotherapy Unit at the George Town Hospital. The biggest single gift so far towards the new ‘state-of-the-art’ unit, which officially opened last week, the funds come from the money raised over the last few years when volunteers began growing moustaches for charity and created the Movember Committee. The new unit has more than doubled the capacity for patients to receive healing treatment locally, allowing them to recuperate close to their family and homes.

“We wanted to show our commitment to the Cancer Society and also have something tangible to show for the fundraising efforts made by our 'Mo Bros' over the last few years,” said Tim Rossiter, Chairman of the Movember Committee about the decision to make such a major donation. “The arrival of a Chemo Unit in the Cayman Islands is a significant addition to the care and treatment of cancer patients. At Movember, our focus has always been to support those with cancer here in Cayman and this seemed like an ideal opportunity to help this incredible achievement.

"It is somewhat ironic that the purpose of Movember is to get men talking about their health, but the use of the funds is generally confidential," Rossiter added.

"One side effect is that Movember participants don’t get to see the tangible use of their efforts, but this donation to the Chemo Unit changes that. Not only is it a visible landmark of their efforts, it is a vastly improved life style for those suffering and their families. The beneficiaries can literally experience their efforts and the efforts of others over the last ten years, and that makes it all worthwhile,” he said.

Jennifer Weber, Operations Manager at the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, said that ten years ago, she doubtedanyone would have been able to foresee men growing facial hair could end up making such a big impact on cancer care.

“The ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Sistahs’ are remarkable people, who are literally changing the face of cancer in Cayman. Everything they do helps us to help others.”

The donation by the Movember Committee comes in the midst of the 2014 Movember activities in Cayman and as in prior years there has been a whole host of events scheduled to encourage and support the men growing moustaches to raise money to beat male cancers.  This year’s line-up started with a Sunset Walk along Seven Mile Beach. There is the MO’pen Golf Championship with lots of special prizes and the Gala Awards Night at the Waterfront Café, where the now legendary Movember Awards Ceremony will be held.

“We started Movember with the simple idea of raising awareness of male cancer here in the Cayman Islands, given many men ignore their own health, don’t like to discuss it with family and friends and often avoid regular checks,” Rossiter stated.  “We are grateful to the Cayman community for embracing Movember, in particular partners like the Lions club and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. The knowledgeable staff of CICS help those who fall between the administrative cracks where Government and insurance companies cannot provide the support they need.

“The good news is we are winning the awareness fight. We have had a five-fold increase in the number of cancer patients CICS are supporting over the last five years. These are people who have no-one else and every dollar counts towards their care and treatment, helping both them and their families at such a difficult time. So please continue to support Movember Cayman, and continue to support the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. Every dollar raised in Cayman is a dollar needed in Cayman – and stays in Cayman,” he noted.

For more information on this year’s Movember activities, check out www.movember.ky or the Movember Cayman Islands Facebook page.

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Jolly Roger sinks teens in unplanned pirate attack

| 19/11/2014 | 20 Comments

(CNS): The sinking of a homemade boat in the annual Caybrew Cardboard Boat Race was not part of the show, officials have confirmed. Police are now said to be investigating what happened when the pirate pleasure boat ran into a group of teens who were part of the race and literally sank the competitors. According to sources, the sinking caused a mild concussion in one teen who was hit on the head by the Jolly Roger as she battled to swim out of the current created bythe more than 45 ton vessel. The incident was caught on video and Caybrew, along with the operators of the pirate boat, say they are trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

“The Cardboard Boat Race has been taking place for the last eight years without incident.  The highest measure of safety has always been key to its success with the help of volunteers and the RCIPS Marine Unit.,” said a spokesperson from Caybrew. “It is very unfortunate that this accident occurred but the main focus is to ensure it never happens again. As the police investigate the current circumstances, we are in contact with the Jolly Roger as well as the Pirates Week Committee in making sure protocol is set for future events so that we can continue making the event a fun, successful and safe event for everyone to enjoy.”

However, the race, which had become one of the most popular Pirate’s week event, was light on support this year, with crowds down from thousands to just hundreds – reflective of what many people have described as a very poorly organised and underfunded 2014 festival.

Despite the smaller crowds, the teams involved in the race made a fabulous effort, as ever, with their vessels.

