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UVI Hosts USVI-BVI Mangrove Restoration Learning Exchange

The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Center for Marine and Environmental Studies (CMES) hosted a mangrove restoration learning exchange with individuals from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLCC) in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The exchange is the first of two that will bring researchers and students together in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the BVI to learn from each other about mangrove restoration techniques. The exchange is funded by the Virgin Islands Community Foundation’s Judith A. Towle Fund.

Faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students attended the exchange which included a tour of UVI’s new, land-based mangrove and coral nurseries, a visit to a newly restored mangrove site at Range Cay, a tour of the University’s Environmental Analysis Lab, and a site visit to the St. Thomas East End Reserves, a marine protected area and potential future mangrove restoration site.  

UVI Hosts USVI-BVI Mangrove Restoration Learning Exchange

The exchange was led by UVI Assistant Professor, Kristin Wilson Grimes; UVI Watershed and Marine Specialist, Allie Durdall; and Head of Marine and Maritime Studies at the Centre for Applied Marine Studies (CAMS) at the HLCC, Susan Zaluski. Grimes leads a group dedicated to growing restoration, research, outreach, and education of the territory’s mangroves (GRROE U.S. Virgin Island Mangroves). The nursery has grown over 5,000 mangroves for restoration since its establishment in the spring of 2021 in St. Thomas, USVI.  

In the BVI, Susan Zaluski and students grow mangroves at three nurseries on Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, and Anegada. “Growing this collaboration and engaging communities across the Caribbean, makes restoration more efficient, effective, and fun, by sharing our successes and learning through failures,” Grimes said.  

“The BVI learning exchange was such a refreshing way to learn about all of the great things they’ve been doing in their nursery and it was a nice opportunity to network and exchange information,” student Kayla Halliday said. “I am excited to visit their nursery in person, soon.” 

For the next phase of the learning exchange, Grimes and her team will visit the HLCC nursery.  

UVI Hosts USVI-BVI Mangrove Restoration Learning Exchange

To learn more about mangrove research in the USVI, visit or follow the GRROE team on instagram at: grroe.usvi.mangroves  

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BVI Youngster Shot Puts Her Way To Gold At 49th Annual CARIFTA Games In Jamaica

KINGSTON — The British Virgin Islands team is showing that it didn’t come to the 49th Annual CARIFTA Games just to sightsee around Jamaica.

Savianna Joseph earned the British Overseas Territory its first gold medal of the games in the Girls Under 17 shot put competition.

Joseph, of Road Town, Tortola, tossed the heavy metal ball 12.80 meters in the first round. She cemented her lead in the regional competition with a second round throw of 13.54 meters — good enough for gold.

Jamaican Natassia Burrell placed second with a best throw of 13.10 meters and Bahamian Annae Mackey finished third with a throw of 13.0 meters.

Shot put competition is a track and field event involving “putting” a heavy spherical ball — the shot — as far as possible.

The shot put competition for men has been a part of the modern Olympics since their revival in 1896, and women’s competition began in 1948.

The 49th CARIFTA Games is being held in Kingston, Jamaica at the National Stadium from April 16 – 18, 2022.

This is the eighth time that Jamaica has hosted the event. Their national team will go after its 44th title this year.

The games are being staged under the endorsement of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC).

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OBITUARY NOTICE: Yvonne E. Milliner Brown Bowsky Dies In Atlanta At Age 87

Yvonne E. Milliner Brown Bowsky

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — It is with profound sorrow that we inform the Virgin Islands community of the sudden passing of our beloved Mrs. Yvonne E. Milliner Brown Bowsky at 87 years of age on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in Atlanta, Grorgia.

Mrs. Bowsky, an educator par excellence, and businesswoman served the British and United States Virgin Islands communities in many different capacities during a 56- year career.

A celebration of Mrs. Bowsky’s vibrant life and legacy of love and dedication is scheduled for Thursday, April 21, at the Christchurch Methodist Church in the Rothschild Francis Market Square on St. Thomas, USVI. The first viewing will be held at Turnbull’s Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. following a processional tribute at the Yvonne E. Milliner-Bowsky Elementary School. The second viewing and tributes is scheduled at Christchurch Methodist from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., immediately followed by the funeral service. Interment is at the Western Cemetery No. 1.

