ANTIGUA – The Antigua and Barbuda Government has made a request to Cuba for supplies of the Interferon 2B drug that boosts the immune system, allowing patients who are very sick a chance to recover from diseases like the coronavirus.“The Cuban drug is in great demand at this time, as are others that are being tested on patients. Only one confirmed case of coronavirus has been detected in Antigua, and that 21-year-old patient is recovering. However, should an elderly Antiguan or Barbudan fall ill with the virus, the Cabinet is determined that all will be done to save that life. No death from coronavirus has occurred in Antigua and Barbuda,” a statement issued following the special Cabinet meeting on Sunday read.It said that the Cuban doctors and nurses, who will arrive on Thursday, March 26, are experienced in the management of infectious diseases.Since the release of the statement, Antigua confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19, bringing their national tally to three.
NTC’S criticism fallout…says officials unable to account for wealthAt the opening of the 2018 National Toshaos Conference, Government has been accused of breaking promises made to the National Toshaos Council (NTC); and Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock, in seeming retaliation, has taken a tough stance against toshaos who allegedly profiteer off public funds.Sitting emotionless throughout NTC Chairman Joel Fredericks’s speech, which lambasted Government for its sloth in keeping promises made to indigenous peoples, Minister Allicock, when his turn came to speak, issued an ominous warning to the effect that toshaos had better be able to account for personal financial gains.“I must say that we have not gone to take anybody to court because of mismanagement of the village funds. But for this next council, I would like to signal to the toshaos that we had three years to get it right. You have to prove that you got it right!” Allicock warned.“So those toshaos who have public property and homes and cannot give account for the funds they were given responsibility for, you will be called to answer for it!” he declared.“We still have some persons who do not want to hand over keys, but you were notIndigenous People’s Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock, during his address to the Toshao’s Councilput in that position on your own; people put you there. You are servants of the people. Let us talk it! Walk it! Reflect it!” Allicock charged.The minister also expressed expectations for the NTC. According to Allicock, the Indigenous Affairs Ministry has, over the past three years, worked on unifying communities and facilitating discourse. He expressed hope that the new council would continue in this vein.“In going forward as the newly and hopefully improved NTC, we must elect persons to the executive committee based on what they can and will do for all indigenous people of Guyana. We must elect people who place a high premium on accountability; not just for resources placed at their disposal, but also for their actions,” he admonished.The Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs (MoIPA) has been awarded $2.2 billion in the 2018 budget. Last year, Government provided a budgetary allocation of $16 million to the NTC. It is understood that individual communities have been crafting Village Improvement Plans (VIP).The VIP is an initiative birthed from the Sustainable Indigenous Villages and Communities Policy (SIV&CP). Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Alfred King, had last March said the MoIPA would be working with villages and communities in the Santa Rosa, Moruca Sub-district of Region One to implement their respective VIPs.King had been a member of a team led by Minister within the Indigenous Peoples Affairs Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, on a recent visit to Region One. King had explained the working of the VIP, and had claimed that its introduction was at an opportune time.During his presentation, King had said, “We are always going to use that as a model or framework to guide such development in communities; and I think the time is right now — after spending some time working on that plan in Region 9 — to roll it out as a national effort”.He had added, “It will require a number or resources, a lot of competence, a lot of technical support; and once there’s a good plan, where do you go next? Because a good plan just cannot make things happen; a good plan will just guide the process of development and/or implementing activities in a structured way.”
A Vancouver-based company aiming to replace pollution-spewing urban mass transportation with zero-emission electric vehicles says it’s secured a new deal in the Philippines that could generate up to 300 jobs locally as manufacturing ramps up.Pangea Motors, which designs and builds the Comet, a 16-passenger electric van, will supply 10,000 of the vehicles for use on the congested streets of Manila under an agreement the company inked with transportation group Pasang Masda.Pangea will ship the 10,000 Comets over three years, with about 200 heading out in the first quarter of 2014, said Ken Montler, CEO of GET International, which is marketing the Comet for Pangea.Montler is part of a larger venture, launched earlier this year, that seeks to achieve environmental, social and financial goals by making electric vehicles a larger part of the transportation fleets of multiple countries.Montler, Pangea CEO Michael Hippert and their partners see the Philippines as a test site, where Comets would eventually replace Manila’s tens of thousands of diesel urban transport vehicles, known as jeepneys.