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Linton says UWP is ready to govern Dominica – Dominica News Online



Linton at the microphone during the presentation of the UWP candidates at Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard

Leader of the Opposition United workers Party (UWP) Lennox Linton told thousands of party supporters gathered on the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard where the party presented its election candidates to the public that his party is ready to take over governance in the country.

The UWP, Linton said, will focus on nature island citizen engagement and participation that brings government, people, businesses, civil society groups and neighborhoods in a collective effort “to make our Dominica the real, authentic one and only Nature Island of the world.”

“We will focus on good transparent and accountable government with a bias to solutions, fair treatments and positive results and just rewards for all. Your United Workers Party is the real change that Dominica is looking for,” he said.

He said the party is ready and equipped to receive the people’s mandate to lead and manage the affairs in government and they will do things differently in order to bring about real change.

“We will reduce the size of Cabinet by at least 40% and we will pursue the required constitutional amendments and enact legislation to limit the time in office for any Prime Minister to two-five year terms and we will establish a fixed date for general elections every five years,” Linton said to loud cheers and horn-blowing from party faithful.

He said a UWP government will bring an immediate end to the practice of using the resources of Dominica to benefit outside interests with multi-million dollar contracts that Dominicans are ready, willing and able to do.

Among other things, he promised to upgrade the salaries of all public officers to make them competitive to those of other OECS countries immediately, and “ensure that it makes personal economic sense to be a nurse, teacher and police officer serving the Commonwealth of Dominica.”

“All public officers serving for more than one year without an appointment will be appointed immediately to the public service. We will create a new suitable nature island economy with agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, information communication technology, and the cultural and water industry as the major pillars and grow the economy by 5-7 percent per year on average and create 12 thousand new jobs by 2025 and increase the minimum wage and old age pension by 50%,” the UWP leader stated.

He also promised to reduce the cost and maximize the ease of investing and doing business in Dominica with enactment of legislation and regulation to legalize, grow, process and export cannabis as a health and wellness product.

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Dominica receives first batch of medical supplies donation from China




Chinese Ambassador, Lu Kun (left) and Health minister, Irving McIntyre at the handing over ceremony. To the extreme right is Foreign Affairs Minister, Kenneth Darroux

The first batch of medical equipment and supplies donated by China to Dominica was handed over on Saturday, April 4, 2020, at the China-Dominica Friendship Hospital.

The supplies, which were provided by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation, arrived at the China-Dominica Friendship Hospital on Friday, April 3. They include 1,536 nucleic acid test kits and 30,000 surgical masks which will be used for COVID-19 epidemic containment efforts in Dominica.

Chinese Ambassador, Lu Kun, who spoke at the handing over ceremony, expressed China’s continuing support for Dominica, especially in difficult times.

A release from the Chinese Embassy in Dominica states that the Minister for health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Hon. Irving McIntyre and Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Business and Diaspora Relations, Hon. Kenneth Darroux, who attended the ceremony, thanked China for its medical aid and spoke highly of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

A release from the Chinese Embassy in Dominica stressed the sound friendship which exists between China and Dominica.

“When the epidemic was taking a heavy toll in China, the Dominican government and people stood in solidarity with China in its disease control efforts,” the release states. “Dominican Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, spoke in Parliament supporting China and headed all Cabinet members to the Chinese Embassy to express solidarity for China. Despite difficulties, the Dominican government managed to donate masks to China.”

The release adds that Leader of The United Workers’ Party in Dominica,  “Hon. Lennox Linton and other people from all sectors of Dominican society also expressed their support.”

“Reciprocating an act of kindness is a fine tradition of the Chinese nation. Though still in huge demand for medical materials, China has managed to make the donation to Dominica in a short period of time, fully demonstrating the deep friendship between the two countries,” the release goes on to state. “China wishes to enhance cooperation with Dominica in the fight against the epidemic and further strengthen China-Dominica relations and the friendship between the two peoples.”

It is expected that more medical supplies donated by the Chinese Government and Embassy including 15 ventilators, N95 surgical masks, medical protective clothing, goggles, disposable medical gloves, disposable medical boot covers and forehead thermometers will arrive in Dominica soon.

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COVID-19: Dominica Cancer Society advises cancer patients to be extremely careful




President of the Dominica Cancer Society (DCS), Yvonne Alexander, has advised persons diagnosed with cancer to exercise extreme caution in light of COVID-19 as they are considered to have weakened immune systems.

“We have asked them to take all precautionary measures, understanding that in the case of cancer patients, particularly those who are in treatment and those who have been recently diagnosed they are among the people considered to be at greater risk, because we are considered to be immunocompromised,” she said.

Alexander also advised these individuals to wear a mask if they need to go out.

“We are asking our members if they absolutely have to go out to use a mask, but we are encouraging everyone to stay at home and isolate themselves as much as they possibly can and if they absolutely need to go out to wear a mask,’ she stated. “We are also advising that if you do go out observe social distancing.”