Mrs. Bowsky served as Insular Superintendent of the St. Thomas-St. John School District from 1989 until her retirement from government service in 1994. In that capacity, Mrs. Bowsky successfully led the efforts to obtain reaccreditation of Charlotte Amalie High School and the accreditation of Eudora Kean High School for the first time in its history.

In 1973, then Education Commissioner Dr. Harold Haizlip, seeking to relieve the overcrowding and double sessions for students enrolled in the Joseph Gomez and Joseph Sibilly elementary schools, appointed Mrs. Bowsky to the principalship of a new elementary school at the recently acquired abandoned Peace Corps site. However, when Mrs. Bowsky arrived at the site she was astonished to find that Peace Corps Elementary School was not yet a school. She was stunned to see a complex of derelict abandoned dormitories, some still filled with bedding and household items. The site was overgrown with grass, shrubs and trees, and the buildings did not have electricity or screens for windows and doors. There were just a few desks, chairs, and books, and neither money nor budget had been allocated for the school. Nevertheless, the visionary and resourceful Mrs. Bowsky foresaw the potential for a school. She marshalled all the resources and services that could be secured from family, friends, her sparse faculty, parents, and other principals to welcome 400 students to the campus within one week, with some classes being held outdoors on the then manicured campus grounds.

By the end of her first year, Mrs. Bowsky had spearheaded the transformation of the abandoned Peace Corps site into a viable elementary school with a reputation for educational excellence within the community. As principal, she then provided 15 years of dedicated service to the children, parents, and faculty in the Peace Corps school community. On Sunday, May 7, 2006, Mrs. Bowsky’s beloved school was renamed in her honor as the Yvonne E. Milliner-Bowsky Elementary School in recognition of her visionary leadership and years of devoted services as the “founding principal” who transformed an abandoned Peace Corps site into an excellent learning facility.

Mrs. Bowsky was born to the Milliner family who resided on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands. There she attended school up to the seventh standard and at age 14 was appointed to the position of “pupil teacher.” Mrs. Bowsky, then lovingly known as “Teacher Yvonne”, taught the first-grade class on Jost Van Dyke for two and a half years. She then resigned her position to further her education in the United States. She graduated from Morris High School in the Bronx, New York, and then received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary education from the New York University School of Education. Mrs. Bowsky continued post-graduate studies at the University of Hartford in Connecticut and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

In 1966, Mrs. Bowsky relocated to St. Thomas where she began her illustrious educational career with the Virgin Islands Education Department as an elementary teacher at Joseph Sibilly and Lockhart elementary schools. In 1968, while completing the student-teacher requirements for certification as a secondary mathematics teacher at the Charlotte Amalie High School, and because of a shortage of math teachers, she was offered a full-time position, which she accepted, but refused compensation. She instead donated her time and services so that the students could complete their mathematics requirements for graduation.

Mrs. Bowsky’s educational journey in the U.S. Virgin Islands also included positions as assistant principal at Ulla Muller Elementary School; mathematics teacher with the Adult Continuing Education and Adult Basic Education Programs at Joseph Gomez, J. Antonio Jarvis and CAHS; part-time instructor for 15 years in the Teacher Education Division’s Math Skills Program at the then College of the Virgin Islands and president of the St. Thomas-St. John Administrators Association for three terms during which she facilitated the unionization of V.I. educational administrators. She also united the educational administrators for both districts and led both associations to their first negotiated two-year labor agreement contract in 1980.

The multi-talented and highly energetic Mrs. Bowsky served the Virgin Islands in many other capacities. In 1986, while holding the positions of principal of Peace Corps Elementary School, part-time instructor at CVI and an Adult Education teacher, she also served as the Farrelly-Hodge gubernatorial campaign manager and was successful in her quest to elect the first Democratic governor of the USVI. In 1987, Mrs. Bowsky resigned her principalship at the Peace Corps School to accept Gov. Farrelly’s appointment as special assistant to the governor with oversight for audits. During her tenure as special assistant, she assisted in the reorganization of the local Bureau of Audits and Control and facilitated the creation of the position of inspector general for the Office of the Inspector General.