Results were as follows:

1st – MEPCO Ltd.
2nd – JML International Ltd.
3rd – Sunrise Adult Training Center

Best Design/The Digicel “Be Extraordinary Cup” – Ernst & Young for the Flintstone’s Boat
Team Spirit – UCCI and Cayman Enterprise City
Best Sinking – Green Tech Solar

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Local coach tackles UEFA C licence

| 19/11/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): In October, founding member of Grasspiece Promotions Bruce Sigsworth, travelledto the United Kingdom to embark on the equivalent of the UEFA C Licence/English Football Association (FA) Level 2 Certificate in coaching football and the FA Safeguarding Children Certificate, which is a prerequisite for the UEFA B Licence. Having already obtained his CONCACAF D Licence, Coerver Youth Diploma and other English FA Certificates in coaching, Sigsworth spent two weeks in the UK where he was attached to the Swindon Town FC Youth Academy outside of the 75-hour course. “It was a very challenging, detailed and methodical course, Sigsworth said on his return.

“It is designed to challenge all participants and is not simply a ‘show-up and pass’ course. Your ability as a coach is tested and if competent, you gain certification. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the course, at the Swindon Town, West Ham and Reading FC Academies and meeting with QPR’s coaches and other individuals,” he added in a press release from Grasspiece.

His time in the UK was only possible, he said, with the support of Grasspiece Promotions, JNB Distributors, Fitzroy Simpson, Jeremy Newton and Jamie Pitman of Swindon Town FC, his family and friends and the Borde family. “I am hoping to secure additional financial support to complete the next leg of this journey in the New Year. …I look forward to sharing what I have gained with local coaches and hope for additional support towards improving coaching from all associated with football in Cayman,” Sigsworth stated.

With good weather while in the UK, Sigsworth completed the Initial Course and the FA Safeguarding Children Certificate at a high level but he needs to return to Britain to complete the two Mandatory Support Training days and the Final Assessment Day early in the New Year.

Grasspiece addede that for further experience during his trip Sigsworth also visited the Reading FC Youth Academy and the prestigious West Ham FC Youth Academy, with the added bonus of observing one of the best youth development coaches, Tony Carr, train the West Ham Under 18 Academy team. Sigsworth also met with the Queens Park Rangers (QPR) Under 18 Academy coach and former Reggae Boy Paul Hall and witnessed the Arsenal ladies player Rachael Yankey and ex-Chelsea player Paulo Ferreira undertake a few practical sessions in their UEFA B Licence Course.

The UEFA C/Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football course provides a more in-depth understanding of coaching. The course introduces new themes and key aspects related to the role of a football coach in working with youth players. It looks at different coaching styles, all the technical aspects of coaching including the principles of attacking and defending, developing progressive coaching sessions, fitness and nutritional needs of footballers, coaching session evaluations and preparing for potential accidents and emergencies.
The UEFA Coaching Licence ‘Pyramid’ consists of Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Football, Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football, Level 3 UEFA B Licence, Level 4 UEFA A Licence and the Level 5 UEFA Pro Licence.

Grasspiece Promotions was formed in 2013 primarily to promote and improve youth football and relationships between the Cayman Islands’ football fraternity and its partners through tournaments, coaching clinics, player clinics, and other events.  Over the past year, Grasspiece Promotions has solidified its relationship with Swindon Town FC’s Youth Academy through the hosting of the inaugural C3 Cayman International Youth Football Tournament in February 2014, which included the Cayman Islands National Under 15 Team, the Under 15 team from Swindon’s Youth Academy and Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Houston Dynamo.

While in Swindon, Sigsworth spent time with several of the teams at the Swindon Town Youth Academy and coaching staff under the tutelage of Academy Director and frequent visitor to Grand Cayman Jeremy Newton.

Grasspiece Promotions is currently organising the 2015 Cayman International Youth Football Tournament and a Swindon Town Youth Academy Camp, which is scheduled for February. Teams confirmed to compete in next year’s tournament are the Cayman Islands Under 15 National Team and the Under 15 team from the Swindon Town FC Youth Academy. Grasspiece is currently in negotiations with three other youth academies from English professional teams as well as the Houston Dynamo from the MLS.

For further information or support of the 2015 Cayman International Youth Football Tournament and the Swindon Town FC Youth Camp, please e-mail grasspiecepromotions@gmail.com.

 

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