Health authorities in Dominica have advised that people who have to be out in the public remain at least six feet from each other to prevent the spread of the virus.

Meantime, Alexander said the Oncology Clinic at the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital is still open to cancer patients.

“Those who are in treatment, they still keep their appointments to go to the Oncology Clinic. So, that is not too much of an issue,” she noted.

She indicated that the agreement was that if any individual was confronted with a situation, they should try to identify a medical person at the district level they could contact immediately.

“Let them know what is going on and let them make the arrangements from there,” Alexander advised.

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INMATES WITH SIX MONTHS OR LESS TO SERVE COULD BE RELEASED EARLY ( Discussions were underway, Thursday, that could see the release of prisoners with six months or less to serve. Prisoners have complained about the suspension of food deliveries by relatives and their health and safety in confined conditions. The minister responsible for prisons, Stedroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin, said that this was an ongoing discussion in the region not just in Antigua & Barbuda. A 20% discount on the cost of fuel to fishermen has also been announced to support food security. Two more cases – a woman who had flown in from New York and a female yacht worker -were confirmed on Thursday bringing the total of active cases to nine.



ACT OF KINDNESS IN TIMES OF CRISIS ( To recognise the work of the Aruba Police Department, several businesses got together to make donations: Compra NV donated a selection of fruit, Taco Bell delivered food to the night shift, others donated drinks and other products as a show of gratitude. Aruba has reported 61 active cases of COVID-19.



TWO COVID-19 PATIENTS DIE IN HOSPITAL( Two patients suffering from COVID-19 have died in hospital, it was announced on Thursday, 3 April. Earlier, the sister of the Minister of Immigration Elsworth Johnson died on the way from Bimini Island to hospital in Nassau. It was reported, but no confirmation is available, that she had not been tested for the virus. A total of 132 people have been charged with breaking the curfew which has been in place since 24 March. There are 22 reported active cases of the virus.




24-HOUR CURFEW ANNOUNCEMENT STIMULATES PANIC BUYING ( Barbadians rushed to the supermarkets, minimarts and gas stations to stock up on food supplies and essential items before government’s mandated 24-hour curfew came into force on 3 April. Shoppers complained that they were not given enough notice about the curfew. Barbados has reported 51 active cases of Covid-19.



NOT THE TIME FOR NAME-CALLING, DIVISION OR BLAME GAME’ ( St. Eustatius PLP leader, Clyde van Putten, says he is deeply concerned about the arrival of the COVID-19 virus on the island, but that it is not the time for division, name-calling or what he calls ‘the blame game’. He also said that he was concerned with some of the comments and postings on social media which, in his opinion, were not contributing in a positive way to the present situation. Statia has reported its first two cases of COVID-19.



GOV’T FORCED TO ALLOW ENTRY OF LOCALS ( Premier Andrew Fahie has said that the BVI was forced to allow for the return of nationals after the closure of borders. Legal arguments about the rights of nationals to return home prompted the move, which was agreed so long as those concerned were quarantined. ‘If I had my way, they wouldn’t have reached back at all. I ain’t afraid to tell them,’ said Fahie. There are three active cases reported on the BVI.



OVER 25,000 PEOPLE ARE UNDER PRIMARY HEALTHCARE SURVEILLANCE IN THEIR HOMES ( The number of active cases continues to climb with the total now at 248. The island’s Ministry of Public Health reports that of recent positive cases, age varies from a three-year-old to an elderly woman of 79, while the prevailing age range is between 30 and 60 years. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Cuba complained that the restrictions of the US embargo had thwarted the donation of masks, ventilators and tests to detect the coronavirus that was sent to the island by the Chinese electronic giant Alibaba.



MILITARY PROVIDES CORONA TEST TEAM ( A recently trained team consisting of a general military doctor and two general military nurses will support Department of Health testing teams. In order to ensure that language is not a barrier to taking tests, a military nurse has also been trained who speaks Papiamento. Curacao has reported seven active cases of COVID-19.


DOMINICAN GOVERNMENT EXTENDS SOCIAL DISTANCING PERIOD ( The curfew has been extended for a further 15 days from 5pm to 6am. Additional social distancing measures require the population to remain in their homes, and only allows businesses offering priority services to open their doors (supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, retail stations, fuels, and some from the agricultural sector). The Dominican Republic has reported 1,404 active cases.



MORE THAN 100 CHARGED WITHIN FIRST THREE DAYS OF MANDATORY 24-HOUR CURFEW ( The greatest number of charges were laid between 6am on Thursday to 6am on Friday when 44 people were charged with breaking the curfew. The total number charged since Monday is 115, with most arrests in the parish of St George. ‘This increase was largely due to the employment of drone technology which now allows us wider capabilities to enforce these regulations,’ said Vannie Curwen, Head of the Community Relations Department. Grenada has reported 10 active cases of COVID-19.