During her retirement years, Mrs. Bowsky remained highly active in the Virgin Islands community. She was the CEO and owner of Bowsky Auto Sales and Car Rentals, Inc., and was intricately involved in its day-to-day operations for 28 years; from its establishment in 1994 until Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, when she became ill. Despite her involvement in Bowsky Auto Sales and Car Rental, as well as other family businesses, she found time to be a volunteer math teacher at her cherished Yvonne E. Milliner-Bowsky Elementary School from 2003 to 2008. Additionally, she served as a member of the Virgin Islands Humanities Council, member of the Vocational Education Council, member of the Inner Wheel Organization, trustee on the Government Employees Retirement System Board for 10 years, and life-long active member of Christchurch Methodist Church where she served as Sunday School superintendent from 1998 through 2002.

Mrs. Bowsky was preceded in death by her parents, Abraham and Anna Milliner; husbands, George L. Brown and Jimmy Bowsky; adopted son, Capt. Joseph “Joey” Emanuel Lanclos; brothers, Juancito, Ludwig, Percy, Luther, Leslie and Kenneth Milliner; sisters, Azalea Milliner-Dawson, Blanche Milliner- Holder and Ilva (Belle) Milliner-Blyden; brothers-in-law, Alphonso Holder, David Austin Blyden Sr., Edward Bryce Smith and Degaulle Brin; and sisters-in-law, Eugenie, Pancita and Edith Milliner.

She leaves to mourn her two sons, George Dexter Brown and Clifford Bowsky; daughters-in law, Annette Brown and Michelle Bowsky; seven grandchildren, Arielle L., Annalyn K., and Annadelle E. Brown, Michael C., Cameron J., Nicholas, and Tyler Bowsky; three adopted grandchildren, Princess, Krystal and Joseph “Joey” Jr. Lanclos; two great-grandchildren, Judah M. and Jireh M. Brown; sisters, Leona Milliner-Smith and Susanna Milliner-Brin; sisters-in-law, Lelia, Rosetta and Esther Milliner; nieces, Juanita Milliner, Julita Milliner-Waddell, Nelia Milliner-Diez, Dolores Milliner-Tansil, Daisy Holder-LaFond, Patsy Milliner-Earle, Gloria Blyden Francis-Gumbs, Priscilla Blyden-Stridiron, Janet Blyden-James, Susanna Blyden-Richards, Zeathea Patsy Milliner, Cecelia Milliner-Emanuel, Lorraine (Lolo) Milliner, Maureen Milliner, Sharlene Milliner-Martin, Yvonne Laurie Milliner, Linda Milliner, Lynette L. Milliner-Pilgrim, Dawn Milliner, Faye Boschulte, Kay Renita Milliner-Kitchens, Anna Milliner, Cherril Milliner-Simmon, Joy Smith-Randall, Holly Smith-Seck and Simone Brin; nephews, Elroy, Basil, Godfrey, Leslie (Sonny), Darneal, Hoyt, Dale, Cecil, Cedric, Luther Jr., Bryce and Milton Milliner, David A. Blyden Jr., Edward Smith Jr., and Darren Brin; nieces-in-law, Leonice, Marilyn, Deborah, Karen Sandra, Wilda and Shellise Milliner, Noreen Roper and Kerri A. Galera; nephews-in-law, Iver A. Stridiron, Ulric Pilgrim Sr., Ronnie Kitchens, Randolph Boschulte, Ulric Lewis, Kurt Galera and Kelly Simmon ; and many more dear grand and great-grandnieces, nephews and cousins from the Milliner, Blyden, Callwood, Chinnery, Francois, George, Stridiron, Smith, Brin and Holder families; and other relatives, godchildren and lifelong friends too numerous to mention.

All COVID-19 protocols will be observed.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Turnbull’s Funeral Home and Crematory Services.

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ONE LOVE? BVI’s ‘Green’ Tourism Campaign Is Making People Red In The Face

ROAD TOWN, Tortola — A change in the British Virgin Islands’ tourism slogan is starting to stir up controversy there.

The BVI used to bill itself as “Nature’s Little Secrets.” But the islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke now consider themselves: “BVI Love.”

The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board (BVITB) unveiled the new slogan “BVILOVE” for branding on September 21, 2020 — just before the tourism world virtually shut down with COVID-19.

