PACT seriously mismanaging outbreak, says PPM

| 10/11/2021 | 190 Comments
Cayman News Service
Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart and Alden McLaughlin MP

(CNS): Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart said he has tried “very hard to give the premier and the government a wide berth to get things together”, but PACT’s “cavalier attitude towards” the COVID-19 pandemic must end, as he accused them of seriously mismanaging the community outbreak. In a press statement from the Progressives, McTaggart said the escalating spread of the virus and the rate of infection now presented the gravest threat to our health and economy since the onset of the pandemic.

CNS asked former premier Alden McLaughlin what he would do if he was still the leader of the country. “We would never have gotten to this state,” he said and accused the PACT Government of making one poor decision after another, which had led the country to the current situation.

“Reducing the quarantine period for vaccinated people to five days and essentially relying on an honour system to keep travellers in quarantine allowed the initial spread of the virus,” McLaughlin said. “They needed to leave in place the strict protocols we had instituted until they were certain the required systems were able to cope.”

However, the re-emergence of the virus in the community has been traced to the first outbreak in North Side, and while there has been speculation about how it arrived, there is no evidence that it involved a breach of isolation.

McLaughlin also accused the current administration of not preparing for the arrival of the coronavirus. “The government had no plan and the systems were not geared to deal with controlling the inevitable spread,” he told CNS.

McTaggart also said that the current situation was a regrettable set of events. “I remain of the view that this is down to serious mismanagement by the government,” he said.

The sudden surge of infections across Cayman since September, after the country had enjoyed more than a year free of the virus plaguing the rest of the world, has been the cause of alarm for many in the community. The government is relying on the massive testing policy being rolled out as a major plank of its plan to deal with the spread, but this will depend on people isolating when they know they are positive or when they have symptoms, and there are real concerns that government is struggling to keep infected people quarantined.

McTaggart said he was worried that, with the reopening date now just ten days away, government was still working on the plan to manage visitors. He said it was debatable if there was a genuinely safe way of reopening the borders but it must still be properly planned.

“So far, this does not seem like a planned border reopening. Rather, it seems we are hurtling toward the November 20th date and praying for the best,” the PPM leader said, adding the government had to show the country real evidence it has this under control, as Wayne Panton had claimed at a press briefing several weeks ago.

He said he had been “trying very hard” to give the premier and the PACT Government a wide berth so they could “get things together while still fulfilling my duty to the country to hold the premier and the government to account. We in the opposition will continue to be vigilant and point out where the government is going wrong. But time is running out.”

McLaughlin said that Cayman is reopening principally to restart tourism but that it “now has the dubious distinction of being the most infectious country in the world”.

The travel advisory by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning US citizens not to travel to the Cayman Islands was enough to keep people away, he said, but if “that were not disastrous enough, residents here are now staying away from bars, restaurants and stores and gatherings for fear of the dread virus”. Local businesses that have been hanging on by their fingernails are going to fail, McLaughlin warned.

“This is going to be a very bleak Christmas. The premier and his government need to get their heads around the reality that continued uncontrolled spread of the virus is a lose lose situation. No tourists and not much local business. They must take immediate action to curtail the spread. I pray that we are not forced back into lockdown as so many other countries have been. That would truly be fatal to local businesses. And I pray even more that no one dies because of the government’s incompetence,” McLaughlin added.

Meanwhile, the tourism ministry dismissed the CDC’s travel warning and claimed that it was not impacting bookings.

“The Cayman Islands is one of 80 countries around the world on the list of level 4 countries which currently includes the UK, Ireland and Switzerland along with 15 of our Caribbean neighbours,” a release from the ministry said.

Describing the CDC’s travel advisory is “regrettable”, the ministry stated, “Given that we are close to reopening the borders it is understandable that this travel advisory is raising concerns, particularly in relation to tourism. But the reality is, the move to level 4 does not automatically mean that the Cayman Islands tourism industry will be negatively affected.”

The release said that other destinations categorized as level 4 had no long term or immediate negative impacts.

“The Ministry of Tourism has not received any indication from tourism stakeholders that this move by the CDC presents a major hurdle, neither has there been any suggestion that vacation bookings are being cancelled due to the CDC rating. On the contrary, we do not expect that visitors will be deterred and the Department of Tourism stands by its projection that the Cayman Islands will remain on a path of slow and steady growth following the reopening of borders on 20 November, 2021,” the ministry stated.