THREE FRENCH INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALLERS PLEDGE DONATION TO TEACHING HOSPITAL. ( Three international French footballers have pledged an unknown donation to the main teaching hospital in Pointe-a-Pitre. The three, Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid) and Anthony Martial (Manchester United) are all of Guadeloupean origin. Guadeloupe has reported 99 active cases of COVID-19.



HAITI DOCTORS FLEE STATE-RUN HOSPITAL TO AVOID CORONAVIRUS ( The rooms of the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince are largely empty this week due to many doctors and nurses refusing to work for fear of becoming infected with the coronavirus. ‘We are already working under conditions that are not normal for most hospitals, and now it’s gotten worse,”’ said nurse Marie Catherine, referring to the lack of protective equipment available to frontline health workers. Haiti has 17 active cases of COVID-19, with more than 200 people in quarantine awaiting test results.


VIRUS TERROR – HUNT ON FOR VOLUNTEERS AS HEALTHCARE WORKERS SHY AWAY FROM TESTING PERSONS ( The Ministry of Health and Wellness is seeking volunteers to caring out testing for COVID-10 as some healthcare workers have expressed fear about conducting the tests. The Ministry of Health has said that Jamaica has the capacity to conduct 1,260 tests weekly but that only 153 tests had been carried out this week. National epidemiologist Dr Karen Webster-Kerr said that training of health staff to carry out the tests were continuing. ‘We understand the fear but we must overcome it,’ she said. The widely used testing method was from a swab from the back of the nostril or throat. Meanwhile, a post-COVID-19 virus plan was being put in place by the Ministry of Tourism in the form of a Recovery Task Force. Jamaica has reported 42 active cases.



AIR FRANCE FLIGHTS THIS WEEK ( A minimal air service to and from Guadeloupe, Martinique, Cayenne(French Guyana) and Paris is in place. Permission to board the flights is restricted to tourists needing to return home, those who have urgent personal or professional reasons for repatriation. Martinique has 108 active cases of COVID-19.



LAWMAKERS CALL ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO ADDRESS PUERTO RICO’S VULNERABILITY TO COVID-19 ( Democratic lawmakers are calling on Vice President Pence, who leads the administration’s coronavirus task force, to provide information on how he plans to address unique obstacles Puerto Rico faces throughout the pandemic. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said in a letter to Pence that the administration was slow to provide the U.S. territory adequate aid after hurricanes Irma and Maria. ‘As the COVID-19 pandemic hits Puerto Rico, these economic and public health risks will grow and risk exacerbating the crisis,’ the lawmakers said, adding, ‘the Trump administration’s actions to delay and impede the island’s economic and health care disaster recovery will result in further grave harm to the island’s residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.’ Puerto Rico has reported 301 active cases of the virus.



HON VINCE AMORY DENOUNCES MISINFORMATION ( Vince Amory, the Minister with Responsibility for Labour and Social Affairs, has denounced what he called “destructive fake news” circulating on social media in which it was claimed that cheques for income assistance up to EC$1000 per month would be available on Friday 3 April,  at the Social Security Board.  Minister Vance Amory said that the cheques were not yet ready and that the ‘fake news’ was being spread to cause confusion. St Kitts-Nevis has reported nine active cases.



WE’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT IF WE KEEP FIGHTING EACH OTHER’ (  ‘I am appealing to everyone to please put our differences aside. Let us work together and support one another. Let us be disciplined, practice self-isolation especially when we go out in public. It is for our own safety and that of our families,” PM Alan Chastanet said. The island has recorded 12 active cases and the country is currently under a 24-hour curfew for seven days.



ONLY NINE PASSENGERS ALLOWED ON BUSES ( As SVG records two new active cases of COVID-19, measures have been outlined by the Government regarding public transportation. Minister of Health Luke Browe stated that the maximum capacity for public buses has now been reduced from 13 to nine passengers.



COVID-19 CASES REPORT 6 DEATHS ( The recorded number of deaths from the COVID-19 cases now totals six. If the population did not heed the warnings to stay at home, said Minister of Health Terrence Delalsingh, it would hurt the ability of frontline health workers to confront the pandemic. A map of COVID-19 cases on Trinidad & Tobago has been published to show the distribution of confirmed cases. Trinidad & Tobago now has 90 active cases.



USVI ELIGIBLE FOR US$2.9M COVID-19 FUNDING FROM US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ( The US Virgin Islands are eligible for US$2.9m in immediate funding for protective equipment for first responders. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has granted a Major Disaster Declaration which will trigger the release of federal funds. Governor Albert Bryan Jr welcomed the move but said that “declaration is not as expansive as we have hoped”. He said that federal aid is needed for individuals and households affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The US Territory has a reported 37 active cases.


Click here for the latest coronavirus numbers from around the world.

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