BVI Premier Andrew Fahie, who is the minister responsible for tourism, said the “mantra BVILOVE is an expression of the mission of his administration to create a Green BVI where all residents and all people love living Green.” 

“The unveiling of this logo, is reflected in the way we live, work and invest in the BVI – caring for our BVI because we love our BVI,” Fahie explained.  “The green leaf on the BVILOVE logo is that of our White Cedar, our Territorial Tree.  The White Cedar tree is important to our culture and our people because the bark or wood of the tree was used to make the stern, stern posts and frame of our famous Virgin Islands sloop. The green leaf represents growth, drive, innovation, green diversification, revitalization, green expansion, SMART strategies, development, personal and professional empowerment.”

What do you think about the new catch phrase? Anything resonate with you?

To read more about the controversy, click on the link below to go to the story in BVI News:

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Antigua Says It Is Willing To Help UK Seize Abramovich Yachts

ST. JOHN’S — Antigua and Barbuda is willing to help Britain seize yachts owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the Caribbean nation said on Friday, adding London must seek such assistance via an international treaty.

The Financial Times first reported the vessels Halo and Garcon, currently moored in Antigua and Barbuda, were owned by Abramovich via a British Virgin Islands company that was on the Britain’s sanctions list.

Antigua alone would have no way to seize or detain the vessels because they have not been linked to any crimes committed there, said Ronald Sanders, the country’s ambassador to the United States.

Doing so would require a formal request under the two countries’ mutual legal assistance treaty, a common mechanism by which nations cooperate with one another to help enforce laws.

“We’ve said that we’re quite happy to cooperate, but under the rule of law,” Sanders said in a telephone interview.

“The only way we can (seize the vessels) is if the British in their mutual legal assistance treaty request establish that this is a person they want because he has committed some crime.”

A March 29 letter from the British Virgin Islands to Antigua and Barbuda, seen by Reuters, says Abramovich is the owner of the firm Wenham Overseas Limited.

Reuters was unable to obtain comment from Wenham Overseas Limited or Abramovich, who on Tuesday made a surprise appearance at peace talks in Istanbul meant to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.

A letter written to Antigua’s customs agency by law firm Ince Germany, seen by Reuters, says that Abramovich “is neither part of the ownership structure nor is he a beneficiary of the M/Y ‘Garcon’.”

The letter, signed by Ince Germany partner Jan Hungar, says the “ownership structure of the M/Y ‘GARCON’ contains of (sic) non-sanctioned companies and individuals only.”

Hungar did not immediately respond to an email seeking additional information.

Superyachts linked to Abramovich, together worth an estimated $1.2 billion, have been docked in southwest Turkey since last week.

Western governments have targeted Abramovich and several other Russian oligarchs with sanctions as they seek to isolate President Vladimir Putin and his allies over the invasion of Ukraine.


Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Alex Richardson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Expert Weighs In On BVI’s ‘Perception of Corruption’ Problem With Offshore Accounts

ROAD TOWN, Tortola — International expert on governance Carlyle Corbin will make an official presentation of the independent self-governance assessment of the British Virgin Islands in an interview today.

Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Carolyn O’Neal-Morton, said the independent Self-Governance Assessment of the Virgin Islands was commissioned by the Government to provide the public with a reference document that places into historical context the constitutional advancement of the Virgin Islands, particularly as the Territory prepares for Constitutional Review.  

“There are many questions that have been raised by the public about our constitutional development since the announcement was made in 2021 that a Constitutional Review would take place,” O’Neal-Morton said.

The permanent secretary explained that the document will help to place self-governance in the British Virgin Islands in its proper context and clarify many of those questions.  

“It is hoped that by having access to the information contained in the self-governance assessment the public will be better able to engage in the Constitutional Review process,” she said.  

Corbin will discuss the report today at 12:15 p.m. today in a GIS interview via Government’s Facebook page. This is a simulcast on different radio stations. He will also make appearances today on Umoja on ZBVI at 1:00 p.m. and Honestly Speaking at 5:00 p.m. and at 10:30 a.m. on 30th March on 284 Media.

He will also be making a presentation at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday 31st March. He has paid courtesy call on the Premier and Minister of Finance Andrew Fahie and O’Neal-Morton. He will also pay a courtesy call on members of the House of Assembly.