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Category: Politics

Comments (190)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We have no confidence in this new government

  2. Tom says:

    Unfortunate that everyone did not avail themselves of the vaccine before the inevitable spread of the virus. The vaccine simply–and greatly–reduces the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Each person has the responsibility to manage his or her own risks in life, like wearing a seat belt or getting the COVID-19 vaccination. Let’s move beyond politics. Don’t live in fear. Take your own precautions. I applaud the government for opening the border and bringing us back to real life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. They would have done the same thing if he was premier instead. How else were you gonna get the borders open?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I don’t really understand why they need to come up with a plan to manage visitors. Anyone coming to the island has to be vaccinated and show a negative test. If anything people should be worried about coming to the island and catching the virus where the numbers are so high. Alden McLaughlin Trying to accuse the current government of doing everything wrong. While keeping the country closed for so long was probably a mistake, opening it now is the smartest thing they can do. You are doing no good keeping the country lockdown. You were never going to keep the virus out, only hold it at bey.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is no managing the outbreak. You have to let it run its course. The only thing that helps is getting the vaccine. You guys are behind the times and the rest of the world. The best thing you can do is get vaccinated ,open for business, and enjoy the ride.

  5. Al Catraz says:

    Building the cruise ship dock would have kept people employed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    PPM seemed more like a dictatorship the way that Alden McLaughlin ran it with an iron fist.

    Ridiculous to think that Alden and Roy now think of themselves as men of the people. More like mice.

    • Name witheld until it appears on the next list of candidates. says:

      Agreed! More like mice…………… or rats.

    • Anonymous says:

      That should be “TRIED to run it with an iron fist!” When there’s no iron, nothing happens.

  7. Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

    Wow, Now we have PPM claiming to be the one’s who should be in Government. Let’s make this clear to the PPM. You all had 8 years and what did you do to help Caymanians, namely the most vulnerable. Answer you did nothing PPM. Mr. former Premier. What did you email me and say when I contacted you. About how I have been treated. Your reply Chet. Government can only do so much with the policies and laws in place. Well Mr. former Premier Alden McLaughlin. Your PPM along with it’s now leader Mr. Roy Mctaggart, could have changed he policies and laws to assist Cayman’s most vulnerable. But all you offered up to me was this. Chet come back to me in a few months and let me know how you are getting on. Really, then you say God Bless Alden. That is how you as a leader deals with things. But if you know anything a paper trail dosen’t tell stories. It tell the truth. So please PPM go sit down and shut up. Enough of you all selling Cayman out to you know who. Strange how when you all PPM was in power Caymanians lives didn’t matter. But now they do. Bunch of power hunger men and women all for themselves. Cayman has alot yet to learn.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chet, Alden expected vulnerable Caymanians to receive needed assistance from charitable organizations i.e Roteary, Lions and Red Cross. This is what he told BBC. Sorry, you should not blame PPM for not being helpful to you. They could give assistance/concessions only to large scale developers whose names should be kept confidential.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said.

    • Caymanian says:

      Well lets be clear PACT Helped Caymanians…Get Covid. Close down businesses. What else can we say PACT helped with???

  8. Anonymous says:

    We have to put Covid Behind us. Deal with reality – 70% of new covid cases are in the unvaccinated. 87% of people hospitalized here are from the unvaccinated. only 20% of our population are now unvaccinated. The vast majority of those are children who are highly highly unlikely to get seriously sick. We need to stop thinking of Covid as the Zombie Apocalypse, and realize that once you are vaccinated it’s just a bad flu. Yes people get sick with the Flu, and Sadly some people die from the Flu, its sad, but its life, and we have lived with it all our lives. Now we are going to have to live with Covid for the rest of our lives too. Everyone who wanted to get vacinated has had the chance to do so, be grateful for that, not everywhere has had that blessing. However it is Childish to believe that you can wave a magic wand and make covid disapear, or close your doors and windows and pretend that it will never touch our shores. Its here, its not going anywhere. The spike in cases we have now will subside, because covid will run out of unvaccinated people to run rampant through, and then it will be left with the harder but not impossible task of spreading a population with resistance. Time to take off the mask, throw away the fear, and live life normally again my friends.

    • Kanne says:

      I’m guessing u haven’t had a close relative or friend die from Covid huh? I guarantee you wouldn’t be so cavalier. I really appreciate that we have people that wouldn’t want risk even one life for a few bucks.

      • Philip Alexander says:

        My father died from COVID in the UK – he preferred controlled, as opposed to cavalier, freedom to lock down
        and paid the price. However, I know he would support the poster at 7:52 am.

        Life is a series of calculated risks – we all have different tolerances and a responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe.

    • Caymanian says:

      Well. At present PACT is helping with that. Turn around. That guy behind you, he probably has it. Wait the guy in front also and on the right and left. So yes. PACT helped you put COVID behind you and for good measure on all other sides also. That’s what you call going above and beyond aaaah I mean all around good job.

  9. Junior says:

    Some look like they cant manage themselves. Clearly out of their depth

  10. Wy says:

    Yes, with deaths of covid rising to zero among the vaccinated, this has been a disaster.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why to blame PACT or PPM. I hope they are following either local public health advice or of UK.

