Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in Parliament at the Red House, Port of Spain, Friday. - SUREASH CHOLAI
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in Parliament at the Red House, Port of Spain, Friday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

ALL LEARNING centres, including schools and universities, will close for at least a week from Saturday, to slow the possible spread of covid19, the Prime Minister has announced.

In an address to Parliament on Friday, Dr Rowley also directed attention to the private sector, encouraging business owners and managers to “be realistic” and provide alternate arrangements for their staff, such as allowing them to work from home, if feasible.

He said there should be a promotion of a workplace culture that supports people staying home when genuinely sick.

“The Government has advised a number of self-imposed cautionary measures that will slow down, delay and possibly prevent the spread of the virus,” said Rowley.

Rowley urged members of the public not to expose themselves unnecessarily through non-essential mass gatherings; limit exposure to public places; only travel if essential or in an emergency; practise good personal hygiene habits such as more frequent hand washing; avoid touching one’s face with unwashed hands; sneeze and cough into tissues and properly dispose of the tissue; and to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Rowley called on the public to be “sensible about not exposing frail seniors or people with other health conditions to respiratory illness.”

In Parliament, Rowley insisted that the government has acted with full transparency.

“Unfortunately, there continue to be those in our society who insist on acting irresponsibly and spreading false information,” he said.

“The Government has at all time acted with full transparency and will continue to do so, and I urge all our people to act responsibly and not spread false information and attempt to create mischief, which could only have the effect of creating a sense of panic, which would be the worst state to be in as we confront these challenges.”

TT has always been at the forefront of decision-making “with respect to how we protect our citizens and shores,” said Rowley.

“(And) we were one of the first countries in the world to take the proactive decision to impose travel restrictions in an effort to prevent the entry and restrict the spread of this virus.”



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