TT has flattened the curve!
This announcement was made on Friday by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in response to a motion in the Senate by Opposition Senator Wade Mark calling on Government to gradually reopen the economy.
Imbert, who rejected all suggestions made by Mark and by extension the Opposition, thanked the medical fraternity for their efforts to fight covid19.
“I want to put on record our respect and admiration for all medical workers – the CMO, the nurses, the attendants, everybody – that ensured that we have flattened the curve, because we have done that.”
Imbert referred to an April 23 study by the University of Oxford which ranked TT as the second most prepared country in the world to roll back its stay-at-home measures.
However, by 6pm on Friday, TT moved up to the number one position.
The report, the Oxford Covid19 Government Response Tracker, was created by the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government (BSG).
The data is analysed by a team of researchers led by Dr Thomas Hale, associate professor of global public policy at BSG. TT shares the lead with Croatia, Hong Kong and Iceland. The list ranks countries that meet World Health Organization's recommendations for relaxing physical distancing measures.
“All I can say is thank God the PNM is in government at this time,” Imbert said. He added it is because of the disciplined and careful handling of the covid19 pandemic that TT was able to flatten the curve.
“If you look at the curve, you will see it is indeed flattened,” he said as he gesticulated from the podium. He added reminded the Senate that the Prime Minister is scheduled to address the nation on May 10 on the measures the Government intends to take to restart activity. In the interim, there will be increased testing to to ensure there has been no community spread of the virus.
In his motion, Mark advised the Government to increase testing saying countries such as Hawaii and Iceland, with smaller populations than TT, have tested some 15,000 people each. He added that the expected increase of 700 more tests will not be sufficient to get an accurate picture on whether there is community spread in TT.
Imbert, in response, said he and his colleagues will not be advised by the Opposition who have contradicted all expert advice along the way.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh also rubbished Mark's call for further testing saying there have been 70 post-mortem tests done and 304 community tests, all of which returned negative.
Up to 6 pm on Friday, of 116 people who were tested positive for covid19, eight died, 81 have been discharged and the rest were in stable condition at various parallel health care facilities.