Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar says she is pleased the Prime Minister has heeded her call for a 14-day shutdown of non-essential services.
Dr Rowley made the announcement during Thursday’s post-Cabinet media briefing.
In a release, Persad-Bissessar said the Prime Minister had no choice but to take her advice, as she said the government’s wilful and dangerous mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic has worsened the economic, social and health crisis.
She said this mismanagement is a direct consequence of the ongoing efforts by the Rowley Government to continue hiding the true statistics of covid19 infection among the population.
Persad-Bissessar called on Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh to come clean about why only 400 covid19 tests had been done in the past month, even though it is proven that early detection prevents the spread of coronavirus.
She also called on him to explain, along with his Cabinet colleagues, he chose to "suppress" the news of the first covid19 death at the government daily media conference on Wednesday.
She called on the government to ensure it properly informed all citizens of the exact and precise details of the “shutdown initiative,” as failure to inform them of these new measures could lead to their unwittingly violating the law.
She also asked for an increase in police patrols in all areas to ensure the safety of private property and businesses during the lockdown period.
Persad-Bissessar said the PNM ministers were unprepared and unwilling to deal with the coronavirus crisis from the outset, as they blatantly refused the UNC’s efforts in Parliament to have the matter discussed as one of urgent public importance on three occasions since January.
She said the Opposition represents over half of the population, as it has controls 18 constituencies and seven regional corporations, and has a legal right to ensure that the country’s resources are used to protect all citizens at this time, but the PNM government bluntly refused every offer by the UNC to work together to battle this frightening crisis in the interest of the population’s health and safety.
She said the ministers and Prime Minister had "conscientiously" ignored numerous travel restrictions and warnings, and chose to engage in expensive and questionable foreign travel during the global spread of covid19, and Rowley further refused to self-quarantine for the mandatory 14 days upon returning to Trinidad.
The Opposition Leader urged everyone to heed all precautions and legislative measures implemented by the State to avoid contracting and spreading covid19, including staying at home, respecting the quarantine and new restrictions on movement, and safeguarding their health and that of their families.