Carlyle Corbin is an international advisor on governance and the designer of the Self-Governance Indicators (SGI) diagnostic tool which assesses self-governance sufficiency and preparedness of island non-independent countries.

He has conducted Self-Governance Assessments (SGA) covering Caribbean and Pacific countries, most recently in Curacao, French Polynesia, Norfolk Island, Guam, and now The Virgin Islands. He is the former Minister of State for External Affairs of the US Virgin Islands Government, as well as a member of its former Political Status Commission and Advisor to its Fifth Constitutional Convention.

He was the founding Secretary General of the Inter-Virgin Islands Conference and its successor Inter-Virgin Islands Council. Dr. Corbin has served as international advisor to the Premier of Bermuda, the Prime Minister of Curacao and the President of French Polynesia, respectively; He has been the UNDP constitutional advisor to the Anguilla Constitutional and Electoral Reform Committee; international advisor to the USVI Fifth Constitutional Convention; and UNDP Expert to United Nations Special Missions to Bermuda and the Turks & Caicos Islands, respectively.

He has served as a visiting lecturer in Global Affairs in the University of the Virgin Islands Institute for Future Global Leaders, and Visiting Lecturer in Dependency Governance Studies at the University of Guam where he introduced the Dependency Governance academic curriculum. He lectures globally, and writes extensively on dependency governance studies, and is the author of three books and numerous scholarly articles in the fields of para-diplomacy and external affairs.

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C&W Brings Paramount+ To 15 New Markets In The Caribbean

BRIDGETOWN — Paramount+, the SVoD service from Paramount, has announced an alliance with C&W Communications, the communications and entertainment provider in the Caribbean, to bring its content exclusively to subscribers of Flow and BTC video services in more than 15 new markets including Anguilla, The Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks, and Caicos Islands.

Additional markets may be added in the future.

“This alliance allows us to bring Caribbean audiences the amazing premium content on Paramount+,” said Eduardo Lebrija, EVP, Chief Commercial Officer, Southern Europe, Latin America, Middle East & Africa, and MD North Latam & Brazil Hub at Paramount. “We are excited about the ongoing expansion of Paramount+, and we will continue working to scale the offer to engage subscribers and increase the reach of Paramount+.”

We are thrilled to be the first to bring the amazing content of the globally acclaimed Paramount+ service to the region. Our partners at Paramount have curated the most powerful content proposition for our countries. Our subscribers across most of our Caribbean markets will have access, as part of their existing TV subscription, to thousands of exclusive premium series, movies, children’s programming, including originals from BET+ and Showtime, that have become viewer favorites in the US, and all over the world,” added Britta Reinhardt Chief Commercial Officer, Consumer Markets, C&W Communications, operator of the Flow and BTC brands in the Caribbean.

As part of their subscription (except for subscribers to Essentials TV), Flow and BTC customers can watch Paramount+’s catalogue through Flow’s VoD service, giving access to renowned brands and production studios, including Showtime, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and the Smithsonian Channel – all commercial-free.

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Puerto Rico Says It Made Putin’s List of ‘Unfriendly Countries’ … BVI, Too

MIAMI — A Miami Herald columnist is reporting this morning that no “Latin American” country has made Putin’s list of “unfriendly countries.”

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, so I guess Andres Oppenheimer gets a pass.

“(red pyramid emoji) OMG (red pyramid emoji) We (PR flag emoji) have been included in Russia’s list of “unfriendly” countries/territories,” PR Informa said today.

Puerto Rico Says It Made Putin's List of 'Unfriendly Countries' ... BVI, Too

But some surprising Caribbean countries made Russia’s “Shi-ite list” such as Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.

If Road Town, Tortola poses a threat to the Kremlin, the world really has turned upside down.

The list of course includes: the United States and Canada, the EU states, the UK (including Jersey, the BVI, Anguilla and Gibraltar). Also: Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, Albania, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, North Macedonia, and also Japan, South Korea, Australia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan (considered a territory of China, but ruled by its own administration since 1949).

In all, some 43 countries were blacklisted by the Russian Federation, according to Tass.