  12. Anonymous says:

    so what is cita saying now. be careful what you ask for

    • Annonious says:

      My view of this hold thing about opening the border is not going the right way. quarantine must stay for everyone,it is hurtful to know cayman is the top island if COVID-19 now. My heart break over that. one thing I must say for Aldine he protected us no matter what. God bless our island

  13. Kate says:

    This is the biggest load of tosh I have ever heard. The only reason for quarantine now is to keep negative travelers from catching Covid. We all knew it was only a matter of time before the country was full of the virus and the only way to keep people safe was to be vaccinated. That’s what the PPM themselves said so they should just accept that this government is only doing what was laid out for them and present a united front. The sooner we all get over this spike the better and acting like they would have done something (what exactly?) better is not helping. Let’s just celebrate that we have hospitalizations under control and thank goodness no deaths and let’s get the borders open, tourism workers back to work, and money coming in so that we can halt any further economic decline. No one said this would be easy but we are only now where the rest of the western world was a year ago – the difference being we are 80% vaccinated and able to ride this out. #Caymanstrong

  14. Anonymous says:

    You can criticise Roy and the PPM for a number of things, including for stating the bleeding obvious re PACT mismanagement, but the PPM government were not responsible for allowing the country to drift into this with no LFT tests available, no plan, and no vaccine supply.

    That was wholly a PACT dereliction of duty, a grotesque and unforgiveable piece of negligence by Panton and his fellow egotistical travellers.

    The whole sorry lot of PACT should resign right now, but there is not an ounce of decency amongst them.

    Shameful and Shameless.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would think PACT are well aware of their calamity 6:17 but now just riding it through playing ignorant to the outcry. As much as I dislike referring to it, the fall out reminds me of what occurred during the Trump era, lots of running around putting out fires but not necessarily by fireman

    • Uno Itztru says:

      @6:17 pm: Sir, or Madam, your tirade identifies you as an unhappy PPM twit, but that’s O.K. Cayman still has freedom of speech, which I suppose is still listed as “a good thing”. After a dozen or more years of “Hooray for me and fug you” leadership, we now have a new and inexperienced leadership to help us climb out of the cesspool of poor and/or dishonest leadership we have been subjected to. Maybe they can come up with a fair and honest leadership……….. Something I haven’t seen in a long time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unmitigated garbage.

        PACT are grotesquely incompetent and are endangering every single person in the Cayman Islands by their negligence.

        They should resign now. If they fail to do so, direct rule should be imposed as the situation is completely out of control.

        • Anonymous says:

          And direct rule by whom? The UK? The country which has decided to move on? The country who is saying get vaccinated, get your booster, manage your own liabilities by wearing a mask and cleaning your hands, the country who has a lower vaccination rate than us but is no longer enforcing mask or social distancing mandates?

          Your political driven thinking is shining through so clearly

          Shame on you

        • Anonymous says:

          Right like Alden & Jon-Jon were are saviors? This garbage post (8:17) was clearly written by a Alden PPM supporter. The previous PPM leadership should be brought up on charges how they allowed the wholesale sell out of our island to their rich developer friends.

        • Anonymous says:

          Utter Tosh… the direct rule comment makes you likely the person that set up that awful EPACI, as it was on their agenda.

          Endangering every single person – please – most people getting Covid don’t even have symptoms (if vaccinated), the majority of the rest it is mild. The unvaccinated put their own health at risk. They have a choice. No different to choosing to smoke, choosing to drink, choosing not to vaccinate. But Covid in vaccinated people will do less harm than the loss of income in those people who haven’t got jobs without tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      resign and put who/what in charge?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, what’s shameful and shameless, which is unmitigated, are Roy and Alden as well as PPM.

  15. Anon says:

    Instead of playing politics at this crucial time, and being critical of something no government anywhere has been able to control, why don’t the opposition be helpful by presenting what their plan would be? Could it be handled differently? I doubt. We cannot remain closed indefinitely and the virus is already moving rapidly throughout our society. The only way forward is to encourage our population to be vaccinated for its own protection. Unfortunately those who are opposed may suffer more severe consequences, but that is their choice and they are entitled.
    Could the government not offer some form of incentive to the unvaccinated whether monetary, paying a child’s school fees? Freebies always encourage and with the money government is spending might there be a way to do this? Just food for thought. What we all need to do is stop the panicking and bickering when no blame can be fairly cast on something affecting the entire world population and economies.

    • Anonymous says:

      The opposition is speaking truth! This PACT government is a colossal failure and if they have any decency they would all resign. What is happening in these three islands is beyond their capability to control. Sabrina’s “an once of prevention” is still trying to become an ounce and the others are lost. Comical yes but it is also a serious indication of how lacking in capabilities this government is. Say what you will about Alden McLaughlin, and I was not his greatest fan, but we would not be in this mess if he was still in charge. If this government pushes ahead with reopening now and adds tourists to this mix that we are obviously not ready for, it will not end well. Our healthcare workers are overwhelmed and recruiting substandard staff at this late stage is beyond reckless. We had better all start praying.

