Minister on coronavirus: TT no place for xenophobia

Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, Dennis Moses   - SUREASH CHOLAI
Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, Dennis Moses - SUREASH CHOLAI

Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dennis Moses said xenophobia has no place in TT when it comes to the novel coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China.

At a news conference on Tuesday at the ministry in St Clair, Port of Spain, Moses said citizens should refrain from casting aspersions on the Chinese community.

"Xenophobia should have no place in our discourse at all. We as a people can certainly do much better than that in responding in such primal ways."

TT citizens have been concerned about the spread of the coronavirus. Moses said so far there have been 42,000 confirmed cases in China, and 396 outside of that country. He said so far 1,000 people have died from the disease, while 4,000 have recovered.

The minister said there were two TT citizens in Wuhan, but there were 62 nationals on the register. He said the TT Embassy was in constant contact with all citizens. He said all those travelling in China are required to register with the equivalent of the police service and Foreign Affairs of China where they have a presence in each of the provinces, adding that TT would make contact with these agencies should the need arise to evacuate nationals.

Moses said 2,267 people were registered on the online platform, but there were now 120 in China. He said he has been in contact with the five home-based citizens at the embassy in China, adding that any national in distress can contact the ministry or the embassy.

"The staff are not orphans. We have been in contact with Trinbagonians every day since the outbreak providing basic information, reassurances, basic hospital information safety tips and news updates."

Moses said no TT national will be barred from entering TT, but they will have to subject themselves to being quarantined.

The minister said TT has donated 13,600 masks to China, at a cost of $150,000, to help stem the spread of the disease.


"Minister on coronavirus: TT no place for xenophobia"

More in this section