Russia’s economy has come under immense pressure from the international sanctions, with the rouble weakening to 133.5 to the dollar — a 40 percent drop in value compared to before the invasion of Ukraine.

Puerto Rico Says It Made Putin's List of 'Unfriendly Countries' ... BVI, Too
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a 2019 meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow. ALEXEI DRUZHININ RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS AND INFORMATION OFFICE

Russian state media has portrayed the measures as a retaliation to the sanctions brought in, which have almost entirely cut the Russian people from international payment systems.

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12 of 22 Countries CDC Says To Avoid Are In The Caribbean As COVID Crimps Travel

ROAD TOWN, Tortola — Some 12 of the 22 countries the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn travelers to avoid are in the Caribbean

The Caribbean has also had the steepest increase in infections since the start of the two-year-old pandemic, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday. In North America, the United States and Canada are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“The virus is spreading more actively than ever before,” PAHO Director Carissa Etienne told a briefing.

The British Virgin Islands was ranked 68th in the world in COVID-19 deaths just two weeks ago, but the death toll there has been rising steadily with the British protectorate posting a death toll of 47 which puts it at 58th in coronavirus fatalities as of today.

By comparison, the U.S. Virgin Islands, with roughly three times the population of the neighboring BVI — is officially reporting 94 deaths from COVID-19.

Other Caribbean countries with high per capita COVID death rates include: Trinidad & Tobago at 29, the Bahamas at 45, Grenada at 46, Bermuda at 48, Aruba at 49, Panama at 50, Saint Lucia at 52, the British Virgin Islands at 56, Belize at 59 and Costa Rica at 63.

Countries in the Caribbean identified by the CDC as “do not travel” include: the Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Panama, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, St. Kitts and Nevis and Turks & Caicos,

The United States Embassy in Barbados officially issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice warning on Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada on Tuesday.

Rocketing infections

With the omicron variant now present in most countries, flare-ups took place in every region of the world.

The number of cases soared by 210 percent in Asia, 142 percent in the Middle East, 126 percent in the Latin America-Caribbean region and 59 percent in Oceania.

In the United States and Canada cases rose 31 percent and they were up a quarter in Europe.

Africa stood alone in seeing an improvement, with an 11 percent drop.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections are reaching new peaks in the Americas with 7.2 million new cases and more than 15,000 COVID-related deaths in the last week, according to PAHO.

Given a shortage of testing, PAHO recommended that countries prioritize rapid antigen tests for people with COVID-19 symptoms and who are at risk of spreading the virus.

Even though more than 60 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Omicron is spreading rapidly in all regions, said PAHO Incident Manager Sylvain Aldighieri.

The variant’s advance in coming weeks and months will depend on public health measures to contain it, including use of masks and social distancing and above all vaccinations, to reduce the severity of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, he said.

Brazil reported a record 137,103 cases of the coronavirus in 24 hours as Omicron spread in Latin America’s largest country, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, as new infections soared above the previous daily record of 115,228 in June last year.

Brazil has the world’s third highest death toll from COVID-19 after the United States and Russia, according to a Reuters tally.

(REUTERS contributed to this report)

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Bahamas, Sint Maarten and BVI Are Countries CDC Says To Avoid For COVID-19

ROAD TOWN, Tortola — More than 100 countries are on U.S. federal health officials’ list of destinations to avoid because of a high risk of COVID-19, including Australia, Israel, the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands. 

With 42 deaths and a population of just 30,237, the BVI rose in rank from 68th in fatalities in the world — to 66th.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved 22 countries to its “level 4” travel health notice tier Tuesday, signaling that travelers should “avoid travel to these destinations” regardless of vaccination status.  

“If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” the CDC says on its website.

The countries considered to have a “very high” risk of COVID-19 include:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Australia 
  • The Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bermuda 
  • Bolivia
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cape Verde
  • Egypt
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Israel
  • Panama
  • Qatar 
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Sint Maarten
  • Suriname
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Uruguay

They join other popular destinations on the level 4 tier, including Canada, France and the United Kingdom.

The CDC looks at incidence rates and new case trajectories to determine each country’s COVID-19 risk. Countries are bumped to the level 4 tier when they report more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days.  

►CDC warns travelers to avoid Canada:’Even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk’ from COVID-19.