      • Anonymous says:

        i told someone recently that I was disappointed with this PACK government and he responded ” lower your expectations and you won’t be disappointed ” so sad but so true. None of them knows their A$$ from a hole in the ground. Time for a recall.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Who cares about cases. The cases are because locals won’t follow the rules. You shouldn’t need a government to keep telling you the rules of Covid 20 months into a pandemic. And the only 14 people in hospital are largely unvaccinated, you’re telling me they couldn’t have got vaccinated? Take some personal responsibility. We are lucky we got to 80 per cent before our outbreak. And we were never going to prevent it. Why do people think cayman has some right to miraculously be the only place in the world that Covid would never hit?

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you not not yet understood that the vaccinations will not stop people catching this virus and spreading it? You may not care about cases but many of us do. It is not just locals who are being reckless and not taking precautions, I see others doing that every day! However, you are the type who will come to our country, enjoy a great life and then try to place everything that is bad on the locals.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Roy and his failed cronies will conjure up any excuse to grave-dance this Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! I’m not a fan of PACT either, but they are the ones currentlybvoted into office so why not work together for the better of the country and the health of our community.
      I’m sure Roy & Alden’s plan would have been to go back into a lockdown!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Vinegar business.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Instead of flapping your gums, why not offer something constructive?

    If PPM had still been in power, they would have probably just asked the big developers what want them to do. Sell outs.

  20. Anonymous says:

    MacKeeva Bush, as speaker, is the only MP that it’s clearly is earning his salary.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I disagree. I think Alden and his ridiculous reading of world stats and Seymour talking nonsense, during a lockdown, was an embarrassment. Granted we needed that 3 month closure, but then they pursued a no COVID policy. Was never going to work – impossible and nowhere in the world could ever maintain a no COVID idea. They created a ridiculous fear of COVID in the community and also did nothing to look toward living with COVID which everyone will have to do eventually, as it’s never going away. I blame PPM more than PACT

    • Smile Too Much- Never! says:

      “Premier Alden McLaughlin has said he is excited about the possibility of opening the borders completely by the end of April if 70% of the adult population is vaccinated against COVID-19 by then. Once 90% of the over 60s have had both shots, likely by next week, government will reduce quarantine from 14 days to 10 days, but once 70% of adults have received both doses, they may make what some believe is the rash decision of removing it completely.” CNS 25 Feb 2021

      So, what is new? Well, there are some that say Alden would have ridden the wave by maintaining an iron grip on Franz and maintaining proper entry controls and quarantine protocols- both of which became extremely leaky under PACT government. Did PACT lose their grip? Was the Jamaican ‘wave’ of PCR test-dodging and quarantine-bunking job-seekers and family reuniters too much work for Franz and his WORCers?

    • Anonymous says:

      They kept the place running normal other than inconvenience for some travellers. We were living a normal life then PACT came in with their demented reduction to 5 days as we were heading into winter and 2000 cases school kids infected masks everywhere and people at home with covid and no therapeutic. The cabal at the chamber won’t even earn a cent due to their stupidity and greed. They will also probably kill a few people too.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not seeing much fear of COVID in the community tbh

  22. Anonymous says:

    As I said in July last year…Turks and Caicos had a plan stuck to it.
    Guess they now have they last laugh as they continue to boom and take our business!

    Neither party had a real plan and we should have been open living with this 4 months after vacation started.
    We still have not got over 80%

  23. Anonymous says:

    We’re currently out of vaccines. The government FB page says this is due to the “success in uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine over recent weeks.” That’s impressive spin on, “Everyone is panicking and desperate for vaccines because we messed up the border reopening.”

    • Anonymous says:

      The vaccines have been available since March. Why didn’t these idiots get jabbed in March, should be on a 6 month booster by now. Don’t blame the government for people’s stupidity. Also be grateful the UK are providing your with free vaccines. They are only on over 50 boosters in the uk currently.

      • Anonymous says:

        Try late January….Just saying.
        You are right these idiots had plenty of time and the government should have set a date and stuck to in for April this year to force them.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t agree with the April thing because I know the country wasn’t ready to open the borders then but people have had a long time to get the vaccine. However, by January, everyone should have had the booster and the children should be vaccinated also.

      • Anonymous says:

        hello you genius! There were protocols or a pecking-order system in place for quite sometime for the jab. Not everyone could get at one time.

        • Anonymous says:

          It didn’t help that vaccines were being given to tourists and children. Just sayin’.

        • Anon says:

          There has been no pecking order from end March/early April that is when they started alphabet days, therefore no excuse fir not having had it done earlier

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