Trinidad and Tobago lifting COVID-19 restrictions to distract from Paria deaths

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Prime Minister Keith Rowley and Newman George chairman of Paria Fuel Trading Company Ltd

Dear Sir

After being unexplainably absent from the public since his return from Doha, prime minister Keith Rowley appeared in parliament March 4, to announce the sudden rollback of Covid-19 restrictions, including putting his ill-conceived mandatory vaccination policy on hold.

In light of the public condemnation of the government’s and Paria’s handling of the deaths of four subsea divers, one wonders if this was nothing more than an attempt to deflect from the disaster. Notably, the prime minister is yet to speak publicly on this matter.

In making the announcements today, Rowley disregarded the findings of his own Committee into the management of Covid 19 which proved that the ministry of health’s Covid-19 propaganda team was misleading the country for two years.

The government’s own Covid-19 report outlined numerous serious issues including, overworked staff, shortages of critical drugs, a  lack of crucial data and an absence of a comprehensive ICU policy. Most notably the committee stressed their inability to properly interview medical personnel other than those selected by the ministry of health.

Incredibly Rowley feels none of these issues are cause for concern. What remains clear is that Rowley’s inaction in making changes to the Ministry of Health (MOH) propaganda team has directly contributed to over 3,000 deaths.

Occupancy rates are not down due to any success that can be attributed to the MOH but rather due to the extreme fear and lack of confidence in the management of these hospitals. People do not believe they will receive proper treatment after reading the Seemungal report and are seeking treatment privately rather than suffering at state facilities.

The critical question that must be asked now is will Rowley ignore the findings of the investigation into the Paria fuel disaster as he is ignoring the special Covid-19 report?

Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP

Leader of the Opposition

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