Brian McPherson, left, and Erickson Piper
Brian McPherson, left, and Erickson Piper

Chinese killed in Marigot

A Chinese national is the latest homicide victim in Dominica. The non-national whom police identified as Zhang Zhaopeng succumbed to injuries sustained in the head on February 22, 2022, in Marigot where he owns a business. Following the businessman's passing, Government senator Gregory Riviere, who's from the Marigot Constituency spoke out on the incident, condemning "in the strongest possible terms" what he says was an act of violence and aggression.

"I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing and extend my sincere condolences to the Chinese Ambassador and the entire Chinese community here in Dominica," he said. According to Riviere, this alleged isolated incident is by no way a reflection of the nature of the people of Marigot.

Pedestrian killed

A St. Aroment resident died on the evening of February 27, 2022, after being struck by a vehicle while walking home with his wife. Police have identified the ill-fated victim as Brian McPherson. According to the reports, McPherson- a security officer at the Dominica Grammar School- was en route to their home shortly after 9:00 p.m. when they were struck by a passing pick-up truck. The pair were transported to the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) where he succumbed to the injuries which he sustained. According to the police, the wife of the deceased is in stable condition and the matter is being investigated.

Drowning in Purple Turtle

Good samaritans on the Purple Turtle Beach in Portsmouth raced to save Erickson "Boe" Piper's life, a 39-year-old truck driver, but their efforts came to a tragic end. On February 26, the Cochrane resident encountered difficulties whilst swimming at the popular beach and was rushed to the Reginald Fitzroy Hospital, but was later pronounced dead. This incident comes less than a week following another drowning incident that occurred on Batibou Beach, which claimed the life of Joffre Trevor Cognet of Portsmouth. Recall of Similac baby formula

Following the death of two infants and the hospitalization of several others in the United States, Jolly's Pharmacy – importer of Abbott, one of the largest infant formula makers in the US- has announced the recall of the Similac advance formula.

Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is investigating consumer complaints of Cronobacter Sakazakii and Salmonella Newport infections (a rare but dangerous germ that can cause blood infections and other serious complications) which were reported after having consumed powdered infant formula produced from Abbott Nutrition's Sturgis, Michigan facility. As a result of the ongoing investigation, along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local partners, the FDA is alerting consumers to avoid purchasing or using certain powdered infant formula products produced at this facility.

In a statement, pharmacist and public relations officer (PRO) of Jolly's Pharmacy, Carlton Languedoc, said that while there have not been any reports of babies being ill locally as a result of using the product, Jolly's has decided to recall this formula.

"If you do have Similac formula in your possession that you would have purchased at any of our Jolly's Pharmacy locations also including our wholesale departments with batch numbers between 22 and 37 and may contain k8, letters sh or Z2 and maybe expiring somewhere around April 2023 or later, you should discard these formulas immediately," he cautioned. "If you do have or may have purchased the formula from our wholesale department, kindly have them removed from your shelf and one of our employees will have the formula picked up."

Languedoc went on to note that not all of the advanced Similac products are being recalled, and products that do not contain the information listed above are not affected and can therefore still be consumed.

Vaccines from Mexico

Thanks to the Mexican Government, Dominica has received another batch of 2,000 doses of COVID-19 (AstraZeneca) vaccines, while sister island Saint Vincent and the Grenadines got 10,000 doses. The donations were made in cooperation and solidarity with the nations of the region, in accordance with the instructions of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. According to a press release from the Embassy of the United Mexican States to the Eastern Caribbean, with this delivery, Mexico reaffirms its commitment to the Latin American and Caribbean region to guarantee equitable access to vaccines.