THE Opposition UNC has accused National Security Minister Stuart Young of using the covid19 pandemic to score political points.
The accusation was made by Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal after Young made the same accusation against the UNC.
At a news conference at the Health Ministry's office on Park Street in Port of Spain, Young said, "We denounce these very irresponsible acts and the continuation by the Opposition to create a sense of fear, a sense of misinformation and to mislead the population."
He continued, "This virus spread by contact and anyone who doesn't understand that at this stage, has a serious problem."
"That is not a message to the population. That is a message to the politicians. Stop politicking."
Young also criticised certain pastors who continue to encourage large gatherings despite the issuance of public health warnings against groups of ten or more people. He disclosed the police had told him about a pastor in Central Trinidad "who is still calling on his followers to come and to gather because God will protect."
He referred to an incident in South Korea where the virus spread rapidly after a religious gathering in a church.
While no decision has been taken to close shopping malls, Young said this is not an excuse to congregate in malls.
He observed that despite Government's advice "there are still some elements that refuse to take on and heed this advice."
He said Government would enforce the law, including the public health regulations which were unanimously approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate on Friday.
Moonilal condemned Young's attempt "to obscenely politicise the positions taken by members of the opposition." Referring to his contribution in the House on Friday, Moonilal said he was not calling for bars to be opened but be treated like restaurants and be allowed to have a takeaway service.
"Stuart Young is the only MP who did not understand what I said."
Moonilal recalled the Opposition Leader suggested that Government arrange a CAL charter flight to bring TT nationals stranded in Margarita to come home.
"This is a human and responsible act."
"The obscene politicisation of these issues is a strategy to distract from the fact that after five years, this Government must now embarrassingly open and use the Couva Hospital built by the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration that the PNM government could not use for citizens for five years."
Moonilal claimed Young was "clearly overwhelmed by the situation and the fall in Penal may have affected him more than we thought."
He said Government sent the wrong message went it decided to host Carnival celebrations. Saying that decision gave citizens the assurance it was safe to travel and enjoy vacations, Moonilal said.
"Today, the Government closed the borders but boasting about the best arrival numbers for Carnival 2020."